Old Town is, as its name might suggest, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Anacortes, with a mix of newer and older classic homes, some of which have existed from the founding of the city. Many houses in the neighborhood have participated in the City's House History Program.

The Old Town Overlay

In the mid-2000s, residents of the Old Town neighborhood petitioned the City for design standards to protect the classic architecture of the area. The result was City adoption of the Old Town Overlay, a zoning district that combined the existing R3 zone with an additional set of rules for development within the neighborhood boundaries. In the 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update and the subsequent 2019 Unified Development Code, the Old Town Overlay was upgraded to become its own standalone zone. The new zone has the same design standards as before, but as a standalone zone, the neighborhood is further protected from changes to uses that are allowed in the R3 zone.