Hearing set on Freeland regulations

The Island County Planning Commission will hold its last public hearing on Freeland development regulations later this month.

At 6 p.m., Monday April 22 at Freeland Hall, members of the community will have another chance to contribute to a major update to the area’s zoning code.

The unincorporated community is on its way to becoming an area designated for more urban growth, within the limits of septic capacity.

The regulations are intended to create a framework to control what the growth will look like. The new rules will only affect new developments and commercial properties doing significant remodels.

Senior Planner Beckye Frey has said options provided in the document for how storefronts, signs and lighting can look like in the business districts are designed to balance “predictability” and “flexibility.”

Throughout the process of developing the standards, planning staff held dozens of workshops and meetings and tested the applicability using actual development proposals.

On Wednesday, Frey told county commissioners that the code isn’t likely to be perfect right away, and staff is ready to make adjustments as needed.

“It’s a living code,” she said.

Small changes can be made in annual code updates and she added language in it to require a review process in three years.

After the planning commission’s public hearing, the regulations will go to the commissioners. The board will likely hold its own public hearing before adopting the code, according to the commissioners.

• Freeland’s draft regulations can be found at www.islandcountywa.gov/Planning