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Freeland area planners to set timeline

Nine members of the Freeland Sub Area Planning Committee will be rolling up their collective sleeves Thursday night to evaluate what remains for the group to accomplish and set a timeline to finish it.

The volunteer group was formed four years ago with members appointed by Island County Commissioners to develop a zoning plan for the Freeland area. “We need to figure out how many hours we need to finish our work,” said Jim Short, chairman of the committee.

Short said committee members are dedicated to maintaining a high degree of quality in completing their work.

Committee members will be taking another look at the proposed zoning map for Freeland.

Short took umbrage with an article that appeared in The South Whidbey Record, Jan. 21 in which Phil Bakke, Island County Planning Director told the group it was time to figure out what was left to do and develop a time frame to complete it. According to Bakke, the county can not continue funding staff to support the committee’s efforts indefinitely.

Still to be competed by the engineering firm of Tetra Tech/KCM is a comprehensive sewer plan.

According to Gary Hess, engineer for Island County Public Works, his staff will be conducting a review of a comprehensive sewer plan for Freeland in the next week or so.

“We hope to have a workshop in March for the public to review the final plan,” Hess said.

He said he expects to meet with the committee on Feb. 15 to discuss the comprehensive sewer plan. Cost of the plan is $186,000.

Within the proposed land use plan for Freeland are nine elements including policy and land use, water resources shoreline management housing natural lands parks and recreation transportation utilities and capital facilities. It is in draft form, but according to Short nearly compete.

The group also want to finalize zoning designation for 6.5 acres at Holmes Harbor Golf Course including the restaurant, pro shop and waterfront.

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