10/03/2008: "New Land Bank Purchase"
(Judd Cove outlined in yellow, existing Land Bank land in blue)
The County Council has authorized the Land Bank to enter into a Purchase and Sale Agreement with The Trust for Public Land (a nonprofit California public benefit corporation), to purchase roughly 7.7 acres of land -known as the Carlson Property, Judd Cove- located on Orcas
The purchase price is $500,000.00, but the actual cost to the County will be less due to grants and partnerships that will help to offset the major portions of the cost.
The purchase will allow a connection between existing Land Bank land that lies adjacent to the Judd Cove land. The purchase includes a dock and storage shed on the dock, as well as some tidelands.
One of the rationales given for the purchase is that it will provide access to the beach. This purchase differs from the recent authorization by the County Council to buy land with a building and a dock at Orcas, in a number of ways, but not least in that the dock and building on this property will be removed.
The Orcas landing property is commercial, but the Judd Cove property is viewed as having conservation values, that is, there is an intent by the county to restore it back to an original state prior to the construction of site improvements. Judd Cove has a large herring spawn habitat area, and the hope is that "in a restored state... additional herring spawn habitat" may be created.
The staff report cites that “the cove has extensive eelgrass beds and mudflats and hosts a variety of marine and avian species. The site has been used as a log dump for the last several decades, impacting these natural features.”
The removal of the dock and related improvements will be done by the Department of Natural Resources in the “fall at no cost to the county.”
The Land Bank has also applied for $1.1 million in acquisition and restoration funding from the Recreation and Conservation Office of the state of Washington to help pay for the project. If all or part of this funding is approved, the money will be used for additional restoration activities and site enhancements.