Business

McDonald's Bayview inquiries end

"The South Whidbey Record reported in late February that the world's biggest restaurant chain was eyeing a piece of property in Bayview owned by Verlane Gabelein. An inquiry about a grading permit had been made to the Island County Planning Department.Since then, there have been no further inquiries to the planning department, Island County Planning Director Phil Bakke said this week. A grading permit was never formally sought.McDonald's real estate representative for this area, Brad Jeffers, has declined to return numerous calls from The Record. However, it is known that McDonald's ran into problems providing water to the Bayview site.The company inquired about obtaining water from the Vistaire Water System, a private system that provides water in the Bayview area. Vistaire customers include the Senior Center and Island County Road Shop on the other side of the highway from the possible McDonald's site, near the corner of Howard Road and Highway 525.Vistaire, once owned by Bob Porter, was purchased earlier this year by the Goosefoot Community Fund, a nonprofit organization that owns property at Bayview Corner.Goosefoot attorney Linda Moore wrote McDonald's in March that there may be problems providing water to a McDonald's restaurant if the request were formally made.Regulatory and other concerns raise a significant question as to whether, if asked, that consent could be given, Moore wrote.The letter noted that a commercial building permit cannot be issued without proof of enough water to provide fire flow, and that Vistaire is the only water system in the area that can provide fire flow.Without Vistaire's cooperation, Moore said, McDonald's would face the prospect of providing its own fire flow with an expensive water tower.McDonald's had plans five years ago to build in Bayview, but eventually pulled out due to high development costs attributed to septic system regulations. "

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