Urban sprawl from rural rezoning


November 30, 2022

The spot re-zone being requested by Bertlesen Farm LLC on sixty acres north of its winery on Starbird Road is what leads to urban sprawl as urban services are extended to rural land. Both the Growth Management Act and Skagit County’s Comprehensive Plan were created by citizens and planners to stop sprawl. The goal is to not end up as Lynnwood everywhere. Be clear that the zoning request is not “like” the winery to the south – it includes a gas station, general store, campground, farmers market, equipment rental business, dog park, etc.

To get a little technical, the re-zone request out of rural reserve is for something new called a “LAMRID” (Limited Areas of More Intensive Rural Development), which are supposed to be small and consistent with rural landscapes, economies and services. But, this not-small development would require extension of urban governmental services, including water, road upgrades, stormwater management, additional fire and police protection; and next? A request for a sub-division, since all is in place.

This is an attempt to inappropriately convert undeveloped land into sprawling, low-density development. In addition to handwringing, you might ask the County for a land use assessment report that includes any “LAMRIDS” so we can see where sprawl gets its start. There are also zones called “small scale recreation and tourism zones,” but they don’t allow residential development and certainly don’t allow a project of this size. Stop it already!

If you want to learn more or comment or complain, write to the Skagit County Planning Commission ,: [email protected] or Friends of Skagit County, [email protected], among others.

changing images of vegetables

Jaye Stover



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