HARTFORD C.B.D. COULD BE ANOTHER SEATTLE: YES OR NO. WHAT'S MISSING HERE IN CONNECTICUT?
SEATTLE IS A STATE OF MIND
A very entertaining meeting on CT-N. Washington State transit person spoke of need to open cities to their rivers no matter what the size..
Power to the "progressives" oops: https://www.theday.com/business/20180612/amazon-flexes-muscles-seattle-backs-down-on-business-tax
Anchorage wants to be like Seattle: https://www.adn.com/business-economy/2018/05/06/anchorages-version-of-pike-place-market-thats-one-idea-for-this-spot-downtown/
Visit Seattle in August and experience the wonder on the residents' faces as they blink and look confused when it is not grey out - and their surprise to see their SHADOWS!
Read our various visits to Seattle "Picture Story"!
"Terror" act - in Washington State by Whidbey Island resident - Oak Harbor; A report: http://www.adn.com/nation-world/2016/09/24/manhunt-underway-for-gunman-who-killed-5-at-washington-state-mall/
For access to Washington State Code - "Seattle" contains older pages and some links no longer work: http://leg.wa.gov/LawsAndAgencyRules/Pages/default.aspx
TRANSPORTATION: First there is pedestrian power, then bikes. Ferries are vital to the area's well-being. A big train breezes thru the downtown. And don't forget the houseboats--the one in "Sleepless in Seattle" has been repainted (too many fans making pilgrimages)! #1 Expensive city in USA, according to Forbes Magazine 2004.
What has 2004 brought to land use in Seattle? Recognition that it is in shape (if we had to walk up and down hills like theirs, we'd be fit, too)...
More Seattle, Washington: August 2005 snapshots of a cool city.
Checked out Seattle's islands in its own harbor in an earlier visit to a wedding on one of the smaller islands - see map - (previous trip to Seattle).
O N E O F T H
E P U G E T S O U N D I S L A N D
S . . . I have always thought that planning on Whidbey Island had a great deal in common with the Weston model...
HOT-BUTTONS: Circles above links to 4 items of import - gotta know the answers here first ...
Introduction to our wind-shield tour;
Backup to our online research procedures - how do we find things out?
RCW: What does this stand for?* Answer: "Revised Code of Washington" including powers of "cities and towns" as well as "counties" who are responsible for among other thing, a "comprehensive plan."
U.S. Census impacts Washington State, too!
It might appear that Washington State is ahead of CT in environmental rules and long range planning: But the Town of Weston is ahead of both of them!
Below, planners might be interested to know issues common to both Weston and Whidbey Island - in no particular order. Find them below by navigating the rest of this page:
---------* = Washington State's "code" dates from 1950. C.G.S. ("Connecticut General Statutes") is a lot older.
** = And then there is "code violations" which are described in the article below - sounds familiar. We note that one of the codes being violated included "clearing land in eagle habitats" - and if the code enforcement planner is confused why everyone is so angry maybe nobody told him (he had just started work in Whidbey Island a matter of weeks or months before this report) about past fights about regs!
CODE VIOLATIONS IN ISLAND COUNTY, as reported in the Whidbey News-Times July 28, 2017 by code enforcement planner: A list of the 80 violations and areas of location, no specific addresses.
"About one quarter of the cases involve outdoor storage of junk and junk vehicle violations. Active building violations account for more than 26 cases; squatters comprised 10 cases while six involved illegal home occupation or home industry violations.
"Violating septic system, lighting, zoning, property line ordinances and illegal clearing of land also made the list. Some involved unpermitted alterations of wetlands and buffer zones and illegally clearing land in eagle habitats and geologically hazardous slopes.
“'With new cases presented every week, repeat offenders and non-resolved cases, the system continues to be clogged'” ...
“To solve public concerns, it is pertinent for the code enforcement team to work steadfastly with multiple departments.”
