June 8, 2000


Acting-Chair Mary Jo Cady called the special meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. to consider revisions to the Mason County Resource Ordinance, Agricultural Resource Lands Provisions. Commissioner Cynthia D. Olsen was in attendance. Commissioner John A. Bolender was on an excused absence.


Bob Fink, Planning, presented the staff report. Mason County has adopted regulations designating and protecting Agricultural Resource Lands (ARL). These regulations have been reviewed and generally approved by the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board. However, in their order they directed that the County must demonstrate the rationale for designating some agricultural resource lands characterized by woodlands, housing lots, ponds, pasture or rangeland and not others; the County must clearly define what it means by "surrounded" by agricultural land; and the County must recheck its designated ARL acreage for accuracy.


A review of the lands designated was done and the results compiled with parcel and acreage information, there are a total of 5,665 acres.


When the County amended the agricultural resource lands designation criteria in 1999 to include lands surrounded by agricultural land, the term "surrounded" was applied according to its dictionary meaning "to encircle on all sides of simultaneously". The purpose was to have more cohesive blocks of agricultural lands and reduce potential conflicts.


The Planning Commission did not have a quorum and was unable to make a recommendation to the Board.


Cmmr. Cady noted a letter was received from Guy and Martha Parsons dated 6/8/00. Mr. Fink stated it appears to be the same letter dated 5/31/00 that was sent to the Planning Commission.


Cmmr. Cady asked if the Parson's could apply to have their property designated as agricultural.


Mr. Fink replied there is a provision in the ordinance, however there are requirements to be met.


Cmmr. Cady referred to the proposed change that says at least 50% of the boundaries are shared with resource lands.

Mr. Fink stated the purpose is to make blocks of agricultural land and buffer ag land from adjoining land.


Cmmr. Cady asked what is the advantage of designating property as agricultural if they are under the 10 acres and are grandfathered.


Mr. Fink replied the uses allowed are different for agricultural land and there are buffer requirements on adjoining land.


After disscussion, Cmmr. Cady concluded that this would give more protection to the agricultural lands.


Cmmr. Olsen noted she understands the agricultural lands do not have to give up portions of available farmland in order to buffer that adjoining property.


Cmmr. Cady asked what is the effect on those parcels that have home based businesses.


Mr. Fink responded home based businesses are allowed on agricultural lands.


Cmmr. Cady asked why the County went this route, they requested "surround" be defined but they didn't say the County had too little of ag land.


Mr. Fink replied that they didn't have enough time to go through a long committee process. In defending the last ordinance, this is how it was presented to the Hearings Board by the attorney.


Cmmr. Cady asked how he came up with 49 parcels.


Mr. Fink responded he went through the original section maps of what was designated and determined what parcels met the proposed criteria. Thirty eight of these parcels are under 10 acres.


The designation process was discussed in detail.



The Board recessed until 5:05 p.m. to review the proposed amendments.


The Board reconvened at 5:07 p.m. after checking to be certain no other correspondence was received.


Mr. Fink continued. They reviewed the Parson letter and he noted there are two paragraphs that are different than the letter received previously. With regard to the parcels that are proposed to be designated, he stated the Board is considering designating some of the parcels and adding a couple of other parcels.


Cmmr. Olsen/Cady moved and seconded to approve Ordinance 52-00, adopt the revised maps and the Agricultural Resource Land May 2000 proposed changes as amended and amend Agricultural Resource Lands #17.01.061 A 4. after the word "salt water" add language "provided that this creates a more regular or logical boundary" and adopt the findings of fact that are consistent with those changes. Motion carried unanimously. B-absent; O-aye; C-aye. Ordinance 52-00


Cmmr. Cady read into the record 17.01.061 A 4. "The property is surrounded by or adjacent to lands qualifying under classification criteria 1 to 3 above, where adjacent to means at least 50% of the property line adjoins resource lands per criteria 1 to 3 above, not including water bodies (rivers, lakes, or salt water) provided that this creates a more regular or logical boundary."



The special meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.






























Rebecca S. Rogers, Clerk of the Board












John A. Bolender, Chairperson






Cynthia D. Olsen, Commissioner






Mary Jo Cady, Commissioner