About the Town

Town Structure


  • Fourth Class Municipality (Town)
  • Incorporated: 1909

Location


Friday Harbor is located midway along the eastern shore of San Juan Island, second largest in a chain of 172 islands in the northernmost stretch of Puget Sound, and situated between Canada's Vancouver Island and the Washington State mainland.

Geography/Zoning


The Town of Friday Harbor encompasses 1.23 square miles, or 787 acres. Over 50% of the town's area is developed.

Zoning Classifications


Land-use development reflects the town's eight zoning classifications, depicted on the town's official land use map:
  • Commercial
  • Light industrial
  • Light manufacturing
  • Multi-family residential
  • Professional service
  • Public services
  • Single family residential
Other land-use categories noted are quasi public facilities, public facilities, parks, and vacant areas.

Government


Friday Harbor is the seat of San Juan County government and is the only incorporated town in the county. As a municipal corporation of the fourth class, Friday Harbor operates as a fourth class municipal corporation under the Revised Code of Washington, Section 35. Friday Harbor has a Mayor/Council non-partisan form of government. Voters elect the mayor and five council members to four-year terms. All represent the community at large rather than individual districts or areas of town.

Revenue Sources


The Town of Friday Harbor derives revenue primarily from a 1% sales tax, from real estate and personal property taxes, and from portions of various taxes levied by the State of Washington, such as a gasoline tax, a liquor excise tax, and hotel/motel taxes. Sales tax and real estate and personal property tax monies are earmarked for the town's current fund which finances general government services. State-shared revenues are dedicated for a particular use or fund. User fees or rates support the operation of the Town's utilities.