Thank you for reporting on the Sedro-Woolley City Council’s resolution opposing an amendment to the County Comprehensive Plan that would allow for fully contained communities in Skagit Valley.
Many valley citizens from all walks of life are gravely concerned about the possibility of fully contained communities being allowed in our rural lands. FCCs would be bad for our farmers, our tourist economy, our cities (which would lose tax base), the environment, and the rural character of the valley that we love. These communities could be four times the population of La Conner, or even larger, without the supporting infrastructure and services of a city.
FCCs create the very sprawl that growth management policies aim to prevent. Sedro-Woolley rightly points out that the impacts on surrounding areas would be huge.
In addition, the county is dodging the established process to make changes in growth management policies. These policies were developed jointly between the cities and the county, with public input. To leave cities out of the planning process is not just a lack of collaboration — it makes no sense. It is a waste of time and taxpayer money for the county to spend the next year or more unilaterally pursuing FCCs, without first involving the cities in the appropriate process.
As Sedro-Woolley Planning Director John Coleman was so aptly quoted as saying, “Hey county, talk to us because we really don’t support this.”
I am thankful that Sedro-Woolley passed this resolution. I commend La Conner for passing a similar resolution and urge all other city councils in Skagit County to do the same.