Address impacts of development. There is a lot of pressure for Anacortes to grow rapidly and many new houses are large and expensive. We need to make sure Anacortes holds a place for working class families to live and not be priced out. We must respect existing neighborhoods when increasing density so that homeowners are least impacted. Decisions should be made that improve connectivity to schools, shopping, parks and transportation.
Zoning needs to be carefully examined. We must eliminate code language that has been too open to interpretation so that rules can be applied consistently. We need to have a process where we actually act on citizens’ concerns about impact to the character of their neighborhood, as outlined in the Comprehensive Plan. I will encourage creative solutions to provide affordable housing, such as cottage homes, using a land trust, well-made town homes and other designs. I will make sure that such density also includes planning for traffic issues and sufficient parks. I would consider stronger requirements for sustainable building practices and low-impact development.
Plan for our infrastructure. We need to upgrade existing infrastructure as well as plan and budget for additional physical infrastructure as growth continues to place a burden on our streets, sewers, and other community resources.
I’d make sure the budget sets aside reasonable funds for future projects, rather than having to borrow. I will look closely at the design of our infrastructure to see if there are some better options that could be more aligned with low impact development and the effects of climate change.
Increase attention to environmental issues. This includes storm water improvements, emergency preparedness, preventing or restoring lost habitat, dealing with impacts of climate change and summer droughts.We can increase sustainability and green energy usage.
I would advocate for a city staff position for a resource manager with environmental background. This person would make sure all developments follow environmental protection laws, would coordinate solutions to the issue of habitat loss and define requirements for energy-efficient building. We need to reduce plastics, have effective recycling, maintain a robust tree planting program and plan for impacts of climate change.
Efficiency and Expertise. We can achieve better coordination with regional agencies and non-profits to solve problems like homelessness and transportation. Our staff should be expected to engage in continuous learning about most efficient and sustainable processes. Anacortes should be a leader in sustainability.