The Anacortes City Council last week postponed making a decision on whether to support a proposal to add about 11 acres of property to the city’s urban growth area with the possibility of siting the Tethys Enterprises bottling plant there.
The council voted 5-2 to wait until Monday, Sept. 24 to make a decision. Councilors hope to have a better idea what Tethys’ plans are for the proposed bottling plant. Council members Bill Turner and Erica Pickett voted against postponing the decision. Pickett noted she was not sure what the ramifications would be by delaying the decision.
If the council agrees to allow the process to continue, meetings and public hearings at the county level will move forward. The process to expand the city’s UGA could take up to a year. The final decision rests with the Skagit County Commissioners. If the commissioners agree to expand Anacortes’ urban growth area, the city could then annex the property into the city limits.
The city wants to add about 11 acres on the south side of Stevenson Road off Reservation Road to its urban growth area. The proposal comes after the council previously OK’d a contract with Tethys, agreeing to sell a proposed state-of-the-art bottling plant up to 5 million gallons of water a day. The company is required to identify a site by the end of the contract extension, which expires on Dec. 1.
At the Aug. 20 council meeting, 25 people commented on the urban growth area expansion proposal — and Tethys. Proponents of the addition cited the jobs and economic advantages of adding the property. Opponents took issue with the process, citing lack of public participation, as well as the potential transportation and environmental impacts and large size of the Tethys proposal.
Last week, council members seemed generally in favor of letting the discussion continue through the county process.
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