Comments on MJB

October 27, 2023

If the proposed MJB development along the Anacortes shoreline, Fidalgo Landing, moves forward it will substantially change not only the upland but the aquatic environment as well. On September 17th, the City of Anacortes posted notice that MJB has applied for approval to subdivide their property along Fidalgo Bay. The project would add fill, install jetties, and repair and replace shoreline armoring. The notice stated that the City has determined that the project is not likely to cause significant, adverse impacts and so is not requiring additional environmental review under Washington’s State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). The application considers this the first phase of the overall development. Ultimately, Fidalgo Landing is envisioned to include 24 townhomes, 120 garden units, 100 senior living units, 120 condos, 150 boutique hotel rooms, a 12,000 square foot event center, 3 restaurants, 50 multi-family housing units and 21,000 square feet of retail space. The application projects as many as 1500 people could live and work on the 29 acres. The City of Anacortes is currently reviewing 3 applications for the development: a Substantial Shoreline Development Permit, Shoreline Conditional Use Permit and a Long Subdivision Approval.

Deficiencies

In response, Evergreen Island’s attorney submitted a comment letter (below) that identifies several deficiencies in the applications and their environmental review. First, the proposal defers a complete discussion of polluted stormwater into the future even though the amount of impervious surface and resulting stormwater could be assessed now based on likely future development. Second, it is premature to determine whether the project will impact eelgrass and forage fish spawning habitat in the shoreline because the application did not assess environmental impacts on those critical habitats from the many tons of fill that will be installed on the beach or the replaced armoring or new jetties. Third, those impacts could be significant, and so would prevent the issuance of a Shoreline Conditional Use Permit and Substantial Development Permit that the applicant has requested, especially since the applicant has not demonstrated a need for the shoreline armoring on the large property.

Our Request

As a result, we’ve requested that the City direct the applicant to evaluate the need for armoring and jetties and then to evaluate the environmental impacts of those structures and the beach fill, including the sedimentation of the eelgrass beds, altered hydrologic regimes, permanent coverage of the beach-spawning habitat, and permanently obstructing the natural shoreline from slowly eroding landward as sea levels rise. We believe these issues must be addressed before the City can move forward in determining whether to approve the current phase of the development.

copyright © 2024 Evergreen Islands |
site by Shew Design