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Appraisal for Greenbank Farm conservation easement begins

Work is starting on a crucial piece of information needed for a conservation easement at the Greenbank Farm.

Commissioners for the Port of Coupeville, which owns the Central Whidbey farm, approved a $9,000 contract recently with Edmonds-based Terra Valuations to conduct an appraisal of the farm’s property.

Leaders at the Port of Coupeville and the Greenbank Farm want the conservation easement so it would add another layer of protection to the agricultural, recreational and environmentally sensitive lands that comprise the bulk of the farm’s acreage.

Pat Powell, executive director for the Whidbey Camano Land Trust, said the appraisal will help determine the value of the potential conservation easement. The Whidbey Camano Land Trust has been tapped by the Port of Coupeville to facilitate the development of the conservation easement.

The Port of Coupeville is agreeing to surrender development rights to basically several pieces of property on both sides of Wonn Road. Powell said the value considerations for the proposed easement would come from the development rights the port of Coupeville would be willing to surrender.

Jim Patton, executive director for the Port of Coupeville, said the county will reimburse the port half of the cost of the appraisal pending approval by both sides.

Terra Valuations is familiar with Whidbey Island and the unique zoning classification that is applied to the Greenbank Farm. The company recently completed a similar appraisal at the Pacific Rim Institute for Environmental Studies, the only other property in Island County classified as a Special Review District. The Greenbank Farm and the Pacific Rim Institute are the only two properties on Whidbey Island with the Special Review District zoning, which are basically customized sets of regulations applied to each property.

Once the valuations are determined, that information will be presented to the Commissioners for the Port of Coupeville, which Powell hopes will take place in October. That information will help determine whether the commissioners will continue with the process for the conservation easement that has to be approved by both the Port of Coupeville and the county.

Island County last year awarded the Port of Coupeville a Conservation Futures Fund award for the easement at the farm. The appraisal will help determine the amount of the award.

 

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