If you're unsure about what is allowed on your property, first take a look at a zoning map and determine which zone your property is in. Then you may go to that zoning section of the Anacortes Municipal Code, within Title 17 and check the permitted uses and conditional uses. If you're still unsure, check with staff in the Planning Division.
If you have a concept in mind and you're more concerned about complications, requirements, and cost of what you want to build, you may apply for a pre-application conference. In a pre-application conference, members of several departments including Building Services, Planning Services, Public Works, Fire, and Water Departments will review your proposal and provide feedback. You may find the application form under "Applications, Forms, & Checklists", and the meetings are usually scheduled roughly two weeks in advance, taking place on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. There is currently no fee to apply.