City Negotiating Services Agreement with Samish Tribe

June 21, 2013 22:33 by Ryan

Over the past 18 months, the City of Anacortes has been negotiating an agreement with the Samish Indian Nation to provide municipal services (e.g., police, fire, water, and sewer services) to a future Samish casino at the intersection of Highway 20 and Thompson Road. Earlier this month, the mayor sent a letter to the tribe’s chairman noting the ongoing negotiations.

Although this property is currently within the city limits (where the City is obligated to provide services even without a contract), the Samish Tribe is working to convert their property to federal trust land, which would remove it from the City’s jurisdiction.

Because the process for conversion to federal trust land is a lengthy one, the Samish Tribe has requested in the meantime a change to the City’s development regulations to allow a gas station with attached convenience store or attached drive-up food or beverage service in the LM1 zone, consistent with other uses that already exist in the same zone. The City Council docketed the Tribe’s request on Monday and will process it along with other comprehensive plan amendments over the next year.

The Samish are simultaneously, but separately, working with Congressman Larsen to obtain Congressional legislation to convert several of their other properties in Skagit and San Juan counties to trust land. These properties could not be used for gaming due to a provision in the legislation prohibiting it.

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