Rules would allow fast food in Freeland

Freeland’s urban zoning will allow for fast food restaurants, but only in certain areas and with design limitations, according to county officials.

Island County’s draft development regulations for the non-municipal urban growth area allows for drive-throughs to be built in what will be designated “Business General,” which is the commercial district from the west side of Main Street to Woodward Avenue. There will be another Business General area around Scott Road.

Beckye Frey, long-range planner heading Freeland projects, said she didn’t want to limit existing local business owners who had expressed interest in building drive throughs. Small and large businesses alike will have to follow design standards, she said.

A large fast-food chain can build in the area but will have to follow design standards for sign size, landscape buffers and lighting considerations. The standards won’t be as strict as they are in places like Leavenworth, she said.

“We’re not picking out colors or any of those things,” she said. “It has to fit within the community, but other than that we’re not limiting it.”

The department is in the process of holding workshops about the draft regulations. The next workshop is 6 p.m., April 30 at the Freeland Library and it will cover residential regulations. Workshops on commercial standards will occur May 1, 3, 10 and 17.

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