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Household income groups are not differentiated by household size in the Census. However, income ranges for different household sizes are used by the State and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to determine eligibility for various state and federal housing programs.
There are two organizations in San Juan County whose mission includes protection of farmland. For more information about the criteria, benefits and opportunities, visit their websites or contact them directly.
Yes. Farms that are being commercially farmed may benefit from reduced property taxes that are based on the current use as agriculture instead of highest and best use. To be eligible, the landowner must meet certain criteria as specified in Washington State rules and code: RCW 84.34 and WAC 458.30. The SJC Assessor oversees compliance with the program. More information on property tax programs is available at www.sanjuanco.com/assessor, or contact the San Juan County Assessor at 360-378-2172.
Yes, the county has adopted certain regulations that determine allowable uses on land designated for agricultural use. To find out more, contact San Juan County Community Development and Planning Department at 360-378-2354.
The Conservation District is your source of information for different approaches to farm management. Contact the Resource Planners at 360-378-6621 or contact Bruce Gregory at firstname.lastname@example.org or Danna Kinsey at email@example.com.
The San Juan County Conservation District can help you prepare a farm plan. Check their website to see a template of the elements of a farm plan. Contact Bruce Gregory at firstname.lastname@example.org or Danna Kinsey at email@example.com or call 360-378-6621.
There are many opportunities to purchase local far products, including Farmers' Markets, farm stands and at certain restaurants and businesses that source local foods. To find out more got to Island Grown.
In an effort to address the state’s constitutional duty to fund basic education, the State Legislature changed the way Washington funds K-12 education. The changes affect:
The State's education levy is call "State Levy - Part 2".
The legislative bill that imposed the property taxes is called Engrossed House Bill 2242. You can read the final bill by clicking here.
Yes. Your taxes will likely increase. For most taxpayers, your increase is $1.02 per $1,000 of assessed value.
Example: Your assessed value equals $350,000 and the State Levy - Part 2 rate for is $1.02. So, your tax amount will increase by $357.
In 2018, a tax bump will occur because it is the first year of the new levy. Existing voter-approved Maintenance and Operations (M&O) levies will remain in effect in local school districts, while the State phases in increased state levy collections.
In 2019, tax rates will likely be lower because school district M&O levies—now known as “enrichment levies”—will be limited to $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value. The vote approved bonds are not affected by the levy change.
Include the parcel number of the property you are appealing on. A separate petition must be completed for every individual parcel. Also include the Assessor's determination of value, other appraisal information, your estimate of value, recent sales of comparable properties, or other supporting information for your appeal. Be sure to indicate if you intend to submit additional evidence prior to the hearing.
San Juan County’s functions are housed in a variety of facilities and sites that have developed sporadically over time. Administration, Community Development, Health and Community Services, several Elected Official’s offices, and Public Works functions are located in several facilities in the Town of Friday Harbor. The current configuration does not support efficient operations or customer service. Many facilities are inappropriate for their current use, difficult to renovate to support modern operations, and are becoming increasingly costly to maintain.
This new Civic Campus will bring these departments together to increase efficiencies, reduce operating costs, and provide better service to County residents. The new Campus will also provide new inside and outside spaces for community use. This is intended to be an amenity for the community, not just a facility for the County.
The new Civic Campus is intended to house the County Administration (County Manager, Information Services, and Facilities Manager), County Council, Department of Community Development, Health and Community Services, Public Works (except Maintenance and Fleet), and the Assessor, Auditor, and Treasurer’s Offices. Others, like the Prosecutor, District and Superior Courts, and Sheriff, will continue to be located in the Courthouse.
Depending on the outcome of this study, the County may decide to sell some of its current properties if they are determined to no longer meet the needs of the County. This revenue will be used to help offset the cost of the new building. Some of these sites that are near the new Civic Campus may also be used for employee parking. Spaces vacated by the Assessor, Auditor, and Treasurer’s Offices may be re-purposed for use by the courts or Sheriff. The courthouse will still be in use.
