County holding workshops on Freeland development regs

Members of the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback about draft Freeland development regulations throughout April and May.

The new regulations will be adopted with the Freeland subarea plan update and will reflect the non-municipal urban growth area designation. The workshops will cover different topics in the regulations separately. The first one will be offered twice, 2-4 p.m. April 16 and 6-8 p.m. April 30 at the Freeland Library, and will review residential district standards.

“It’s a really good opportunity for folks who have specific questions or really want to get into the nitty gritty,” said Beckye Frey, senior long-range planner.

The drop-in sessions will allow the public to learn more about changing density and design standards that will come with future land use designations. Density will increase incrementally, Frey said, and will be capped at septic capacity unless a sewer system is installed.

The most specific design standards will apply to the commercial districts and are focused largely on maintaining open space and walkability, Frey said. The standards for the business village and business general districts will provide design options that maintain the community’s “village character.” These standards include regulations for pedestrian pathways and acceptable storefront layouts.

Commercial standards will be broken up into three parts with two dates and times each. Part one will be on April 19 and 25 and covers open space, landscaping and screening requirements for non-residential and mixed-use developments. Parking and circulation, signs and lighting requirements will be discussed May 1 and 3. Part three will cover block and building design standards on May 10 and 17.

Frey said feedback received at the workshops will be taken into consideration while final refinements are made to the code over the next few months.

“The workshops are really an opportunity for the community to fine tune the code before we go into final draft and adoption,” Frey said.

The draft Freeland development regulations are available at www.islandcountywa.gov/planning

Workshops:

Residential districts: 2-4 p.m., April 16; 6-8 p.m., April 30.

Commercial standards part 1: 1-4 p.m., April 19; 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., April 25.

Commercial standards part 2: 1-4 p.m., May 1; 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., May 3.

Commercial standards part 3: 1-4 p.m., May 10; 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., May 17.

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