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Northern State Adaptive Re-Use Study

Exploring the Future of Northern State

The City of Sedro-Woolley, Skagit County, and the Port of Skagit are partnering to position the former Northern State Hospital property near Sedro-Woolley for redevelopment. The local governments have entered into an Interlocal Agreement that states the following goals for the redevelopment of the Northern State Property:

  1. Encourage the private sector to create and sustain jobs at Northern State benefitting all of Skagit County and its citizens and that are compatible with all of the other goals
  2. Continue and promote public recreational use of Northern State
  3. Protect the environmentally sensitive areas of Northern State, in particular Hansen Creek
  4. Acknowledge and protect the historic significance of Northern State to the local community, the wider region and the State of Washington.
  5. Acknowledge and respect the neighboring Upper Skagit Indian Tribal Nation's interests in Northern State.

Background

Since the Northern State Hospital closed in 1973, the State of Washington and the local community have explored opportunities for adaptive re-use of this 225-acre property. The hospital was developed based on a master plan by the Olmsted Brothers that remains largely intact and has been deemed significant enough to be included on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Northern State property has been owned by the State of Washington since the hospital was constructed in 1912. It is currently managed by the Department of Enterprise Services, which leases buildings and grounds to a number of organizations, including the federal Department of Labor for a Job Corps training and education facility and Pioneer Human Services, a non-profit organization that provides chemical dependency services.

Approximately 40 percent of the existing buildings are unoccupied. A number of historical buildings have been demolished over time, and newer buildings that are not compatible with the original master plan have been constructed. In 2010, the State of Washington expressed a desire to surplus the property and look for a local champion to acquire and redevelop the site for a greater community purpose.

A three-party partnership consisting of Skagit County, the City of Sedro-Woolley, and the Port of Skagit is exploring this opportunity.

Current Activities

Following on the recommendations of the Northern State Adaptive Re-use Study, there will be three interrelated actions conducted by the local governments in 2015. The planning efforts will support the potential for Janicki Bioenergy research and development facilities on theNorthern State property, but also take a broader look at the entire property and multiple uses. Before any new uses envisioned in the reuse process will be permitted at the Northern State site, the property needs to be annexed into the City of Sedro-Woolley, a subarea plan must be approved and environmental review must be completed. Below is a more information on those actions.

  • Annexation of the property into the City of Sedro-Woolley– The property is currently within the Sedro-Woolley Urban Growth Area (UGA). Annexation would bring the property within the municipal boundary and the land use regulatory authority of the city. The Washington State Department of Enterprise Services has initiated the petition for annexation. The City Council will review the annexation proposal and has the authority to approve the annexation.

          Recent documents related to annexation proposal:

 

  • Prepare a Subarea Plan– The Subarea Plan will clearly show the community vision for development of the property over the next 20 years. It will be based on public input and the goals of the local governments. The plan will be adopted as part of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. The Port will partner with the City to prepare the Subarea Plan. The Subarea Plan will be reviewed by the Planning Commission, at which time the public will have an opportunity to review and comment on the proposal.

         Subarea Plan documents have not been prepared yet but will be coming soon!

 

  • Conduct Planned Action Environmental Review– The purpose of the planned action environmental impact statement is to perform the public input and environmental review of the proposal before any permits are submitted. This allows the public to define what uses may be reasonable at the property and address the impacts before a project is proposed. The city has taken the lead authority for review under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). The port will partner with the city to prepare the environmental impact statement. The EIS will address the potential impacts of the reuse proposal to both the built environment and the natural environment. See the EIS Scoping notice for more details.

         Recent documents related to Planned Action Environmental Review:

Behavioral Health

Two of the current tenants on the Property, Pioneer Human Services and North Sound Mental Health Administration, provide chemical dependency and mental health services. Skagit County and the North Sound Mental Health Administration are forming a working group to explore new models for providing chemical dependency and mental health services that are increasingly being provided in concert as 'behavioral health services.' More information will be provided about that effort as it moves forward.

 

Northern State Adaptive Re-Use Study

The scope of work for the Adaptive Re-Use Study, which was completed in Spring 2015, included 5 major tasks:

Existing Conditions Analysis—Assessment of existing buildings, natural features, and operations

Redevelopment Assessment—Market study and planning to explore viability of adaptive re-use options

Public Participation—Engaging the community in creating a vision for potential future use options

Environmental Assessment—Investigation of potential legacy impacts that may be associated with historical operations

Implementation Strategy—Formulating path forward to achieve community vision for future of the campus

To see the Northern State Adaptive Re-Use Study final report, click HERE.