We will do a cost estimate based on the preferred alternative. Throughout the design process, the team will be cost-conscious, looking for ways to meet all of our needs while using space efficiently. This is an investment for the future. Once we are in a shared space with more up-to-date and energy-efficient systems, we anticipateSan Juan County Civic Campus Plan that we will spend less on the operations of a new facility than we do now on several separate facilities that require significant and continual maintenance.
The timing will depend on securing funding for construction. Once this Plan is complete and we have the preferred design alternative, it will go before the County Council. Ultimately the timeline will depend on Council review and action as well as obtaining financing.
There are two possible sites. The first option is in the triangle-shaped parcel bounded by Second St, Reed, and Blair. That is where some of the County offices are already located. The other possible site is across the street, where there is currently a parking lot shared by the Community Theater and the Courthouse. We understand that that parking lot is heavily used and that some parking would need to be retained on that site with any displaced parking spaces replaced with adequate and convenient parking nearby.
We will be evaluating these two options based on community input, County staff input, and the square footage needed to accommodate all of our functions.
The campus plan will detail how the designated County departments and functions will be incorporated into a new single campus on County-owned property in Friday Harbor. The plan will also detail the inclusion of community space to support public gathering and programming.
We will develop a few possible design concepts with site plans and three-dimensional illustrations to establish the desired site and building character and convey the development vision. We will share those visuals for community and County staff feedback. That will inform the development of a preferred alternative, which will be presented to the County Council.
The planning process began in late January 2018 and is expected to conclude in late summer 2018.
Early in the process, the public is invited to weigh in on the vision for the new Campus, community needs and uses that we should aim to accommodate, the character of the building, indoor and outdoor spaces, and public amenities. Your input will directly influence the work that the urban planners, landscape architects, and architects will do as they develop various design concepts.
A couple of months later, you will have the opportunity to review the different design concepts and let us know which ones you prefer, and why. We will carefully consider the input that we receive when we determine which of the design concepts will become the final one that is presented to Council. We would like to have a final plan that has broad community support and meets community needs, in addition to the needs of County departments.
Soon! We will have an online survey available in early March to gather initial input on the vision and priorities for this new Civic Campus. We plan to have a virtual open house with an additional short survey available online in early June to gather feedback on the alternative design concepts. Finally, there will be a short public comment period later in the summer where you can comment on the design that has been marked as the preferred alternative.
This is your opportunity to tell us your priorities when it comes to the new Civic Campus. The Civic Campus will be located in Friday Harbor but it needs to effectively serve the whole community across all of the San Juan Islands.
We want the design to reflect local priorities and preferences. We are issuing the survey very early in the process so that we can really listen and use your input to directly influence the very first design concepts. The County wants to provide the highest-priority amenities for the community.
We want to reach as many people as possible from across all of the islands, and a survey is an efficient and convenient way to do that.
You may apply for a concealed pistol license at the Sheriff's Office in Friday Harbor, during the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, excluding holidays.
- You must be 21 years of age at the time of the application
- You must be a United States citizen or have a valid Alien Firearms License
- You must live in San Juan County or outside of Washington State
- You must be eligible to own firearms under RCW 9.41.040 and 9.41.045
- You must not have a court order or injunction against possessing firearms
- You must not be pending trial, appeal or sentencing on a felony offense
- You must not have an order to forfeit firearms within the last year
- You must not have any outstanding warrants for any charge, from any court
- You must provide picture identification
- You must be fingerprinted. This is done Thursday mornings between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Please call 360-378-4151 to make your fingerprinting appointment. With prior arrangement, special accommodations may be made if you are unable to come during those times.
