San Juan County considers relocating Lopez’s Public Works facility

Submitted by San Juan County.

San Juan County is entering the planning stages of an exciting project on Lopez Island. County Council has directed staff to develop a plan to relocate Public Works operations from Fisherman Bay Road to the Norman Road MacKaye Harbor site.

Project Background:

Public Works operations are currently co-located with the Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District’s facilities along Fisherman Bay Road. Both the County and LSWDD acknowledge that operational congestion makes it difficult to safely serve the community. A letter from the LSWDD to the County expressed support of relocating Public Works operations so the LSWDD has the option to expand, improve operational efficiencies, increase general safety, and provide additional flexibility to meet the future needs of the community.

On September 27, 2022, after a presentation of multiple location options to move the shop, the County Council directed the Public Works to develop a plan that would provide additional details, costs, and timing for relocating the existing operations facility to the Norman Road/MacKaye Harbor site. The County has owned and operated on the Norman Rd parcel since 1952. It has been used for mining and storing gravel over the years, as well as staging construction equipment and materials.

What’s Next?

Public Works is working with the Department of Community Development to update the Land Use Designation for the parcel from Rural Residential to Rural Industrial – a correction that is long overdue and would be reflected in the Official Maps. This change in Land Use Designation will ensure that the historic and current activities on the parcel are consistent with the County’s Comprehensive Plan, Goals and Policies.

The Council is holding a Public Hearing on November 29, 2022, for all projects related to the Comprehensive Plan and Official Maps. Public Works will continue to develop a schedule and implementation plan to be presented to the County Council at later date.

About San Juan County’s Public Works Department

San Juan County’s Public Works Department constructs and maintains county roads, designs and constructs stormwater facilities and plans and contracts for solid waste services. The department offices are located at 915 Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250. For more information about San Juan County’s Public Works Department, visit