Welcome to Skagit County
January 30, 2024
Commissioners adopt Interim Ordinance Prohibiting New Permits for Event Venues on Agricultural Land
On Monday, January 29, 2024, the Skagit Board of County Commissioners adopted an interim ordinance temporarily prohibiting the acceptance of new permits for event venues on Skagit County agricultural land. The interim ordinance, which takes effect immediately, clarifies that permissible tourism-related activity on Skagit farmland does not include permanent businesses that conduct large events, such as weddings and concerts.
“Protecting farmland is the center of who we are as a community, but, at the same time, we need to support the Skagit Valley’s tourism industry,” said Commissioner Peter Browning.
The interim ordinance does not apply to businesses in substantial and continuous public operation as of the date of the interim ordinance’s adoption. The ordinance directs the Skagit County Planning and Development Services Department to document the rights of existing businesses and ensure compliance with other laws and codes.
“Tourism-related businesses are a wonderful asset to our community. Reasonable regulation will help safeguard the long-term viability of Skagit farmland and ensure folks aren’t unduly impacting their neighbors when they hold events,” said Commissioner Lisa Janicki.
The Board of County Commissioners is currently considering permanent agritourism regulations and adopted the interim ordinance in part to preserve the status quo while new regulations are under discussion. The Board has scheduled a public hearing at 11:30 a.m. on March 25, 2024, to hear testimony on the moratorium.
“Our action today is the first step in providing our community with a balanced solution, but we have more work to do,” said Commissioner Ron Wesen. “We look forward to hearing the public’s ideas and concerns at the upcoming hearing.”