Accident zone uses amended

People who own property within “accident potential zones” off the end of Navy runways can develop their land for mobile home sales, RV sales or self-storage facilities.

The Oak Harbor City Council unanimously agreed Tuesday to amend a building moratorium on land that falls within the accident potential zones. That means people who own land subject to the moratorium may apply to the city for permits to build, but only if it’s related to one of these three uses.

City Attorney Phil Bleyhl first suggested the amendment to the ordinance at the Dec. 13 meeting in response to a couple of property owners who were unhappy about the moratorium.

The City Council passed the six-month development moratorium Oct. 18 to give the city time to develop new zoning for the APZ area recently identified by the Navy. It prevents development on 60 acres of land on Highway 20 on the north end of Oak Harbor.

Bleyhl said Joel Douglas of Harbor Lands owns land within the APZ and planned on building storage units. Also, Jim Woessner of Westgate Homes and RV sent a letter to the council protesting the moratorium.

In response, Bleyhl said that the moratorium could be amended to allow for construction or development related to mobile home sales, RV sales or self-storage facilities.

He said such uses wouldn’t draw large group of people to the site at any one time, which the city wants to prevent in APZ areas for public safety reasons. The APZs are areas where a plane crash is statistically more likely to occur.

Bleyhl said Douglas read the amendment to the moratorium before the council meeting.

“He indicated to me his pleasure with this ordinance,” Bleyhl said.

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