Boundaries set for city of Freeland

FREELAND — Useless Bay Colony has been chopped out of the proposed boundaries for the new city of Freeland. What is included are the housing developments at Mutiny Bay, Mutiny Sands and the Holmes Harbor community.

  • Saturday, February 17, 2007 4:00pm
  • News

FREELAND — Useless Bay Colony has been chopped out of the proposed boundaries for the new city of Freeland.

What is included are the housing developments at Mutiny Bay, Mutiny Sands and the Holmes Harbor community.

After months of deliberations, proponents of the incorporation effort for Freeland have set the new city’s boundaries. Useless Bay Colony was not included because most people on the committee felt the golf course community south of Double Bluff Road was too far from the heart of Freeland.

The volunteer incorporation committee finalized the boundaries during a workshop Monday night.

Dean Enell, chairman of the incorporation group, said they wanted to be as realistic as possible.

“We shrunk the boundaries down from our previous working area,” he said, adding that the northeast boundary to East Harbor Road was also pulled back.

“The group also agreed to set the boundary closer to Freeland just north of the new housing development on East Harbor Road. Our original plan went out East Harbor Road to Goodell Road; we moved it closer to just beyond the housing development Whispering Firs, about one-quarter mile from the Freeland Post Office,” Enell said.

Also included are the 34 acres acquired by the Friends of Freeland near Scott and Newman roads. The property will serve as an urban preserve area.

“We are glad to be finished. We can move forward,” said Chet Ross, chairman of the boundary and services sub-committee.

Ross said county opposition led to the removal of Useless Bay from Freeland’s proposed city limits.

Although the incorporation committee has established a boundary for the proposed city of Freeland, the Board of Island County Commissioners, as the boundary review board, will have the final say in where the boundaries are set.

Registered voters within those boundaries will determine whether Freeland is actually incorporated. Supporters are hoping to put Freeland cityhood on the November ballot.

Enell explained the committee’s criteria in establishing a boundary.

“We met with city administrators, council members and planning directors from the cities of Kenmore, LaConner, Shoreline Oak Harbor and Langley,” Enell said. Organizers also talked with Stan Finkelstein, executive director for the Association of Washington Cities.

“Our goal is to accommodate growth with a proactive plan that maintains and enhances that rural quality of life we enjoy here,” Enell said.

Setting the boundaries for the proposed city of Freeland was a necessary step before the idea could be taken to voters and county commissioners for approval.

Now that the boundaries are set, the committee will file a “notice of intent” with board of Island County commissioners, who will then be required to hold public meetings on the question of cityhood.

“The committee expects to file a notice of intent with the county in the next two weeks, and will have some specific budget figures for the proposed city within two to three weeks,” Ross said.

Gayle Saran can be reached at 221-5300 or gsaran@southwhidbeyrecord.com.

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