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Planning and Development Services

South Fidalgo Subarea

Skagit County defines the South Fidalgo Sub-Area as "those unincorporated lands west of the Swinomish Channel on Fidalgo Island, excluding the Anacortes Urban Growth Area and those lands within the Swinomish Indian Reservation", and identifies the area in the Comprehensive Plan (Policy 4A-7.15) as an area appropriate for a subarea plan, including:
provisions for maintaining the existing rural character and lifestyles of the island; an assessment of the natural and built environment such as, but not limited to: shoreline environs, geologically hazardous areas, drainage, marine and upland water quality, suitability of soils and geology for development, fish and wildlife habitat, open space areas/corridors, transportation networks, and availability and cost of public facilities and services.

While the County has not adopted a subarea plan for South Fidalgo, much interest remains in the studies and reports generated for the subarea and occasionally for reviving the planning process.

Studies and Reports

The 2006 Draft Subarea Plan
On August 11, 2003, in Resolution R20030276, the Skagit County Commissioners reiterated the Fidalgo Sub-Area planning process and created Citizen Advisory and Technical Advisory committees. The County held open houses, conducted a survey, and gathered background information about Fidalgo Island. As part of a draft Subarea Plan, released in January 2006, the Citizen Advisory Committee recommended rezoning much of the island to 2.5 acres (Rural Intermediate). That recommendation generated significant community opposition and concerns about consistency with the Growth Management Act. The County hired a new consultant and held a public forum at Anacortes High School in October 2006, where the community clearly indicated its opposition to the 2.5-acre rezone (SVH October 19, 2006). The County Commissioners sent a letter dated November 14, 2006, to the citizens of South Fidalgo Island, declaring the Rural Intermediate proposal "off the table." After nearly two years of committee inactivity, the Commissioners formally dissolved the CAC and TAC and ended the planning process through Resolution R20080510 on November 25, 2008. The community subsequently elected a community council.