Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve

Please be advised: The Aug. 10,  2023 Ebey’s Historical Preservation Committee Meeting has been canceled. 

History of Ebey's Landing

Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve encompasses a large area on Whidbey Island, including all of the Town of Coupeville and much of the surrounding forested area and farmland near Penn Cove. The reserve was established in 1978 to protect and preserve the rich historical legacy of the area. This history includes the permanent Skagit villages that existed on Penn Cove, Capt. George Vancouver's exploration of Whidbey Island, the settlement of the Ebey Family near Coupeville and the military installations at Fort Casey and Fort Ebey.

In order to protect this place of national significance, most development within the Reserve is reviewed for concurrency with a set of design guidelines, which are a vital tool for preserving this heritage.

Step 1Locate the Parcel using ICGeoMap 
  • Go to: ICGeoMap
  • Type the parcel number or address (number and street only) into the search bar in the upper right corner above the map
  • Click the "Layers" tab in the lower left corner and find "Site Review"
  • Click the box to turn on the Site Review Layer and then click the plus sign to open the Site Review options
  • Click the box next to "Ebey's Design Review Areas" and "Ebey's Historic Properties"
After completing the above steps identify whether the parcel is within Design Review Area 1 or 2 and whether it is within 100 feet of a contributing historic structure as that vicinity may impact how a project is reviewed.
Step 2
Process and Exemptions
Depending on the scale and type of project it may be exempt from review under the design review guidelines (note most projects are NOT exempt from a review process). Check to see if your project is exempt under Island County Code 17.04A.090.
If your project is not exempt it will need a Level A, B, or C Certificate of Appropriateness (COA). Contact Island County Planning to help determine what level applies to your project. You can email at planningdept@islandcountywa.gov.
  • LEVEL A COA – ministerial decision that is processed quickly, usually within 7 and 14 days
  • LEVEL B COA – includes a 14 day public comment period and is reviewed by the Historic Reserve Committee.
  • LEVEL C COA – includes a 14 day public comment period, a review by the Historic Reserve Committee and a public hearing with the Historical Preservation Commission followed by a recommendation or decision from the HPC.
Step 3
Review Design Guidelines
All projects within the Ebey's Historical Reserve must meet the design guidelines. It is the applicant's responsibility to be familiar with the design guidelines. The guidelines contain standards for repair, maintenance, new construction, additions and alterations to buildings, and standards for site design, sustainability, and subdivisions.

Step 4
Applying for a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)
All COA levels require an electronic copy and the original. The electronic copy can be submitted at planningdept@islandcountywa.gov where you can also contact Island County Planning with any submittal questions.

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