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Snohomish County sets docket deadline

On July 22, Snohomish County announced that the deadline for submitting major and minor docket applications has been set for Oct. 30, 2020. The process for property owners, organizations, cities and other agencies to propose amendments to the Snohomish County comprehensive plan is called the “docket.” In this cycle, Snohomish County is accepting applications for major and minor amendments to the comprehensive plan and development regulations for final action in 2024. This will be conducted in conjunction with the county’s 2024 update of the comprehensive plan to revise policies and zoning regulations for the unincorporated county. 

Major plan amendments include changes to urban growth area boundaries and significant policy revisions.  Minor proposals include changes to land uses that have no significant impacts to surrounding neighborhoods. Applications can be downloaded from the county’s docket webpage at snohomishcountywa.gov/1669.

Information: 425-262-2207 or steve.skorney@snoco.org.

State Parks asks visitors to avoid crowded parks this summer

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is asking the public to follow the Guidelines for Responsible Recreation when planning a trip to a state park this summer. When parks are crowded, and parking lots are full, visitors should go somewhere else. Popular state parks across Washington have been experiencing high numbers of visitors this summer. Large crowds are a concern because it makes social distancing difficult for park staff and visitors.

Visitors should check which parks are open before heading out, avoid crowds and be prepared to go somewhere else if the park is at capacity. There are 124 developed state parks across Washington the public can choose from. If one park is crowded, there is likely another not too far away, officials said.

Snohomish County parks turning away visitors

Due to an overwhelming number of visitors to Snohomish County parks, rangers will be turning vehicles and pedestrians away once parks reach capacity, county officials announced.

Picnic shelter reservations do not guarantee parking, so park officials encourage carpooling and arriving no later than 11 a.m. Visitors with camping reservations will be granted access. Those launching boats at Wenberg and Kayak Point will be granted temporary access.

Still time to respond to US Census

More than two-thirds of Stanwood-Camano residents have now completed the U.S. Census, according to the Census Bureau.

As of July 23, about 66% of Island County residents had completed the online form and 71% had answered the questions in Stanwood city limits, both near the state average of 68%. About 71% of Snohomish County residents had completed the Census.

Every 10 years, Census workers count everyone in the country. The results determine where federal dollars go. Various community programs count on this funding, from affordable housing to school lunch assistance. Cities, counties and organizations also use the data for planning purposes.

Most households received their census materials in mid-March directing people to a website to answer a handful of questions at census.gov. After Census Day on April 1, census workers began visiting households that did not respond to the online form.

Work to reopen Highway 20 continues

Crews stabilizing the slope above Highway 20 near Rockport are on track to complete their work by early next month, allowing the stretch of highway to reopen. Travelers currently use a detour on Highway 530, Rockport Cascade Road and Cascade River Road to get around the affected area.

Crews working for the state Department of Transportation will spend the next two weeks drilling into the hillside to insert rock dowels to help reinforce the hillside to prevent future slides. The initial slide occurred June 10, dumping about 150 cubic yards of debris onto both lanes of the highway at milepost 98.

Seal pups need their space

Officials are urging people to stay 100 yards away from seal pups on area beaches and keep dogs on leashes. Between 3,000 and 5,000 seal pups are born in the state's inland waters from June through August.

Nursing pups remain with their mothers for four to six weeks before they start to forage and survive on their own. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, it is a crime to harass them or capture them.

If an encountered animal is injured, call the Central Puget Sound Marine Mammal Stranding Network at 866-672-2638 for Island, Skagit and Port Susan beaches, and the NOAA Fisheries regional hotline at 866-767-6114 for pups in other areas of the Salish Sea.

Burn bans in effect in area

Due to high fire danger and expected hot and dry weather conditions, burn bans are now in effect for Snohomish, Island and Skagit counties.

The restriction bans all outdoor burning, except for recreational fires less than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet high contained in a fire pit. All outdoor burn permits are suspended until this ban is lifted.

Meetings

City of Stanwood

The Stanwood City Council meets once next month, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13. The meeting is online and open to the public. The Stanwood Planning Commission will not meet in August. stanwoodwa.org.

Island County Commissioners

Island County Commissioners meet on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. Videos can be viewed at islandcountywa.gov/commissioners.

Stanwood-Camano School Board

The Stanwood-Camano School Board will meet online Aug. 4. The regular board meeting starts at 1 p.m. on the Zoom platform. Information at stanwood.wednet.edu.

Pets

Meet Lili at NOAH

Lili is a very shy and nervous girl who is looking for a specific home. She arrived at NOAH as a transfer from Hawaii where she lived as a street dog. Lili will need to live in a home with no children, and at least one other calm and confident dog who can show her the ropes of living with people. She will also need a very secure yard, preferably with a doggie door.

To adopt Lili or other pets, call NOAH at 360-629-7055 to schedule an appointment with a Matchmaker.

Government 

Island County Board of Commissioners seeks citizens for several positions on council, boards and committees. Information: 360- 679-7353 or j.roll@islandcountywa.gov

  • Board of Law & Justice Council: Five positions are being sought, including one representative from District 1 (Camano Island). The Board of County Commissioners appoints Law & Justice Council citizen member representatives for two-year terms, which may be renewed by mutual agreement. The Law & Justice Council meet on the 4th Wednesday of each month at noon. Meetings normally run for one hour. Service on the Law & Justice Council is without fee or compensation.
  • Lodging Tax Advisory Committee: Two applicants are being sought to serve as at-large members of the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee. The Board of County Commissioners appoints members to the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee to three-year terms and are renewed by mutual agreement. The Committee meets twice annually to review requests and making recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners on distribution of monies generated by the Lodging Excise Tax.
  • Water Resources Advisory Committee: Two applicants are sought for the Water Resources Advisory Committee, inclduing one representing Camano Island. These are volunteer positions with four-year terms. The WRAC facilitates consensus decision-making concerning water resource management and planning issues in Island County. 
  • Housing Authority Board: One applicant is sought for the Island County Housing Authority Board. The Housing Authority promotes adequate and affordable housing, economic opportunity and a suitable living environment free from discrimination; to serve the citizens of Island County. The Board customarily meets monthly for up to 2 hours at a time.
  • Conservation Futures Citizens Advisory Board: Five applicants are being sought for Conservation Futures Citizens Advisory Board.  
  • Board of Equalization: Applicants sought to fill a position on the Board of Equalization, which renders decisions on taxpayer petitions for property tax equalization. The majority of meetings are held at the Courthouse in Coupeville, with periodic hearings scheduled on Camano Island. Members are paid $100 per day during active service.

 

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