- You must pay a non-refundable fee of $48.00
For spring (and fall) we have the same four-boat compliment as winter, but with more crew hours which provides a full four-boat service. So why the gap? The reason is that one of the boats spends half the day running the Sidney service- the Chelan takes the morning Orcas/Shaw/Lopez run and then spends the next 7 hours on the run to Sidney and back. That leaves us with only two boats for the mid-day mainland service.
There are also more direct boats for spring and fall, in order to move more folks more efficiently. This sometimes means sending a large boat to a small island, but more importantly allows dedicated boats to serve the larger islands.
For reference, past schedules are available on the Ferry Related Documents Page.
The advantage to ferry scheduling was that the two work periods could vary as long as they added to 16 hours. So work schedules could be juggled to fit the sailing schedule, rather than vice-versa, which made for more efficient service. This also allowed berthing one of the mainland boats overnight in Friday Harbor, which took the early 6 a.m. sailing to Anacortes.
Beginning in 2010 the Coast Guard no longer allows touring watches because of concerns for crew fatigue. An exception was made for the Interisland boat, which is home-ported in Friday Harbor and begins its day at 6 a.m..
What this change means is that each ferry had to be back in Anacortes for the change of watch after 8 (or 10) hours, where previously it could be 7 hours 10 minutes plus 8 hours 50 minutes, or some other combination that added to 16 hours. More recently there has been some additional flexibility with 7 hours one week and 9 hours the next-- always adding to 80 hours over two weeks.
Access to judicial records is governed by court rules and not the Public Records Act (PRA). There are two types of judicial records addressed by court rules: (1) “court (or case) records” (records filed with the court in a judicial proceeding that are usually maintained by the court clerk); and (2) “administrative records” (any record pertaining to the management, supervision or administration of the judicial branch).
Access to court/case records is governed by the following court General Rules (GR): GR 31 (Access to Court Records) GR 15 (Destruction, Sealing and Redaction of Court Records), and GR 22 (Access to Family Law and Guardianship Court Records).
Access to judicial administrative records is governed by GR 31.1. The judicial branch is committed to openness, transparency, and the belief that the public should have access to most court records and administrative public records. These FAQ’s address GR 31.1, access to judicial administrative records. For information regarding access to records contained in court case files (court or case records), please consult GR 31. You may request a court record by contacting the County Clerk’s Office at (360) 378-2163 or mailing a request to 350 Court Street #7, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.
GR 31.1 ensures the public’s right to access to judicial administrative records, clarifies the responsibilities of judicial agency officials with regard to providing access to these records, and assists in identifying exceptions to public access.
Judicial administrative records in Washington State are generally accessible to the public. These records may be written or recorded information related to the management of the court or judicial branch agency, its business with the public, or the carrying out of its administrative functions. These records include copies of records made by, used by, or received by a court or judicial branch agency in connection with its administrative functions. Instructions for requesting administrative public records may be found at the following website: http://www.sanjuanco.com/1330/Records-Request-Instructions or by contacting the Superior Court Public Records Officer.
State and federal law require judicial branch agencies and courts to keep some records confidential. Confidential records are not available to the public. Access to some records containing sensitive personal information is restricted by law to protect people’s right to privacy and to protect them from possible harm or harassment. Records maintained or created by a judge or the judge’s staff are called “chambers records” and are not subject to disclosure.
While most administrative records will be provided in their entirety, some records may contain sensitive or private information. This sensitive or private information may be removed or blocked out of a record. This is called “redaction.” Examples of information that will be redacted include social security numbers, some financial information, home addresses, medical records and health care information. The requester will be notified when information has been redacted from a record along with the reason(s) for that redaction.
Administrative records are subject to a retention schedule. Most administrative records are retained for six years.
All requests to inspect or obtain administrative public records must be submitted in writing. Using the Request for Administrative Records Form is not mandatory, but use of the form may make it easier to understand your request. Please send the completed form to the Public Records Officer for Superior Court (Superior Court PRO). You must provide your legal name, your physical and mailing address when you submit the request. If you need assistance to access administrative records because of a disability, please contact the Superior Court PRO where the administrative records are located.
