Last Chance to Make a Positive Difference for Open Space, Non-motorized Pathways and Trails in Skagit County’s 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update
The Board of County Commissioners is taking public comment on final proposed changes to the Skagit County Comprehensive Plan, 2016 Update. This new comment period is focused primarily on changes to the original proposal both from the Planning Commission in May, staff recommendations and additional changes directed by the County Commissioners in June.
The proposed changes are summarized in the Planning & Development Services staff report dated June 10, 2016.
We encourage both speaking at the hearing and submitting written comments. You may also talk directly with your respective district’s County Commissioner. The Commissioner’s general phone number is 360-416-1300.
Public hearing date: Monday, June 20, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.
Written comment deadline: Thursday, June 23, 2016, at 4:30 p.m.
What to Say
Personalize, share your own experience, and state why is this important to you. Be sure to follow the directions below for submission of written comments so that your comments will be accepted.
1. Support for the recommended inclusion of a 20-year list of non-motorized projects as part of the updated Comprehensive Plan, Transportation Element. The map of non-motorized projects in the latest version of the Transportation Technical Appendix is on page 56 and the project list begins on page 58.
Say why it’s important to you to have a vision and long range plan that includes non-motorized pathways and facilities. The projects include pathways and trails, safe bicycle and pedestrian routes, as well as safety improvements to county roadways such as usable shoulders.
You will also find new flow charts and narrative of the public process for trails, bike paths, and facilities beginning on page p. 229 of the comprehensive plan in the trails and non-motorized projects process and flow chart.
2. Support Skagit County’s intent to continue cooperating with local partners to identify and protect open space corridors. Open Space is defined as a combination of public and private lands, both rural and inter-urban, that form greenbelts of agriculture lands, trails, wildlife habitat, parks, significant scenic or historic lands etc. Support public access where it is appropriate. State why you think it is important for Skagit County to protect open space.
How To Participate and Comment
In Person: Show up at the County Commissioners Chambers at 1800 Continental Place, Mount Vernon WA 98273 on Monday June 20 2016 at 6 p.m. You may choose to make a public comment; however, you are also demonstrating your support by showing up. As we did for previous meetings we will have stickers available for you to wear.
If you wish to make a comment sign up on the list to speak. Keep your comments brief, 3 minutes or less, and personal.
By email: You may submit your written comments by email, which must be sent to email@example.com by Thursday, June 23, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. Include your comments in the body of your email message rather than as attachments.
By letter: Paper comments must be printed on 8½x11 paper and mailed or delivered to: “2016 Comprehensive Plan Update” Planning and Development Services. 1800 Continental Place, Mount Vernon WA 98273 by Thursday, June 23, 2016, at 4:30 p.m.
The entire 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update proposal is available for review on the project website.
Next Steps and Timeframe for Decisions
The Skagit County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, June 28, at 9:00 a.m., for final deliberations on the 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update proposal. This is where we expect they will give departments final direction about what they want included in the adopting ordinance and the adopted documents, based on the most recent public comment period and the entire update record.
The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to meet on Thursday, June 30, at 9:00 a.m., to approve the ordinance adopting the 2016 Comp Plan Update, based on the direction they give on June 28.
Please share this information widely with your friends, coworkers and family who may be interested.
Advocate and former Washington Bikes board member Liz McNett-Crowl is the Skagit Healthy Communities Coordinator with Skagit Regional Health and has been active for years in efforts to develop trails and get people walking and biking.