Lake Erie Gravel Pit Appeal Hearing

September 27, 2023

The Skagit County Commissioners’ closed record Appeal Hearing of the Lake Erie Gravel Pit permit will be Friday, September 29 starting at 7 PM in the Skagit County Commissioners’ Hearing Room, 1800 Continental Place, Mount Vernon, WA 98273. If you are a Party of Record, you received a notice from the County and may speak for up to 5 minutes at the hearing. Neighbors and friends who are not a Party of Record, please come and show your support to let the County Commissioners how important it is to deny this permit. For those unable to attend in person, please log in through a remote option (https://bit.ly/SkagitBoCCMtg) or remote call in 1(253)215-8782, Meeting ID: 871 800 1980, passcode: 143573.

Lake Erie Gravel Pit Permitting Synopsis

This permit process should never have gotten this far. The permit should have been denied for failure to analyze the risk of potential landslide. Please stand up for the safety of your neighbors on South Fidalgo Island.

Skagit County is placing the lives and public safety of its residents at risk:

  • The Families of more than 16 South Fidalgo homes are directly at risk from potential landslides from bluff instability.
  • The Del Mar community of more than 350 families will be put at risk of losing their water system.
  • Fidalgo Islanders will be at risk of losing Rosario Road for an indefinite period of time.

Slide damage to Rosario Road, which is the primary traffic arterial on Fidalgo’s west side, would adversely affect the many Anacortes and Fidalgo Island residents who drive Fidalgo’s west side to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and other destinations on Whidbey Island. Over 2,000,000 people cross the Deception Pass Bridge annually.

Expansion of the Lake Erie Gravel Pit is an unacceptable risk and brings to mind the 2013 Coupeville Disaster and the 2014 Oso Disaster. The mine expansion is a potential liability for the state of Washington.

Landslide hazards are not new to Fidalgo Island. The Guemes Channel Trail has several landslide hazards including shallow slough features which cause sandy soil to slump onto the trail from over-steepened bluffs. In 2006, the Skagit County of Emergency Management conducted an inspection of a portion of the Burrows Bay shoreline and determined that the home located at 4801 Anaco Beach Road was in imminent danger due to the potential of a slide at this location.

Skagit County Code “the burden of proof shall be on the applicant to provide evidence in support of the application”. Where is a geologic hazard study with an analysis of landslide risk? We must not repeat failures in oversight and administration which led to past disasters.

Slope Stability and Wetlands Map showing the Lake Erie Gravel Pit (pink/modified) and adjacent unstable slopes (orange) and recent slides (red)



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