Coupeville Community Allies is asking its Whidbey Island supporters to come to an Island County Planning Commission meeting on Monday, January 22nd, at 2PM in the Commissioner's Hearing Room.
The County is proposing Comprehensive Plan Updates that prioritize military operation indefinitely, without regard to the cost to the County. We need people willing to speak on this issue.
The Planning Commission needs to understand that military expansion in Island County carries significant costs.
If expansion plans at OLF Coupeville go forward, by our estimates, Island County will lose $300-400 million in property value due to the need to establish Accident Potential Zones (APZs), which downzone property.
Establishment of APZs in Central Whidbey will result in insufficient funds for county services, causing a reduction in services or requiring all residents to pay more in taxes to make up the difference.
In addition to property tax valuation going down, an increase in operations and establishment of APZs interferes with Coupeville's economy which is heavily based on tourism and agriculture.
Island County's proposed Comp Plan documents, section 188.8.131.52 on "Military Airports," states "NAS, including OLF, represent(s) the dominant economic force in Island County. They are a strategically located national asset and constitute a significant capital investment in our region by the federal government. The closure of these facilities would result in extreme population and economic loss for the county. As such, the County's land use decisions support the retention and future use of these facilities."
At no point does the Comprehensive Plan mention of their impact of base operations on the community. The Plan update goes on to talk about Accident Potential Zones.
It's sad that the County Comprehensive plan only sees either closure or unlimited future use. We at CCA believe there is a middle way, one that balances community and military.
The Planning Commission needs to know that prioritizing military development indefinitely, harms the Island County economy by reducing property tax collections and weakening the economy - making us dependent upon one federal source without regard to its impact.
Please come and speak if you can on Monday, January 22nd at 2PM
Planning Commission Website: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/Planning/Pages/planningcomm.aspx
Comprehensive Plan Updates: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/Planning/Documents/WP_2017/D_CWPPs/13528_CWPPCompPlanUpdates_01-18-18.pdf
CCA Referenced Fact Sheet on Accident Potential Zones: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/e03a65_1ee26a21eda944c79fb58eccc117c53a.pdf
Below are Conceptual Accident Potential Zones in Central Whidbey