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IanB
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IanB
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PostThu Sep 28, 2023 12:36 pm 
I was skeptical when this was posted. I still am. All of my flags go up when a developer is being lauded like a savior. I've been through that more than once before and been disappointed with the results. That said, the plat map looks pretty remarkable. Of course the homes were going to be located on waterfront. Of course. But I'm surprised that trails will run the length of the peninsula, and that the east side and north tip are spared. That seems like an exceptional outcome. Having served on a Land Trust board in a wealthy community, 5 or 6 million takes years to raise, even assuming you have a patient and motivated seller. If a board still believes that it is such an extraordinary opportunity that they vote to pursue it, it means that all other potential acquisitions are off the table for half a decade. In other words it's almost certainly not going to happen - in the imperfect world we live in. Still skeptical. I'll bet you'd get an earful from a (hypothetical) board member off the record and over beers. But this is what "winning" looks like - in the imperfect world we live in.

"Forget gaining a little knowledge about a lot and strive to learn a lot about a little." - Harvey Manning

Cyclopath
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Randito
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Randito
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PostThu Sep 28, 2023 1:13 pm 
Schroder wrote:
quote="Randito"]Having a bunch of vanity megahouses along that shore, possibly with docks is going to be a real loss.
I would hardly call a 2900 sq ft house a megahouse and new docks haven't been allowed on Puget Sound for the past 40 years.[/quote] I'm not sure which property you are referring to. I find 429 Pleasant Bay Drive to be rather dominating over the view of the shore. I don't have a direct photo of this thing but here is a satellite image.
I have a feeling the stated and taxed square footage has been gamed a bit. But at least the owner is paying about $15K in property taxes each year.

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altasnob
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altasnob
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PostThu Sep 28, 2023 1:18 pm 
Randito wrote:
I don't have a direct photo of this thing but here is a satellite image.
Here you go:
I don't care if I am Bill Gates rich, I could never live with myself if I owned a house like that.

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Anne Elk
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Anne Elk
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PostThu Sep 28, 2023 1:20 pm 
Cyclopath wrote:
Anne Elk wrote:
I still think it's unfortunate that the county/state/land trust didn't buy it for a preserve or extension of Larrabee St. Park.
The land sold for $5,700,000. What's the land trust's budget for acquiring property? My hunch is that's why it happened the way it did.
I have no idea, but just under $6M isn't a horrible amt of money to raise once the public gets involved. See the link I posted earlier about Turtle Back Mtn, which explains how it got preserved and what it cost. That's why I said the land trust perhaps lacks imagination (and a good PR person). I sent a link to the start of this thread to a friend in Bellingham who's one of the most pragmatic, active preservationists I know. He knew zip about this project, which shocked me.

"There are yahoos out there. It’s why we can’t have nice things." - Tom Mahood
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altasnob
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PostThu Sep 28, 2023 1:22 pm 
Here's a few photos of where those new 16 homes will go:

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altasnob
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altasnob
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PostThu Sep 28, 2023 1:27 pm 
Anne Elk wrote:
just under $6M isn't a horrible amt of money to raise once the public gets involved. See the link I posted earlier about Turtle Back Mtn, which explains how it got preserved and what it cost. That's why I said the land trust perhaps lacks imagination (and a good PR person)
Ya, that is chump change for the 13 billionaires who make Washington their home. This is one of the most unique pieces of property north of Seattle. One of the only undeveloped coastlines without train tracks through it. Seems like if we asked everyone in the state to chip in what wish to contribute in order to turn it into a state park, we could have raised that $6 million.

Anne Elk
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Cyclopath
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Cyclopath
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PostThu Sep 28, 2023 2:41 pm 
Anne Elk wrote:
I have no idea, but just under $6M isn't a horrible amt of money to raise once the public gets involved. See the link I posted earlier about Turtle Back Mtn, which explains how it got preserved and what it cost. That's why I said the land trust perhaps lacks imagination (and a good PR person). I sent a link to the start of this thread to a friend in Bellingham who's one of the most pragmatic, active preservationists I know. He knew zip about this project, which shocked me.
IanB's reply above is pretty informative. It sounds like it was completely infeasible for anybody to buy this as a park. Also, you're assuming the previous owner would be willing to accept $6M for the property with no houses being built. They would probably have chosen to hold onto it and sell the entire property for development instead.

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Anne Elk
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Anne Elk
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PostThu Sep 28, 2023 3:03 pm 
Cyclopath wrote:
IanB's reply above is pretty informative. It sounds like it was completely infeasible for anybody to buy this as a park. Also, you're assuming the previous owner would be willing to accept $6M for the property with no houses being built. They would probably have chosen to hold onto it and sell the entire property for development instead.
That might be Ian's experiece, but note in the Turtleback Mountain link that I posted, it took the coordinators of that project about ONE YEAR to raise more than double what the sale price of Governor's Point was. Like I said, it's all about good PR, awareness and involvement of the extended community. I'd have contributed to such an effort, for sure.