Within five days of receipt of your administrative records request, the Superior Court PRO will confirm that your request was received and, when possible, will estimate the time it may take to locate and send the records to you. Although the judicial branch is not penalized if confirmation is not made within the five day period, every effort is made to ensure that receipt your request is promptly confirmed.
The court or judicial branch agency is not required to create a new public record to respond to your request if the request you submitted is for a record that does not exist. If the request is not specific enough to understand, or if the request is very broad and costly, we may call or write you for clarification so that we can avoid unnecessary expenses to you and to the court or judicial branch agency.
If you are notified that the record you requested cannot be disclosed or that the record you received has been redacted and you disagree with the decision, you may seek review of the decision. GR 31.1(d). There are two separate review processes to follow, internal and the external review.
To view original or stored paper copies of administrative public records belonging to courts or judicial branch agencies at the court or judicial branch agency you will need to complete the Request for Administrative Records and submit it to the Superior Court PRO at the agency or court indicating you wish to view the records in-person. You will then need to make an appointment with the Superior Court PRO to view the records in-person at the court or judicial branch agency where the records are located. While there are no charges or fees associated with viewing administrative records, there may be costs associated with the research necessary to find these records. See GR 31.1 (h) (4) and cost discussion below.
You will need to complete the Records Request form and note that you would prefer paper copies. There may be fees for copying the records or completing research related to your request, and you will be told in advance the total that will be due.
GR 31.1(h)(2) allows the court or judicial branch agency to recoup its cost for copying or scanning records. It states, “A fee may be charged for the photocopying or scanning of administrative records. If another court rule or statute specifies the amount of the fee for a particular type of record, that rule or statute shall control. Otherwise, the amount of the fee may not exceed the amount that is authorized in the Public Records Act, Chapter 42.56 RCW.”
Also, if extensive research is required to respond to your request, you may be informed that there will be charges for the time involved and that taxes will apply to these research charges. GR 31.1(h)(4) states, “A fee not to exceed $30 per hour may be charged for research services required to fulfill a request taking longer than one hour. The fee shall be assessed from the second hour onward.”
Costs for activities such as research, photocopying, scanning, and for materials such as CDs and USB drives are determined by the agency or court where the records are stored. Sales tax will be added to the total you owe, as well as the cost for mailing materials to you.
Viewing records at Courthouse: No Charge Research Fee: $30.00/hour after first hour
Copies & Scanning: $0.15 per page Fax (8 ½ x 11 only): $1.00 per page
CD: $20.00 each; USB: $25.00 each Postage: actual cost; Envelope: $1.00 each
Depending on the size and complexity of the request, you may need to pay the research and/or copying costs before the records are given to you. Other times you will be invoiced after delivery of the requested records. If you do not pay the amount due for records you have received, you will not be able to obtain additional records until that debt is paid.
The Superior Court Public Records Officer maintains a log of the requests received and the manner the requests were filled.
The court or judicial branch agency cannot control the use of information it provides to the public, so the court or judicial branch agency cannot be responsible for problems that result. However, the court or judicial branch agency will not provide any administrative record if it determines that: the request was made to harass or intimidate the court or judicial agency or its employees; fulfilling the request would likely threaten the security of the court or judicial agency; fulfilling the request would likely threaten the safety or security of judicial officers, staff, family members of judicial officers or staff, or any other person; or fulfilling the request may assist criminal activity. GR 31.1(c)(7)
You cannot serve on a jury if you have been convicted of a felony and your civil rights have not been restored.
If you are in doubt about your eligibility for jury service, you may contact the Jury Manager.
You may also file a request by writing to:Jury ManagerSan Juan CountyP.O. Box 127Friday Harbor, WA 98250
• No food or drinks, except water, shall be allowed in the courtroom.
