Community News

The City Planning Commission Wednesday night sent to the City Council new zoning controls in Old Town. The so-called Old Town Overlay District zoning proposal the Commission adopted was very close to what a group of 42 citizens proposed as an alternative to the city Planning Department’s proposal.

In addressing the Planning Commission, Hal Rooks, who was part of the group of 42, said “the Old Town area is a seamless whole” and urged expansion to include a few blocks north of 12th St. that were not included in the original proposal.

The Planning Commission went along with that recommendation.

The new restrictions, if approved by the Council, include:

  • No new construction of triplexes and four-plexes, but existing ones could be replaced if they are destroyed
  • New construction can take up no more than 35 percent of a lot for any single structure, multiple structures would be allowed up to 50 percent.
  • A height limit of 25 feet, but under certain circumstances could be increased to 35 feet.

The proposed ordinance would set design standards restricting long side walls on buildings, permitting new homes without porches, and define a role for the city’s Historic Preservation Board for buildings on the Anacortes Registry of Historic Places.

Planning Commission Chair Laurie Gere said “I’m very impressed with the 42 residents’ proposal.”

Planning Commissioner Clay Leming said “I have a few problems with this” and when the vote was called for, Leming hesitated and said “I’m only voting for this to get it to the City Council.”

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