"The code enforcemnt officer, newly hired, described the challenges faced daily by the code enforcers as 'health and safety, community resources and very angry and hostile citizens.'”
SOME OF THE ITEMS COVERED:
Introduction and basic data sources; an island that might help us plan for other places like Weston, better? Weston-South Whidbey comparison here.
PLANNING on Whidbey Island takes place at County and local as well as State of Washington levels: PC notices;
GROUNDWATER issues are or should be of concern to Whidbey Island as much as they might be in Weston CT - but fact situation is vastly different!
"SMART GROWTH" in Washington State. With County government, city and/or small entities goverments, plus floating Growth Management boundaries annually (our interpretation). We have included public notices describing what gets discussed and when (by example) in the overall planning process. Very complicated in its own way - layers and layers of approvals to dispute in court!
How is Weston CT like Freeland on Whidbey Island? Or closer in population, to South Whidbey?
And "San Francisco" is about earthquakes. Although sometimes the powers that be seem to forget - estimates of population loss equal Sept. 11, 2001.
The water and the city came alive and went from gloomy fog to late afternoon sunlight regularly. Very moody place. Mt. Rainier looms over it--but it is a gorgeous spectacle!!! Other than the mountain, colors are pastel, ALL windows in ALL buildings are LARGE and make for very beautiful architecture no matter what period or century--people really appreciate the sunlight. This city was walkable in its dense downtown and market area. Which is, of course, clogged with traffic. See Pioneer Square below...in the heart of a busy downtown Seattle.
SPORTS STADIUM BUILT BY NOTED SEATTLE SOFTWARE MAKER.
Entering from Sea-Tac airport you pass hard by the home of several franchises in a few sports. I was struck immediately by how large the windows were on ALL buildings.
IF YOU LIKE COFFEE YOU'LL LOVE SEATTLE.
Rain and more rain is the usual weather event. Downtown it is one green place to another, in between are modern high rise office buildings--however many new and old buildings are "mixed use" and so the downtown is alive at night. Lots of roof gardens and tiered buildings with multiple roof gardens.
How does County government resemble CT "MPO" style? They meet when the working public can't be there. BUT what it means is that staff doesn't have to work overtime (as in $$).
ISLAND COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION - Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at 9am.
PLANNING STUDIES AND LINKS TO DATA
"About Town" has been to Whidbey twice; Weston has things in common with the Island. But no Counties in CT, since the late 1950's - 15 Regional Planning organizations, now merged into 6 or 7 C.O.G. units instead. Langley Planner from VT leaves after 31/2 years for...Seattle. Surprised? Nope. Planning on Whidbey takes place at a few levels - State, County and city/town.
HERE IS A LINK THAT MIGHT BE A WAY TO FIND POPULATION PROJECTION METHODOLOGY FOR ISLAND COUNTY 2013-2033.
ISLAND COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION AND BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS (related matters that County Commissioners weighed in on)
NEW WETLANDS REGS should be online at Island County website.
County readies new wetlands ordinance
Whidbey News-Times for story in full.
By Paul Boring
May 19 2007
As Island County prepares to finalize its new wetlands ordinance, planning staff are working feverishly to help the public make sense out of information that for many can be about as clear as mud.
Residents recently received a second mailing laying out the draft ordinance, which explains the daunting process the county underwent to revamp an ordinance that was established in 1984. Wetland regulations are part of the county’s Critical Areas Ordinance, a document that must be updated periodically.
“We were the first county to do that way back in 1984,” said Phil Bakke, Island County Planning and Community Development director:
“What we have now is a complex ordinance. It’s like taking Windows and updating to Vista.* It’s more complicated and more intuitive...”“If WEAN wants to appeal, they can bring it on, on that basis,” he said. “If it’s about scientific validity, go ahead and appeal. This is extremely scientifically defendable.”
For more information about the draft wetlands ordinance, visit the Web site at www.islandcounty.net/planning/index.htm
* = And we all know how well that worked!
