Council to consider Wright’s Crossing resolution

Supporters of a proposed large-scale, affordable housing development south of Oak Harbor may get some good news next week.

During its Oct. 3 regular meeting, Oak Harbor City Council will consider a resolution supporting further review of Wright’s Crossing’s application to Island County for an expansion of the city’s urban growth area, or UGA, to include property south of the city.

The expansion is a necessary step toward annexing the property into the city, where it can be zoned with the necessary density.

The proposed resolution states that it represents “a commitment of city resources to review the application and to undertake special studies and that approval of the resolution commits the city to supporting this application, should it continue to advance through the county’s review process.”

The resolution also acknowledges that its timing is unusual.

During a council workshop Wednesday, Development Director Steve Powers explained that, under the county’s process, the developer was supposed to secure such a resolution from the city council prior to applying to the county for a UGA expansion.

County staff, however, realized that the developer wouldn’t have enough time before the Aug. 1 deadline for consideration of inclusion in next years’ docket for the Island County Planning Commission, so the application was allowed to go forward, Powers explained.

Adoption of the resolution is still a necessary step, but it’s just taking place out of order.

Island County Commissioner Jill Johnson has urged City Council members to publicly say whether they support the proposal, which is to build between 1,000 and 1,500 houses on 250 acres off of Monroe Landing Road.

Johnson said the input will help commissioners make a decision.

The workshop, however, was the first time the council was briefed on the project, though one of the council members questioned why they hadn’t discussed it earlier.

Island County Planning Commission voted 5-1 Monday to recommend that the proposed UGA expansion be excluded from the docket. The three county commissioners will discuss the issue at an Oct. 4 workshop and decide which regular meeting to set the issue for final consideration. It will likely be in early November, according to county staff.

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