MJB property

Shown here is the MJB property, which is just south of Seafarers’ Memorial Park between 17th and 22nd streets. The owners have plans to develop the site.

After years of discussion, one of the largest stretches of private, undeveloped waterfront land in Anacortes could soon see the start of a project that includes townhouses, a hotel, an events center and retail space.

MJB Properties of Seattle has applied for a clearing and grading permit to start building roads and utilities on its 28-acre property on Fidalgo Bay, according to a permit application submitted to the city of Anacortes Planning, Community & Economic Development Department.

The property, which is east of Q Avenue and stretches from 22nd to 17th streets, is largely vacant.

The company has previously proposed various ideas for development. 

“Over the past eight years, we’ve been working with the community, council and planning commission to redo the comp plan in a way that allows for a smart development on that property, one that fits Anacortes and our own needs,” MJB representative Jimmy Blais said last week. “We believe we achieved that through the last comp plan, and this permit (application) reflects that.”

The proposal includes townhouses, condos, apartments, senior living, a hotel and events center, retail, and a publicly accessible waterfront esplanade.

“It’s a very significant step for us,” Blais said. “We’ve owned the property for 30 years now.”

The public comment period on the latest permit is open through 5 p.m. March 24.

“This may be the only opportunity to comment on the environmental impacts of the proposal,” the notice of application states.

MJB applied for the clearing and grading permit on Feb. 22 and submitted a revised application on March 5, according to the permit application.

The company proposes to work on the 28-acre project in two phases: the uplands area and the property near the shoreline.

The first phase includes rough site grading, construction of new roads, including curbs and sidewalks, sanitary sewer mains, storm mains, and water mains, according to a notice of application published by the city Wednesday. Stormwater infrastructure would include water quality treatment to manage runoff from new roads.

The project proposes to extend 17th Street east beyond the intersection with Q/R Avenue, extend T Avenue north beyond 22nd street, and extend R Avenue south (off Seafarers Way) to connect with 22nd Street and T Avenue.

The second phase would occur in the shoreline jurisdiction and requires a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit, required under the state’s Shoreline Management Act.

The city anticipates issuing a mitigated determination of nonsignificance under the State Environmental Policy Act for the clearing and grading permit, the notice of application states.

The company plans to make a formal announcement with more details on its plans in the coming weeks, Blais said.

A proposal to rezone the property was included in the city’s 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update.

Then in 2019, the Anacortes City Council approved a rezone of the property as part of its Development Regulations & Designs Standards Update, following the recommendations in its comprehensive plan update. The change paved the way for future development of the site.

The 28-acre site was rezoned marine mixed-use, which the city code describes as a “special mix of commercial, cultural, recreational and residential uses in a high amenity area along the waterfront or with special waterfront relationship.”

MJB Properties also owns acreage to the south, which is zoned commercial marine. Blais said MJB is reserving that land for industrial uses and has no immediate plans for development.

See the documents

MJB Properties has applied for a clearing and grading permit to construct roads and utilities at a 28-acre site on Fidalgo Bay.

The application and project documents can be found at anacorteswa.gov/161/Planning-Community-Economic-Development. Visit “Current Land Use Projects and Notices” under “Public Notices” and click on “MJB Clearing and Grading” folder.

Submit written comments to Emily Morgan, Associate Planner, City of Anacortes, P.O. Box 547, Anacortes, 98221. Phone: 360-298-4350; Email: emilym@cityofanacortes.org.

Want to Comment?

The comment deadline is 5 p.m. March 24. Submit written comments to Emily Morgan, Associate Planner, City of Anacortes, P.O. Box 547, Anacortes, 98221. Phone: 360-298-4350; Email: emilym@cityofanacortes.org.

* REMOVED a portion of the story that referred to an earlier proposal regarding a big-box store.  The property connected to that earlier proposal is not part of the 28 waterfront acres involved in the current permit application.

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