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Langley Marina has a buyer
"Linda Moore has until June 1 to commit to purchasing Langley Marina from Barney Hein. She is optimistic that the purchase will be completed.Jim Larsen / staff photoSouth Whidbey resident Linda Moore expects to purchase Langley Marina and start providing services to the boating public beginning as early as this summer.Looking further down the road, the Freeland attorney and business person hopes to tie in the Langley Marina property with a new public marina that the City of Langley and Port of South Whidbey have been exploring off and on for many years.The Port of South Whidbey Commissioners gave Moore's ideas a warm reception when she presented them Wednesday night. She wasn't asking for money, only that the public marina project be moved up on the port's list of priorities in its new comprehensive plan.Moore said she would like the marina project vested within two or three years, before state shoreline regulations make such projects even more difficult.But she emphasized the marina is in the future, and she plans to buy the Langley Marina facility regardless. She envisions a modern version of what owner Barney Hein offered for decades -- marine services and boat repairs.It's viable by itself, Moore told the port commissioners.Moore said she has signed a contract to purchase Langley Marina, but she has until June 1 to back out. But she said Thursday that's not likely, and gave the deal a 90 percent chance of being completed.Moore is no starry-eyed investor. She knows the Langley Marina building was condemned by the City of Langley, and says the condemnation was done for good reason. The building needs either an extensive restoration effort or total replacement.Moore said she would like to save the old building, but realistically that may not be possible. If it has to be replaced, she will retain as much of the old lumber as possible to incorporate into a new structure.Moore owns a company called Integrated Solutions. Besides Langley Marina, she is also developing a low income housing project in Freeland at Highway 525 and Woodard Road. She is a former Island County Planning Commissioner, and has worked with local philanthropist Nancy Nordhoff on several projects, including Bayview Corner. Moore said she has a financial backing for the acquisition of Langley Marina but Nordhoff isn't involved.As an attorney experienced in land use matters, Moore knows the Langley Marina property comes with some problems. But she said she's been doing my homework for 45 days, and so far she's not discouraged.There's a well-deserved laundry list of problems that need to be resolved, she told the port commissioners Jan Smith and Gene Sears. But there's a lot of folklore about environmental contamination. She said experts she has hired have found no serious problems, and that the city has done a good job cleaning up the area. She'll be soil testing the tidelands soon, but to date, she said, There's no reason not to go forward.Langley Councilmember Ray Honerlah, a member of the city's marina committee, attended the port meeting and gave the city's blessing to Moore's plans. I'm delighted, Honerlah said, This moves us all ahead in the way we want to go.Moore is studying ways to provide gasoline to boaters once again, but she said that likely won't be ready this summer. The first thing people should seek is a kayak rental and launching area. She said that will happen sometime this summer if the purchase is completed.Further down the road, she would like the port, city and herself to develop a marina where South Whidbey residents could berth their boats. She would also like to work with the school district which might be able to provide extra parking in return for access and educational opportunities on the water.Commissioner Smith described Moore's marine services goal as a viable business sadly lacking right now.As for the marina, Commissioner Sears said, We've been looking at it for years.Moore assured him a marina sensitive to the environment and the people here should be possible, and hopefully there's a chance for you to make some money.The port is putting the finishing touches on its new comprehensive plan. The deadline for oral comments is over, but written comments may be submitted through April 18. "