The City Council has taken the preliminary step toward lifting a cap on the amount of retail space which is allowed near the Fidalgo Bay waterfront.
The Council last night included a proposal to raise the total 50,000 square feet of retail space allowed in the CM1 zone to 100,000 square feet. The CM1 zone is east of Q & R Aves. east to Fidalgo Bay. That property is owned by MJB Industries and the Port of Anacortes.
Council member Nick Petrish said that the 50,000 square foot cap has been place for years and there have been no proposals to build retail there. He said that maybe a business will come along with a proposal for 60,000 or 70,000 square feet.
“I’m no in favor of bis box stores, but I don’t think people want the limitation” that’s been in effect, he said. The cap is the total amount of land permitted to hold retail businesses.
Council member Bill Turner said “I hear, over and over, that people want more retail.” He added “We’ve restricted retail too much.”
City Planning Director Ian Munce said who gets to use the retail space is up to who builds first.
This is part of the City’s review of development regulations currently moving through the review process. The retail cap and other proposals will be available for state review and will go back to Council after 60 days.