There are discussions of converting 30 acres of rural forest zoned property into an event center for weddings in a forest setting.
There is currently a 27-acre rural center zoned forested property about a mile from where this new temporary event center is proposed. Why pay for commercial property when you can just convert a rural or rural forest zoned piece of property?
While I appreciate the trend toward temporary event centers, the current practice is circumventing the Growth Management Act.
It is allowing groups to turn rural and residential property into defacto commercial property often at the expense of folks that moved here for the serenity of the county.
The Growth Management Act is broken in Island County; unfortunately the state law should not be a one-size-fits-all.
There is currently a shortage of affordable workforce housing, partially due to restrictive GMA requirements. There have been no efforts by our county commissioners to push back on the state to challenge the GMA.
Full disclosure: I am the owner of rural center-zoned property that like many commercial-zoned properties is not developed or in use because there are too many loopholes in the current GMA enforcement.
While Comforts on Whidbey is charming and a welcome addition to our community, it is zoned for up to 19 homes.
It is time for our Island County commissioners to push back on the Growth Management Act and stop circumventing the law for a select few.