Freeland development regulations released, county seeks public input

Island County Planning and Community Development has released the first draft of proposed development regulations for Freeland.

The new rules will transition the area from rural to urban standards. The next step involves seeking input on the draft from members of the community.

“It’s the community’s code, so we need the community to be involved as much as we can,” said Beckye Frey, a long-range planner and project coordinator.

Planning staff will be available for the next three to four months to meet with small groups to discuss the regulations and answer questions, she said. They can come in any form including club meetings, library groups or events.

“Literally, I will come to somebody’s house if they want to get together with a group of neighbors,” Frey said.

After Jan. 1, the department will start holding larger open house meetings and stakeholder meetings. Frey said the current draft is the working draft for at least a month and another will be released after a significant amount of feedback is received.

Freeland was designated an urban growth area years ago, but its development rules were never updated. Currently, the area’s regulations reflect those of a rural area of more intense development, or a RAID. These changes will allow for more density per acre in certain areas.

The goal is to allow Freeland to grow but still maintain its “village” character. Frey said the regulations are designed to allow for a lot of flexibility while maintaining a degree of predictability.

Many areas in the code allow for design alternatives. The code would specify a required intent in certain designations and a developer could submit an application with their plan to fulfill that intent in a different way than the options provided in the code.

A developer would have to successfully demonstrate to the planning director that their proposed design would meet the desired criteria. This would apply to building designs, materials and landscaping.

To be included in the collaboration phase, contact Beckye Frey at b.frey@co.island.wa.us or call 360-679-7365. The preliminary draft is available online at https://www.islandcountywa.gov/Planning/Pages/WP17_FreelandRegs.aspx

More in News

Lawmakers seek to regulate homeless camps on church property

By Emma Scher WNPA Olympia Bureau Washington cities like Lynnwood, Kirkland, Bothell,… Continue reading

Proposed Public Records bill is dead

By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau A proposal to provide exemptions… Continue reading

Social media extortion could be a new crime in Washington state

By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau Washington state senators aim to… Continue reading

State senators aim to create self-harm hotline

By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau State lawmakers are seeking to… Continue reading

Bill tackles candidate returns, felon voting, campaign finance

By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau A measure calling for a… Continue reading

WICA presents Local Artist Series in March

Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, or WICA, is presenting this year’s… Continue reading

Presentation planned on long-term care bill

A Whidbey Island group is offering a presentation on a bill regarding… Continue reading

No clear solution to garbage, needles in homeless camp

Those going into an area on the island known as “the pit”… Continue reading

Puget Sound’s southern resident orcas, which use echo-location to find food, would be protected by a new speed limit for vessels approaching the endangered species. (Photo by Ken Rea, SpiritofOrca.com)
Lawmakers proposing restrictions to protect orcas

By Sean Harding WNPA Olympia News Bureau Lawmakers, whale watchers and environmentalists… Continue reading

Most Read