Opinion

Let your voice be heard on these issues | Editorial

Local and federal government agencies will make decisions soon that could have far-reaching effects on how we build our homes, how we can use our fairgrounds, how our urban growth areas accommodate growth, and how we develop the waste transfer station on San Juan Island.

Several public meeting are scheduled to take public comment on these issues. Go. Listen. And share your view. This is your opportunity to influence decisions that could affect you.

San Juan County will conduct a series of meetings from Sept. 14-30 to gather public input on proposed amendments to the county’s Comprehensive Plan.

Among the revisions proposed for the land use element:

— The creation of a land use “overlay” area which would encourage a greater range of economic activities to take place at the fairgrounds on San Juan Island.

— An amendment to the urban growth area policy accommodating 50 percent of new population growth within Urban Areas.

— Changes in the Critical Areas section of the plan, laying out principles for protecting upland areas that are “important to the healthy function of natural ecosystems, as well as areas that can be hazardous to people and their property.”

Regarding the land use element, meetings are scheduled Sept. 28, 5:30-7:30 p.m., District 2 Fire Station, 45 Lavender Lane, Eastsound; Sept. 29, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Lopez Village Community Center; and Sept. 30, 1:30-3:30 and 5:30-7:30 p.m., Mullis Community Senior Center, Friday Harbor.

Proposed new elements of the water element of the Comprehensive Plan include:

— A goal to “ensure that property owners can prepare and implement their own stormwater management plans on low risk sites and low risk projects.”

— A policy to limit the export of groundwater from Agricultural Resource lands.

Regarding the water element of the plan, meetings are scheduled Sept. 14, 4:45-6:45 p.m., District 2 Fire Station, 45 Lavender Lane, Eastsound; Sept. 16, 1:30-3:30 and 5:30-7:30 p.m., Mullis Community Senior Center, Friday Harbor; and Sept. 17, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Lopez Village Community Center.

Copies of the draft land use and water elements are available ONLINE.

The San Juan County Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing on the proposed redesignation from Agricultural Resource to Rural Industrial of property located at 1258 Roche Harbor Road, bordered by Roche Harbor Road to the south, Sutton Road to the west, and the waste transfer station to the east.

The area will come into play when the county redevelops the solid waste transfer station on Sutton Road. The public hearing is Sept. 23, 8:45 a.m., in the Council Chambers in the Legislative Building, 55 Second St., Friday Harbor.

Copies of the draft ordinance can be obtained at the Department of Community Development and Planning, 135 Rhone St., Friday Harbor, or ONLINE.

Written comments may be submitted in advance by mail, e-mail, or at the hearing. Write Colin Maycock, CDPD, P.O. Box 947, Friday Harbor 98250. E-mail colinm@co.san-juan.wa.us.

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