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November 17, 2016

County files suit to halt illegal recycling, retail operation on Cook Road

Skagit County is taking legal action against a business that is illegally conducing a commercial recycling and retail operation west of Sedro-Woolley. The County filed suit against BTI Materials Nov. 15, asking Skagit County Superior Court to halt the company’s operations.

BTI is located on Cook Road, on 40-acre parcel formerly used as a dairy farm and currently zoned for agricultural use. County zoning regulations prohibit non-agricultural commercial operations on property zoned as farmland.

County staff have been in contact with BTI since 2012 and have made numerous attempts to alert BTI that its operations are illegal, including issuing several warnings and citations. BTI has not responded, leaving a lawsuit as the County’s only remaining option to bring the business into compliance.

“We don’t like resorting to lawsuits, but we can’t let this go on any longer,” said Skagit County Commissioner Ron Wesen. “Letting a commercial business operate on agricultural land isn’t fair to other folks in the same line of business who are doing it the right way. Preserving Skagit County farmland has been a key focus of our Comprehensive Plan since 1965.”

Farming and agriculture are one of Skagit County’s largest industries and help define its community identity. Slightly fewer than 90,000 acres of viable farmland remain in Skagit County, and officials want to uphold existing regulations aimed at preventing the conversion of agricultural land to other uses.

For questions regarding the BTI Materials litigation, please contact Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Will Honea at 206-799-4955 or by email at willh@co.skagit.wa.us