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February 15, 2018

County settles suit related to illegal recycling, retail operation on Cook Road

Skagit County has settled its litigation with Bryan Trucking Inc. (BTI), a nuisance action arising from BTI’s violation of county agricultural zoning code by operating a materials recovery and retail landscaping material business on Cook Road, east of Burlington.

The Settlement requires BTI to stop conducting retails sales, allows BTI a limited amount of time in which to conduct limited wholesale operations while searching for a suitable alternative location, and requires BTI to restore agricultural land that it unlawfully converted.

“We support local business, but we also have to follow our Comprehensive Plan – which means we need to keep farmland available for farming,” said Skagit County Commissioner Lisa Janicki. “If we don’t protect our agricultural land base, we risk losing agriculture in the Skagit Valley. That’s not in anyone’s best interest.”

Skagit County and BTI reached the settlement after BTI lost its case in Skagit County Superior Court and filed an appeal to the Washington Court of Appeals. County staff had been in contact with BTI since 2012 and made numerous attempts to alert BTI that its operations were illegal, including issuing several warnings and citations. BTI did not respond, leaving a lawsuit as the County’s only remaining option to bring the business into compliance.

Skagit County was supported in the lawsuit by Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland. Farming and agriculture are one of the county’s largest industries and help define its community identity. Slightly fewer than 90,000 acres of viable farmland remain in Skagit County, and officials want to uphold existing regulations aimed at preventing the conversion of agricultural land to other uses.

The settlement agreement is available online. For additional questions or information, please contact Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Will Honea at 206-799-4955 or by email at willh@co.skagit.wa.us