Project Update - Dec. 30 2016

To view the Agreement to Transfer Real Property Between the Port of Skagit County and Washington State Department of Enterprise Services click HERE

Project Update - January 2016 

To see a second supplement to amended interlocal agreement regarding Northern State click HERE

To view the Memorandum of Understanding by and between the State of Washington Department of Enterprise Services and Port of Skagit County click HERE Exhibits available here: A, B, C, D, E

To view the Northern State Subarea Plan click here: 1 2 3 4 5
The Northern State Design Guidelines are available here: 1 2 3 4
To view the Final EIS click HERE and HERE
To view the Supplement to the Amended Interlocal Agreement click HERE
To view the Draft Environmental Impact Statement click HERE
To View the Draft Subarea Plan click HERE
To view the Special Meeting Notice click HERE
Project Update- September 3, 2015

Public Hearing Notice for final annexation click Here

Project Update - July 31, 2015

The Port of Skagit has submitted a proposal to the state Department of Enterprise Services. To view the proposal click Here

To view the press release click Here  

Project Update – June 15, 2015

To see the Northern State Campus Planned Action EIS Scoping Report, click the following four links:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Project Update - May 28, 2015  

To see an interlocal agreement between the Port of Skagit and Skagit County regarding state Department of Commerce grant funding for Northern State planning, click HERE.

Project update – May 6, 2015

Members of the public met with the project partners to get an update and comment on issues related to the revitalization of the former Northern State Hospital campus on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, in the city council chambers at the Sedro-Woolley Municipal Building.

To see the fact sheet for the Northern State Subarea Plan and Environmental Review, click HERE.

To see the presentation made at the meeting, click HERE.

To see the posters displayed at the meeting, click, HERE and HERE.

 

Project update – April 30, 2015

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation on April 24 that allows the state to pursue a 60-year lease with the Port of Skagit to redevelop Northern State Hospital campus, where local officials are partnering with Janicki Bioenergy to locate an integrated campus for the development and manufacturing of cutting-edge sanitation technology. "It is very exciting to think about Washington being where these incredible machines will be built that will have so much benefit all around the world, particularly with sanitation and health issues," said Inslee.

Project update – Mar. 27, 2015

Elected officials of the Port of Skagit, Skagit County and the City of Sedro-Woolley met on March 27, 2015, in Sedro-Woolley for the following purposes:

  • Receive update on Adaptive Re-Use Study
  • Share briefings on recent developments concerning the property
  • Discuss issues among participants

To see the agenda for the meeting, click HERE.

To see the Northern State Adaptive Re-use Study Project Completion Briefing, click HERE.

 

Project update – Feb. 27, 2015

Elected officials of the Port of Skagit, Skagit County and the City of Sedro-Woolley met on Feb. 27, 2015, in Sedro-Woolley to take the next steps in efforts to redevelop the former Northern State Hospital grounds.

To see the agenda for the meeting, click HERE.

To see the amended interlocal agreement approved by the three entities, click HERE.

To see the letter asking the State of Washington to petition the City of Sedro-Woolley to annex the Northern State property, click HERE.

To see a document outlining the City of Sedro-Woolley’s annexation process, click HERE.

 
Project update – Feb. 13, 2015

To see a news release announcing the possibility of Janicki Bioenergy establishing a technology development and manufacturing campus on the Northern State property, click  HERE. 

 
Project update – Dec. 4, 2014

To see a presentation updating potential implementation strategies for the Northern State Adaptive Re-Use Study given at the Dec. 2, 2014, stakeholders meeting, click HERE.

 
Project update – Nov. 24, 2014

To see a summary of public comments about the Northern State Adaptive Re-Use Study given at the Sept. 25, 2014, community meeting, click HERE.

 
Project update – Sept. 16, 2014

To see a briefing on findings of the Northern State Adaptive Re-Use Study to date, click HERE.

To see a chart assessing benefits of potential future uses of the property, click HERE.

To see a chart assessing the feasibility of potential future uses of the property, click HERE.

 

Opportunities for Involvement

Community input meetings are being held throughout the planning process.

Members of the public will have their next chance to comment on issues related to the revitalization of the former Northern State Hospital campus at a community meeting scheduled for 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, in the city council chambers at Sedro-Woolley Municipal Building, 325 Metcalf St.

Public Comments

More than 100 people turned out for the June 5, 2014, public meeting. To see a summary of their comments, click HERE.

To see an interlocal cooperation agreement reguarding Northern State between Port of Skagit, Skagit County, and City of Sedro-Woolley click HERE