"There are yahoos out there. It’s why we can’t have nice things." - Tom Mahood
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Cyclopath
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Cyclopath
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PostThu Sep 28, 2023 3:25 pm 
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Maybe the owner would have been willing to sell it at cost, maybe the land trust would have been able to raise the money through donations at a time of record inflation. Both are doubtful like the lake. What actually happened is most of the peninsula is being protected. up.gif I mean, I would prefer to set more aside for nature too, but I'm glad this happened instead of falling apart.

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altasnob
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PostThu Sep 28, 2023 4:29 pm 
Cyclopath wrote:
It sounds like it was completely infeasible for anybody to buy this as a park.
The Whidbey Camano Land Trust recently purchased a 226-acre beachfront property for $9.1 million. This stopped 22 high end homes from being built there. Why would the previous owner care if the land was being developed for houses, or set aside as a park? I assume all they would care about is money in their pocket. And there are tax breaks for people willing to put their land into a private conservation easement in perpetuity.

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Logbear
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PostThu Sep 28, 2023 5:03 pm 
Schroder wrote:
and new docks haven't been allowed on Puget Sound for the past 40 years.
From the article:
Quote:
Development of the peninsula will also include a dock on the Pleasant Bay side, Keenan said at the meeting.

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes
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Cyclopath
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Cyclopath
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PostThu Sep 28, 2023 6:22 pm 
Anne Elk wrote:
That might be Ian's experiece, but note in the Turtleback Mountain link that I posted, it took the coordinators of that project about ONE YEAR to raise more than double what the sale price of Governor's Point was. Like I said, it's all about good PR, awareness and involvement of the extended community.
I saw that, and I agree it's not impossible, but if it was normal, and what should be expected, then a lot more land would already be protected. What does the developer get out of donating the land? Would you rather live in a nature preserve with 15 other houses and miles of hiking trail? Or a McMansion farm? Donating the rest of the land makes those houses really special, ie valuable. Without that, buy low sell high, right? It's a real estate developer. It would have cost at least double, maybe more. If it was a sale instead of a gift. The Whatcom Land Trust has been involved with this all along, surely they're rational actors, who are going to take the best option they can get. Luckily, because the rest of Governors Point was a gift, they still have all their budget to buy other land, maybe wetlands birds need to survive. And achieve the maximum amount of good possible. If they had to raise $15 million to buy the entire peninsula, that's all they can achieve for years, and all they've done is prevent 16 houses. Instead they get to keep doing other good and most of the peninsula is spared from further development. It's the best deal possible in our capitalist world.

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Bramble_Scramble
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PostThu Sep 28, 2023 8:25 pm 
Has anyone here been there? I'm curious about the road design. Is it supposed to look like waves or something? I've never seen anything like it.

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Logbear
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Logbear
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PostThu Sep 28, 2023 8:47 pm 
altasnob wrote:
What's stopping the new home owners from mowing down every tree on their property, removing the native vegetation, and planting grass just so they have that sunset view from their living room?
Nothing will stop them from cutting down whatever they want. They just need to have their tree guy bring some young trees to replace the big ones they cut and they're good.
Quote:
Clearing, pruning, and revegetation of buffer areas for view purposes will be allowed on the lots as approved with notification under 16.16.235.B.5. For each conifer tree greater than 8” DBH and each deciduous tree greater than 12” DBH that must be cut down to accommodate the proposed site design, 1 young tree will be planted in the retained forest portions of the lots or within the adjacent Reserve Tract A. For each tree greater than 21” DBH that must be cut down to accommodate the proposed site design, 3 young native trees will be planted in the retained forest portions of the lots or within the adjacent Reserve Tract A

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes
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Logbear
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Logbear
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PostThu Sep 28, 2023 9:00 pm 
Cyclopath wrote:
What does the developer get out of donating the land?
He gets to say he donated the land. It was excess land anyway. That area is zoned RR5A (1 home/5 acres) It's just a matter of math. Each homesite now is between 1 and 2 acres. To make each homesite come up to 5 acres there is the common area. In this case the common area is 98 acres. 16 homesites would need 80 acres. The developer could have built more homes and made each lot 5 acres, but it would still be limited to about 20 homes. Instead of having 5 acre lots, or a common area owned by an HOA, he gave the common area to the Whatcom Land trust. Now the Whatcom Land Trust can deal with it when it becomes a fire hazard or develops "danger trees".

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Cyclopath
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