Port of South Whidbey balks on shoreline gift

It appears a gift to the public of nearly 300 feet of shoreline on Mutiny Bay will have to wait.

Port of South Whidbey commissioners met in regular session last week and briefly discussed whether or not to accept the gift. The board did not rule it out, but instead tabled the matter for further consideration.

Island County officials recently confirmed that Frank Robinson, founder of the Robinson Helicopter Company, planned to donate the beach to the public. The county is struggling to maintain what property it has and is hoping another public agency will take the donation.

Public Works leaders and a majority of the Island County Commissioners have voiced strong support for taking the property if no one else will, however, and it’s beginning to look like that may turn out to be the case.

South Whidbey Parks and Recreation declined to take the land and the port commissioners voiced little support during Tuesday’s meeting.

Commissioner Dennis Gregoire talked about a possible partnership with the county to deal with administrative costs. Commissioner Curt Gordon made it clear he’s not interested in accepting park land with no potential for economic development.

“It would be great for public to own but it should be owned and maintained by a parks department,” said Gordon, in a later interview.

The board is expected to discuss the issue again, possibly at a special meeting scheduled for Oct. 30.


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