- SEWERAGE & TREATMENT
- SHORELINE MANAGEMENT: Weston's projections involve water supply, too, but we're not an island (it just seems that way sometimes).
- And speaking of "projections" catch this editorial!
- Watershed Planning on Whidbey: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/Pages/Search.aspx?k=watershed%20planning
- The Dominski-Oakrock deep thinking on cluster (not in final report) in 1976. Weston Water Resources Guide: http://www.aboutweston.com/WestonWaterResourcesGuide.pdf
- Website of private public action and information group on the island - Whidbey Environmental Action Network, W.E.A.N.
NOBODY WANTS TO TALK GROUNDWATER INTRUSION, BUT WE'D GUESS IT IS PLAYING SOME PART...
Intrusion by the sea undermining waterfront hillsides?
Landslide Near Seattle Followed Years of Shift
By KIRK JOHNSON, NYTIMES
March 29, 2013
The violent energy of the earth can sometimes feel predictable. An earthquake striking a steep slope of gravel or boulders creates an outcome that even a nongeologist could foresee. Volcanoes can literally move mountains.
The huge landslide that struck early Wednesday morning on Whidbey Island, about 50 miles north of Seattle, was the kind of event, though, that can make things feel more fickle. The landslide, which destroyed one home and left more than a dozen others cut off from access by road, sent the equivalent of 40,000 dump-truck loads of earth — about 200,000 cubic yards — heaving toward Puget Sound. A road was shifted about 80 feet vertically and to the west. A forest at the top of a cliff was pummeled to splinters on the beach. No one was injured...story in full from NYTIMES.
Ledgewood devastated by landslide
By JUSTIN BURNETT, Whidbey News Times Staff reporter
March 29, 2013 · Updated 2:07 PM
An enormous landslide in Ledgewood this morning has severely damaged at least one home and impacted more than 30 others.
The slide occurred in the Central Whidbey Community at about 4 a.m. Hundreds of feet of earth sloughed off from the bluff above Driftwood Way, destroying much of the road and knocking one home off its foundation..story in full from News-Times.
Weston, CT doesn't have "shoreline" but there are some "lakes" and Conservation Commission most likely sees to this issue...we hope!
SHORELINE MANAGEMENT PLAN UP FOR APPROVAL on a regular basis: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/Pages/Search.aspx?k=shoreline%20management
Septic program seen as successful so far
By JESSIE STENSLAND, Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
Aug 24 2010, 3:43 PM · UPDATED
Mark Lenocker pulled the first of three lids off a septic mound system at a North Whidbey home Wednesday afternoon and immediately knew something was wrong. A solid mass of shiny-brown sewage was at the top, nearly overflowing from the underground tank.
At the next lid, it was clear that effluent had been escaping from the septic tank for quite some time onto the lawn where the owner’s dog plays.
“That’s not good,” Lenocker said to his boss, Bruce Silvia of Oak Harbor’s Silvia Septic Service.
The men were at the home to do an annual inspection of the mound system, as required by Island County code. They discovered that the floats weren’t working properly, which stopped the pumps and allowed sewage to overfill the tanks....story in full at News-Times.
The Westport-Weston Health District interviews with About Town a few years ago on similar topic!
Septic anger flows over
By JESSIE STENSLAND, Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
Sep 15 2009, 3:49 PM
An overflowing crowd of septic tank owners told the Island County Board of Health that the On-Site Sewer Operations and Maintenance Program stinks. More than 130 residents filled the Coupeville Recreation Hall Monday night to air their grievances with the program, which requires regular inspections of septic systems in the county. Oak Harbor resident Keith Brady was cheered for his comments suggesting the program is “overkill” and that resident should be trusted to keep their septic tanks working properly.
“I don’t need Big Brother to hold my hand...” he said. “If a system doesn’t work, the owner is immediately knee-deep in doo-doo...”
