San Juan County Comprehensive Plan
Information Resources

What's a Comprehensive Plan? Is it important? How does it impact me?

The very short version: San Juan County's Comprehensive Plan (referred to as Comp Plan or CP) is supposed to fulfill the Vision Statement designed by citizens in 1994. It is also supposed to support the 14 principles of the Growth Management Act of the State of Washington.

Whether you are a resident, a property owner, or a visitor, the Comp Plan will impact you.

By law, the San Juan County Comp Plan needs to be updated. Now.

You can learn about the existing Comp Plan, why it was controversial, what it does and doesn't do, and how you can play an important role in making your voice heard, at the links and references below.

Crafting the Comp Plan correctly is important. The time has come for all who care about the future of these beautiful islands to speak their truth to insure that we preserve and protect what we love.

Take Just One Step

Either: Visit the Big Picture Website

Or: Read and/or Sign

Read: Down the Rabbit Hole: the inside skinny on the San Juan County Comprehensive Plan

There is no other place, other than talking to an elder who was on the front lines, where you will learn the real story.


Just Sign the Petition online

The petition reads:
"We the undersigned request the county to adjust the current comprehensive plan update schedule. Please redesign the update schedule to allow sufficient time for substantive citizen input to ensure topics such as vision, density, carrying capacity, sustainability, resilience and compliance with GMA are thoroughly discussed and appropriate solutions explored, not just for the 20 year planning period but up to ultimate buildout. We ask this because the current comprehensive plan ignores our county's vision statement and leads to a resident and visitor population that far exceeds our resources. Our current course threatens our way of life, rural character, and our community."

Got a Hair more time?

Printable handout available to be distributed to your friends, neighbors, organizations, supporters of wise land use planning in San Juan County

Note: make copies of this handout, cut in half (see the "cut" line) and distribute.

Even simpler: email this page to those you know who care about preserving and protecting a natural treasure.

Why? Read these

Orcas Issues Guest Opinion / Could Orcas be like Nantucket? Never Say Never

Orcas Issues Guest Opinion / Comp Plan? What's That? Who Cares?

2004 Sounder guest opinion outlining the problems with the Comp Plan

A New Vision

Imagine a county whose population of residents and visitors chooses to honor its rural, wild, sustainable, refreshing, slow, nature-dominated, non-exploitive, respectful, in-perpetuity heritage.

Imagine stepping off the ferry into a sacred sanctuary.

Imagine that while everything looks the same, humans operate with a mindset of humility, acceptance, compassion and respect.

Imagine that each person: property owner, visitor, resident, family member, supplier, takes off his/her

"I'm the dominant species here" mindset

and metaphorically, spiritually and behaviorally embraces the perspective that

"I'm a custodian/steward for a precious and threatened national/international park-sanctuary. I will endeavor to exercise zero-impact behavior in all aspects of my actions here. When I leave no one would know I had been here. I am not only a steward; I am a visitor in a sacred, special, delicate, and vulnerable land; I am here to restore myself and restore the integrity and beauty of this wild and precious island."

"I am here to be part of, and not separate from, the community of peoples, animals, plants, rocks, shoreline, air, birds, orcas, and the gentle timeless spirit of this still-wild, still solid, still interwoven tapestry of life. It is a privilege to be here; I will honor that privilege. I am blessed to be able to share in this experience and I want those who join and follow me to feel and act with the same awe, reverence and joy that I experience."

"I believe in the vision of these islands as "Forever Wild" and fully subscribe to the Guiding Principles and Goals. I know achieving this vision will take conversation, behavior change, and compromise, and I am honored to be able to be a player in achieving this transformation."

I'm in!

Sign up to stay infomed here

Printable version of this New Vision for your fridge, family and friends

Sign here to support this New Vision Concept

Why I support the New Vision

Hard Choice Section

Ready to actually get real? Here is the beginning of where the rubber meets the road.

Take the Straw Poll

Print the Straw Poll

Note that the visitor population doubles the resident population during the peak season.

This web site and material has been created as a public service by Joe Symons, Olga WA to promote knowledge and thoughtful conversation about the future of San Juan County, Islands in the Salish Sea.

March 2017