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County weighs selling fairgrounds to make way for housing

Skagit County officials are considering selling the county fairgrounds in Mount Vernon and working with the city to open the property for new housing development.

The Skagit Valley Herald reports County Planning Director Hal Hart said the move would open up prime residential land for development, adding supply to an extremely tight housing market.

Hart says he plans to include funding for what's called a subarea plan in his 2020 budget proposal. The subarea plan process, which would take into 2021, would involve discussions with stakeholders and nearby residents to determine what kind of housing would be the best fit for the current fairgrounds and the surrounding area.

Chris Phillips, director of the city's Development Services Department, said the city would take the lead in the process, but that the plan would be funded by the county.

He and Hart both said they expected the plan to cost about $140,000.

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