The Concrete Nor'west gravel pit sits idle Thursday on the southwest corner of the proposed Avalon site.

A proposal that could have led to a fully contained community being built north of Burlington was withdrawn from consideration by the Skagit County commissioners because of confusion on whether it would first need to be considered by the county's Growth Management Act Steering Committee.

"It's safest to just pull back and try again," said Simi Jain, a lawyer with the Bellingham law firm Carmichael Clark, which represents owners of the property. "We don't want this issue to cloud the community's view of our application."

The proposal was withdrawn Friday afternoon from consideration as an amendment to the 2019 Skagit County Comprehensive Plan in a one-sentence email sent to the county Planning and Development Services.

Skagit Partners LLC has been working for more than a decade to develop Avalon, a fully contained community of 8,500 residents on about 1,244 acres near Avalon Golf Links.

Jain said she expects the proposal will be resubmitted for consideration as a 2020 Comprehensive Plan amendment.

The Growth Management Act Steering Committee is comprised of representatives from the county and from each of the county's eight cities and towns.

While the committee serves only in an advisory role, the the Skagit County commissioners have chosen in the past not to consider Comprehensive Plan amendments that hadn't first been voted on by the committee. 

Bob Sygitowicz of Skagit Partners LLC has maintained that going to the committee wasn't a necessary step in the application process.

The proposal to allow for fully contained communities in unincorporated Skagit County met with some resistance during the public comment period.

According to county Planning and Development Services Director Hal Hart, 245 comments were submitted on the proposal, many of which were concerned that such communities would have an adverse impact on traffic and the county's rural character.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH


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