Amy Robertson addressing people at the Oct 28th Treeland rezoning meeting at Mansons Hall – Photo courtesy Cortes Community Radio

SRD Approves Rezoning Application for Treedom

On Thursday, October 28th, a public hearing was held at Manson’s hall on Cortes Island to discuss a rezoning application for the property known as Treedom the requested rezoning would permit the construction of an additional three homes.

  Public input was overwhelmingly positive.  

 On Wednesday, November 17th, the SRD board agenda included a consideration of the application. and of the public hearing results. After brief discussion, the application was granted.

Cropped image from the covenanted portion of this property taken from the Land Conservancy press release of Oct 4, 2021

Director Noba Anderson was pleased by the vote, quoting the Cortes community plan:  

“And if I might just speak to this Mr. Chair, director, I said just at the highest level I’ve just pulled out a copy of our official community plan and wanted to read just two small sections, just a couple of lines here from it. We updated just about a year ago. In the overall residence/settlement section of our official community plan it said “affordable and special needs housing on Cortez will be promoted in the following manner.” And then there’s a number of subsections. And one of those is the allowance for the siting of additional dwellings on a property without subdivision, depending upon parcel size and provided certain conditions are met.”

“And then under the community land stewardship designation specifically, in the OCP: The opening line states “consideration shall be given to applications which offer protection for sensitive natural areas, including foreshore safeguard, significant forest area.” And development of interior roads at a scale and design standard and keeping with the rural character of Cortes island.”

“This application I think meets and indeed exceeds what was set out and intended in the OCP.  […] And it will be receiving my support at this time. Thank you.”

Director Anderson also commented favorably on the mixed media public hearing, which Cortez Islanders could attend in person or by zoom or by phoning in.  

“I just wanted to say for the full board, all four rural directors were there, which was great. I was at the public hearing in person and my three colleagues joined us remotely. John Neil was there in person and we had other supporting staff join  remotely.”

“This was a situation where I really want it to be a public hearing that provided both online and in person; there was some discussion about just doing it online. And we had only one commenter online. And I think we had over 30 people in the room. It was very well supported by public and very well attended. Certainly by far the most attendance, since COVID, at a public hearing.”

“So I really want to applaud everyone involved for the the melded approach, it worked very well, and it really showed me the critical importance of providing an in-person component, at least on Cortes Island.”

Top photo credit: Amy Robertson addressing people at the Oct 28th Treeland rezoning meeting at Mansons Hall – Photo courtesy Cortes Community Radio

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