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Comments on SPU's Camp Casey development plans due by July 8

The roller-coaster ride that has been Seattle Pacific University’s push for development at the Camp Casey Conference Center is building to a conclusion.

The Island County Planning Commission held public hearings on May 27 and June 10 to discuss amendments to the Island County Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code designating the conference center as the Camp Casey Existing Master Planned Resort and adopting the Camp Casey Master Plan.

Public comments for the proposal will be accepted until Tuesday, July 8. Materials can be downloaded at www.islandcounty.net/planning and are also available for viewing at the Island County Courthouse in Coupeville.

All written comments must be received by 4:30 p.m. and can be mailed, dropped off at the Camano Island Annex or the Island County Courthouse, or sent via email to paulab@co.island.wa.us.

The Camp Casey Conference Center was created in the 1950s after SPU purchased 87 acres that included the fort’s administrative buildings and housing.

Decades later in 2003, the university proposed a zoning designation change from rural to special review district.

Whidbey Environmental Action Network’s appeal of the proposed zoning designation change went before the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board, which rejected the proposal.

The following year, SPU requested the zoning designation be returned to rural.

In 2006, the county approved a comprehensive plan amendment for an existing master planned resort.

The university proposed a zoning designation change from rural to existing master planned resort in 2007, submitting a modified conference center master plan in September.

WEAN has again appealed SPU’s conference center proposal and zoning change request.

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