“The effluent that goes into your septic tank eventually comes out your faucet,” he said...story in full at News-Times.
Coupeville expands its water service
By Nathan Whalen
Apr 08 2006
The town of Coupeville is looking to expand its water service area boundary, ending a moratorium that goes back years.
...The county has two wells near where the town wants to place its new well. The county uses one of the wells for irrigation at Rhododendron Park. Kelly said the county wells shouldn’t affect the town’s plans. The town is currently accepting bids for the new well. The well is expected to produce 60 gallons of water per minute which should provide water for 200 additional customers.
The town prohibited new hookups for out-of-town customers in the mid-1990s because the town didn’t have the infrastructure and water supply to properly serve them.
Conard said improvements have been made over the years. Those improvements include installation of a new water tower, replacement of a water main near Fort Casey, and improvement of the water treatment system and wastewater treatment facility. The new service area boundary is based on a review of population densities, current water rights the town holds, the current water system and what areas could eventually access water mains... Story in full at News Times.
Island County water plan stirs debate
South Whidbey RECORD
By ERIC BERTO
May 28 2005
Despite the county’s best efforts, just how much water is available underground is still not known, nor is it ever likely to be.
At a public hearing Monday about the proposed Watershed Management Plan, a riptide of criticism was evident in the comments. North Whidbey resident Donna Painter said that the plan, which has been five years and $500,000 in the making, contains a lot of uncertainties and non-answers...“The only way we’ll ever know how much water we have is to dig up the whole island and see what we have,” Higman said... The plan also proposes utilizing reclaimed water for uses such as farm irrigation. In addition, the idea of using “hauled water for emergency or short-term water supply. Water could be hauled by truck or boat,” is proposed in the plan...story in full at South Whidbey RECORD.
Navy, county to test private wells
Whidbey News-Times, March 23, 2005
By Susan Mador
Whidbey Island Naval Air Station plans to sample privately- owned wells adjacent to Navy property to detect whether a chemical has migrated past the current treatment system...Recent sampling has detected groundwater concentrations ranging from a high of 14 parts per billion to about 7 ppb at the Navy property line. While a federal Maximum Contaminate Level for consumption of 1,4-dioxane in drinking water has not been developed, Washington state has established a groundwater cleanup level of 7.95 ppb.
Higman said most residents in the area use city water but there are private wells in the area...in the early 1990s, solvents trichloroethylene (TCE) and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA) were identified as contaminants and a treatment system was installed to remove them from the groundwater and return the treated water to the aquifer.
Ten years ago, when the base began monitoring the site, low levels of 1,4-dioxane could not be detected. New methods now make it possible to detect this chemical, according to the Navy’s news release. Tests of monitoring wells at Landfill 6 indicate the presence of 1,4-dioxane...story in full at News-Times.
Sea-water intrusion: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/Health/DNR/Documents/TopicPaper%20SWI.pdf
Minutes of the Island County Board of Health
Regular Meeting Monday April 19, 2004 (NOTE: only part of this agenda)
Members Present: Commissioners: William J. Byrd; Mac McDowell, Mike Shelton; Barbara Saugen, WGH Commissioner and Captain Susan B. Herrold, NC USN (Naval Hospital Oak Harbor); Roger S. Case, M.D., Executive Secretary to the Board
Absent: Mayor Patty Cohen, Oak Harbor...
Presentation: U.S. Geological Survey – related to this paper?
This report was given by S.S. Sumioka, Mark Savoca, and Doug Kelly. During the past five years USGS has conducted a study about ground water in Island County. 80% of Island County’s population uses ground water as its potable water. The study included:
· Estimating ground water recharge from precipitation
· Applying a Deep Percolation Module
· Estimating groundwater recharge in 6 study basins-South Camano, North Camano, North Whidbey, Penn Cove, Cultus Creek, and South Whidbey State Park. They considered certain variables — range of precipitation, types of soils, (most of island is made of impermeable soils), and vegetation effects on the water for recharge
· Estimated recharge “average”: Whidbey = 5.71”; Camano = 5.98”
· Deep Percolation model showed annual average recharge for the 6 study basins to be approximately 6”; the Chloride Mass Balance approximately 2” (within expectations).