• All persons in the courtroom, except those required to be there because of arrest or court order, shall be attired in a manner appropriate to the dignity and decorum of the courtroom setting. As minimum standards, the following rules shall apply:
• Men shall wear shirts, trousers and shoes. Women shall wear shoes, and either dresses, skirts and tops, or pants and tops.
• Shorts, halter tops, tank tops, hats, caps, torn clothing, shirts or other clothing with obscene or profane pictures or messages, and thongs, shall not be worn.
• Male attorneys shall wear coats and ties. Women attorneys shall wear professionally appropriate attire.
• All persons in the courtroom shall, in their speech and action, conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the dignity and decorum of the courtroom setting. As minimum standards, the following rules shall apply:
• Spectators and persons not then actively engaged in court proceedings shall be quiet; any speech which does occur shall be as unobtrusive as possible.• All persons shall refrain from any gestures and from conduct litigants, witnesses , court staff, law enforcement personnel, or other persons.
• All cell phones and other electronic devices shall be set to silent mode.
If your child is a CHINS youth, then what services should the Court require of the youth and parent to improve or correct the problem. In this process, the Court will not have the power to order your child into involuntary commitment for substance abuse or mental health treatment. Those types of involuntary treatment petitions require another process.
The service plan is periodically reviewed by the court to determine compliance and assess progress with the plan. Failure to comply with the court's order could result in a finding of contempt and jail days.
Outright, about 4,000 acres. We also lease 400 acres on Lopez Hill from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Public land is a huge benefit for the county in that it:
If all Land Bank property were taxed, and the tax rate was lowered as a result, the savings to property owners would be roughly $2 per $100,000 in value. The Land Bank owns roughly 4,000 acres, or 3.7% of the County’s total land area.
Also, over 75% of properties purchased by the Land Bank were already in preferred tax categories. For example, 1,575-acre Turtleback Mountain was in Designated Forest Land (DFL) and the previous owners paid less than $1,000/year in property taxes.
The obvious answer is when the public decides not to renew the Land Bank real estate excise tax (REET). Beyond that though there are many ways to look at it. We are about saving special places, keeping the islands rural, giving people the chance to climb a mountain or visit a beach – or just provide a public space where people want it. As long as we have the funding there will be opportunities to continue doing these things. And as population continues to grow, and new houses are built, the demand will continue to grow.
No. The Land Bank operates under state enabling legislation which requires the revenues to be spent on conservation. Other community projects, while they may be equally important, must have a different source of revenue.
A conservation easement is a restriction on private property, usually to limit how many houses might be built or how many times it can be divided. Think of the view of a favorite farm across a valley. Imagine it with 10 or 20 houses added. The goal of a CE is to limit this and preserve agricultural or open space areas in perpetuity.
The citizens of San Juan County voted to establish the Land Bank real estate excise tax (REET) in 1990, after helping to create the state enabling legislation. Citizens have renewed it twice, in 1999 and 2011.
Absolutely not. Of the Land Bank’s 33 Preserves, 24 are open to the public, 7 on Lopez, 8 on Orcas, 8 on San Juan, and 1 on Henry Island. Over 70 percent of the area of Land Bank Preserves is open.
The Land Bank and the San Juan Preservation Trust (SJPT) work closely with each other and there tends to be confusion about who does what. The Land Bank is public and the 1% real estate excise tax comprises most of its revenue. SJPT is a private land trust and derives the vast majority of its revenue from private sources.
The Land Bank allows deer hunting on Lopez Hill, a property leased from the state Department of Natural Resouces (DNR). DNR allowed hunting on the property for many decades prior to the lease. The Land Bank is also looking at allowing limited duck hunting on its False Bay Creek Preserve.
Recreational operation of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (a.k.a drones) from Land Bank Preserves is prohibited. The Land Bank Director may grant permission to non-recreational sUAS operators to use Land Bank Preserves under certain conditions. To learn more about the the Land Bank “drone” policy, please click here.
