Island County wins planning awards

Island County has been honored by three Governor’s Smart Communities Awards for excellence in planning. The awards recognize achievements by local leaders who promote smart growth planning and projects that contribute to thriving communities, a prosperous economy, and sustainable infrastructure. 

In response to public input, Island County prepared rural lands regulatory updates that found a balance among economic development, long-term commercial viability of resource lands, impacts to surrounding property owners and rural character.

Island county is the first community to win two Governor’s Awards in the same year, one for its Housing Element and another for Rural Lands regulator updates. Island County won an award from the Washington APA for the Freeland Development Regulations.

“Creativity, collaboration and public engagement are key to ensuring that communities are successful in meeting future growth and prosperity goals,” said Governor Jay Inslee.


Human rights proponents

Snohomish County Human Rights Commission is accepting nominations for the 2019 Human Rights Awards until 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5.

The commission on Dec. 10 will recognize local citizens who have helped build a more just society. 

Community members can nominate candidates for their contributions to make our county a place that honors the equal and inalienable rights of all of our human family. Award categories are: Human Rights Award, Young People’s Award, Law Award, Diversity Visionary Award, Community Organization Award and Educator’s Award.

Nominees must be a Snohomish County residents who have made significant contributions to human rights in Snohomish County and active between September 2018 and September 2019. Details:


Snohomish County seeks citizen advisors 

Snohomish County is seeking three to four new advisors for the Marine Resources Committee to guide Snohomish County’s marine and nearshore habitat conservation, protection, and restoration efforts and make policy recommendations to Snohomish County Council on marine issues. Application deadline is Nov. 18 or until filled. To learn more and apply, visit and scroll to the notice for committee members.


Flood alerts defined

Now that flood season has arrived, Communications Specialist Courtney O’Keefe from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office defines the differences between a Flood Advisory, Flood Watch and Flood Warning.

• Flood Advisory — Be Aware: A Flood Advisory is issued when a forecasted weather event may become a nuisance. It’s not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning, but people should be cautious and avoid threatening situations.  

• Flood Watch —Be Prepared: A Flood Watch is issued when conditions make hazardous flooding is possible. 

• Flood Warning —Take Action: A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.


City, county commissions to meet

Learn about city government and meet council and commission members as they make local decisions. Agendas and meeting minutes are posted at To inquire, call 360-629-2181.

• Stanwood City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, in the Stanwood-Camano School District Administration Building, 26920 Pioneer Highway in Stanwood. 

• To avoid meeting on Veterans Day, Stanwood Planning Commission meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, in the Stanwood Fire Station, 8117 267th Pl. NW, Stanwood. Normally the commission meets on second and fourth Tuesdays. 

• Island County Commissioners meet at 10 a.m. Tuesdays in Coupeville, with a videoconferencing link to the Camano Annex office, 121 N. East Camano Drive. A public comment period is scheduled the first four Tuesdays each month. See or call 360-387-3443 to inquire.


Help plan for Stanwood’s future

Stanwood Planning Commission invites the public to an interactive Planning Café at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28 in the Stanwood Fire Station, 8117 2667th Street NW, Stanwood. 

On the menu at this round table event are discussions of future land uses, zoning, density, and housing types to help city staff prepare for the 2023 Comprehensive Plan Update. 

The city invites the public to the table to discuss how to accommodate the population and employment numbers forecasted for 2050. Café roundtable discussions will cover topics related to zoning, density, and housing types throughout the city. Participants will help identify areas for growth and discuss options for infill housing types through a series of interactive activities.

The city is looking forward to citizen involvement that will help shape the future of Stanwood.


Board of Equalization has opening

Island County Board of Commissioners are accepting applications until 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31 for the Board of Equalization, which renders decisions on taxpayer petitions for property tax equalization. Members are paid $100 per day for meetings held at the Courthouse in Coupeville and occasionally on Camano. Applicants should send a letter of interest and qualifications to Pam Dill, at; by fax 360-679-7381 or PO Box 5000, Coupeville WA 98239. To inquire, contact Don Mason, 360-679-7379 or 


Primp your pasture

WSU County Extension and the Skagit Conservation District offers a free three-week class to “Jump Start Your Pasture.” It covers pasture management, electric fencing and renovation techniques. Class will be held 7-9 p.m. on Wednesdays, Oct. 30, Nov. 6 and Nov. 20 at WSU Skagit County Extension office 11768 Westar Lane, Suite A; Burlington in the Port of Skagit complex. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with free ice cream sundaes. Contact Joan Devries at 360-428-4270 ext 240.


Anacortes looking at plastic bag ban

Anacortes is considering banning single-use plastic bags at grocery and retail stores, something at least 25 other jurisdictions throughout the state have done.

An ordinance presented last week to the Anacortes City Council proposed a ban on single-use plastic bags used for transport or carry-away purchases at grocery or retail stores larger than 10,000 square feet.

About a dozen people gave public comments in support of a ban, and two stated they opposed a ban.

Under the ordinance, stores would have to charge at least $1 for any reusable carry-out bag.

The City Council is set to next discuss the issue at its Nov. 4 meeting.

La Conner banned single-use plastic bags last year.


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