Doug Kelly gave a brief summation of Why & What are we going to do with the information that was gathered:
— groundwater flow modules for county
— surface water modeling
— watershed planning
— model calibration (gives lots of information.)
Water Shed Planning — the assessment: Phase II (Numeric quantification of water resources)
· looking at sea water intrusion
· Artificial Recharge – is it possible? – how possible?
· Readying for Phase III
Post-presentation comments: Commissioner Shelton thanked Steve Sumioka and Mark Savoca for their work in this study, and said that they could always depend upon Doug Kelly to give science-based information regarding our water and not information based on politics. . . “even though it may not be what we want to hear”. Rufus Rose, a resident of South Whidbey, then asked if this presentation could be given to the “Old Goats” on South Whidbey. Doug’s answer was in the affirmative.
ISLAND COUNTY STRATEGIC PLAN FOR FAIRGROUNDS: http://www.aboutweston.com/Island-County-Fair-Strategic-Plan-Final2-14-2014.pdf
Read the "Strategic Plan" document for application to Weston.
Animal interests among top concerns for Island County fairgrounds changes
BEN WATANABE, South Whidbey Record Sports, Langley, South Whidbey Fire/EMS
Animal safety and comfort, failed bonds and adequate demand were among the chief worries spoken at a public presentation Tuesday about drastic changes proposed for the Island County fairgrounds.
A crowd of about 75 people crammed into the Coffman Building to hear and see the plans for restructuring the facility’s management and revamping its structures. Some of the most noticeable changes are a planned reduction of 27 buildings to 12 and the paving of the RV park and campground south of the main fair area.
“We have more facilities than we can use … ,” said Paul Schell, owner of the Inn at Langley and a member of the steering committee that presented the plans...story in full at South Whidbey RECORD.
The steering committee’s presentation is available for viewing online...
NOT SO "FAST" (NOT A REFERENCE TO WESTPORT TERTIARY TREATMENT FACILITY).
The Freeland Water and Sewer District is proposing sewers in the downtown core. It is necessary to have an accurate map of where existing infrastructure and facilities are located...FIRST.
Second, in this case on Whidbey Island, State of Washington (which has Counties), check the map's yellow area: "...Planners (FYI - County planner, that is) have technical concerns about the (Water District - lots of separate semi-governmental entities in WA) district’s plans to site a treatment plant on the same property that’s home to the district’s primary wells on the south side of Highway 525, across from Harbor Avenue."
Records detail origins of deal
South Whidbey RECORD
By BRIAN KELLY
Apr 28 2007
LANGLEY — Island County fair officials wanted much more than they got in the proposed settlement offer over Fairgrounds Road, according to documents released by the county this week. Public records also show the settlement was almost endangered by an eleventh-hour request by fair administrator Sandey Brandon for access through the construction zone every weekday except Monday.
Langley officials announced an “agreement in principle” on April 18 with fair and county officials in the fight over Fairgrounds Road, a city street that Langley wants to build across the southern tip of the county fairgrounds to lessen future traffic troubles in town. Fair officials have fought the city’s attempts to get an easement across the fairgrounds for more than a year, but the county fair board and county commissioners agreed to settle the dispute with Langley earlier this month.
The agreement, when finalized, would end the city’s condemnation lawsuit against Island County in exchange for a roa
By Paul Boring
Sep 30 2006
If population projections from the Office of Financial Management are accurate indicators, Island County could have 110,050 people by 2025...
The jump from 77,261 people in 2005 to 110,050 in 2025 represents a 20-year increase of 32,789 people or 30 percent. The projections show the county’s population increasing by about 8,000 people every five years beginning in 2005...
We note that in 2015 Wikipedia data shows numbers as follows:
of Dec. 6, 2004 Board of Island County Commissioners:
Supplemental Agreement No. 1 – PW-0320-102(A); Island
County and Otak, Inc. for Whidbey
Island Scenic Corridor
Management Plan... as
recommended by Mr. Oakes (a Commissioner), the Board by unanimous
motion approved Supplemental Agreement No. 1 [PW-0320-102(A)] with
for Whidbey Island Scenic Corridor
Management Plan, for the purpose of extending completion date to May 31, 2005.
HOW IS FREELAND LIKE WESTON CT? TO BEGIN WITH, IT HAS A CBD...
NATURE CONSERVANCY IN ISLAND COUNTY - further evidence that this website's comparison between Whidbey Island and Weston (proverbial island) might be valid!
NOTE: red boarder around proposed city boundaryof Freeland; WASHINGTON STATE D.O.T. FERRY CAMS: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/cameras/
A. What factors and assumptions should be used when determining population estimates and population capacity?II. BACKGROUND
B. What residential densities are appropriate in Freeland? How much residential land should be designated in
C. If some residential densities will be lower than four dwelling units per acre, what are some justifying factors?
D. How much commercial land should be designated in Freeland?
“Thus, ‘existing areas or uses’ that may have ‘more intensive rural development’ must be actual areas or usesB. Island County Comprehensive Plan and Development Regulations.
capable of having a ‘logical outer boundary’ based on characteristics of the surrounding area, and not simply
undeveloped land which was zoned for intensive use at the time the County became subject to GMA’s requirements.
While undeveloped land may be part of such an area, it cannot in and of itself constitute the area of more intensive
development under these sections of GMA.”
“Conclusions: The new amendments to GMA contained in RCW 36.70A.070(5) allow limited exceptions where
more intensive development is allowed in rural areas. These exceptions are generally limited to areas with some
significant development in place, not merely lightly developed areas with historically higher density zoning. The
new amendments simply reiterate GMA’s goals of reducing sprawl and containing urban growth to areas where
services can be provided effectively.”
RAIDs are a Comprehensive Plan Land Use designation that are either residential, commercial or mixed use. The Freeland RAID actually consists of two separate adjacent RAIDs, a commercial RAID that is zoned Rural Center and a residential RAID that is zoned Rural Residential. The Rural Center zone is the most intense commercial zone type in Island County and allows a variety of uses ranging from grocery stores to retail office space to gas stations to light industrial activities.
regulations were also established
that apply to the RC zone which are uniformly applied to all commercial
development in Island County.
The Rural Residential zone allows a density of 3 dwelling units per acre. Development in both the RC and the RR zone do not require the installation of such urban services as sewer, water and stormwater and therefore necessitate on-site treatment.
Washington Growth Management
Hearings Board Order.
On June 2, 1999, the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board issued an order that applauded Island County’s effort to establish a citizen based sub-area planning committee that would explore designation of Freeland as a non-municipal urban growth area (NMUGA) and given the importance of how this designation relates to accomplishing the goals of the Comprehensive Plan, set forth a compliance schedule for NMUGA designation.
However, the Hearings Board also stated that the County had to take interim actions to ensure that development would not result in sprawl while the committee was doing their work. Over the next 12 months and through several different legislative actions, the BICC adopted ordinances that would limit the scale of commercial development, limit the location of certain types of commercial development and reduce the boundary of the Freeland RAID by eliminating that portion which lies south of SR 525 and a portion of land referred to as the Holly Farm.
The Hearings Board responded to these actions by stating the RAID was now in compliance with the Growth Management Act.
ONE MEASURE OF A COMMUNITY IS THE CULTURAL EVENTS IT SUPPORTS...WHAT DOES WHIDBEY ISLAND HAVE THAT WESTON DOES NOT?