Eagle Cove County Park is located in the southern part of the island just before American Camp. Head south on Cattle Point Road - Turn right on Eagle Cove drive (located at the entrance to American Camp) - Park is on the left side of the road, a ¼ - ½ mile. (GPS N48° 27.809, W123° 2.027)
Turn Point County Park is located just off Turn Point road near the town of Friday Harbor (adjacent to Pinedrona Lane). (GPS N48° 31.718, W122° 58.827).
This creates a large buffet table for them and they work their way up the shelf while feeding. This is also why we tend to see them at approximately the same distance from shore day-in, day-out. Usually they'll be around from four hours before high tide up until high tide. Occasionally they will travel back south with the ebb, but tend to be moving fast and spread over a greater distance.
We are frequently visited by 3 resident pods of orcas (J pod = 29 whales, K = 19, L = 36). Sometimes the pods will intermingle, giving a rare opportunity to observe a 'super pod'. Occasionally, there may be distant sightings of mammal-eating transient orcas, though usually further from shore. Our resident orcas generally dine on salmon and other fish species.
Summer observations sometimes yield Dall's porpoise (most common sighting), harbor porpoise, Humpback whale, Pilot Whale, Northern Right Whale, Pacific white-sided Dolphin, and others. Also sightings of Minkes are common in late summer (usually solitary).
We also encourage people to visit Lime Kiln State Park (2.5 miles south) as Orcas frequent the area between Cattle Point and Lime Kiln a bit more than here. There are also good interpretive panels available there.
While in Friday Harbor, make time to visit the Whale Museum. Admission rates are very reasonable and they offer a wonderful exhibit area, art gallery and gift store. You can also check on recent marine mammal sightings. Whale Musuem's Website
Directions - About a mile from downtown, take the 1st left (Douglas Road) after you enter farmland-Continue on this main road to a right-hand bend in the road, at this point the road name changes to Bailer Hill Road- Follow this road to Lime Kiln State Park- turn right (uphill) before the park entrance- Drive another 2 miles to the park entrance, you'll enter to your left. Signs along the road will alert you to the upcoming entrance. This route is about 12 miles (20 minutes). 50 San Juan Park Road
The primary mechanism for disposing of hazardous or dangerous waste is by using the San Juan County Hazardous Waste Round-Up collection event. This event occurs once per year, in the Spring on San Juan and Orcas and in the Fall on Lopez Island, and is partially funded by charging businesses a per gallon fee to dispose of their hazardous waste.
The disposal fee for businesses during the 2009 Round-Up collection events was $4.50/gallon. For more information about the Round-Ups, businesses and homeowners can contact Helen Venada (San Juan County Public Works). You can reach Helen at 360-370-0503.
Your chemical suppliers may have the best option: See if they can offer less toxic alternatives. Even if they cost a little more up front, they may save you money in the long run!
San Juan County’s Pollution Prevention Specialist is available to discuss disposal options with you!
According to the latest growth projections, the county is expected to grow by 31% over the next 20 years, from a 2005 population of 15,500 to a 2025 population of 22,534. This growth means that there will be more impervious surfaces created by new homes, roads, and driveways and that existing flooding and water quality problems will worsen. Addressing these problems through the Storm Water Utility will help to ensure responsible and sustainable development and will help to protect San Juan County's environment.
Prior to the sale, a title search is conducted for each parcel, chargeable to the owner of record in the Certificate of Delinquency. As required by law, all parties with recorded interest are sent notification in the form of a Notice and Summons that is published in a local newspaper per RCW84.64.050.
The Treasurer receives a tax judgment and order of sale from the court foreclosing on the tax lien, authorizing the sale of the parcel. Parcels included in the tax foreclosure process can be redeemed by the owner(s) of record in the Certificate of Delinquency or paid by any party with a recorded interest, up until the close of business on the day before the sale; thus removing the parcel from the sale. Tax foreclosure sales are usually held once a year.