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Guemes Island Sub-Area Plan

coverThe Board of County Commissioners adopted the Guemes Island Sub-Area into the Skagit County Comprehensive Plan by ordinance O20110001 on January 18, 2011. The Guemes Island Planning Advisory Committee (GIPAC) initially prepared the Guemes Island Subarea Plan. Staff from the County Planning, Public Works, and Health departments reviewed and suggested revisions to the original GIPAC draft plan, which was then reviewed and recommended by the Planning Commission.

The Subarea Plan includes seven elements, including land use, natural resource conservation, environmental protection, shorelines, transportation (including the Guemes Island Ferry) and plan implementation. The Plan includes several new policies (not yet implemented by development regulations) aimed at mitigating the impacts of growth on the island's rural character and groundwater resources, including:

  • Prohibition of density bonuses in CaRDs (cluster subdivisions)
  • Enhanced site assessment requirements for new homes
  • Prohibition of accessory dwelling units (ADU's) if the water source exceeds certain standards for chlorides.
  • Adopt an annual building cap that would allow no more than 20 total new homes to be built on the island per year
  • Adopt minimum standards for private reverse osmosis systems
  • Enhancement and continued enforcement of the Guemes Island Seawater Intrusion Policy regarding management of new wells

Download the complete plan (PDF) as adopted in January 2011. Appendices are available as separate files:

Original proposal documents: