Good Cheer moves at Bayview location

The Good Cheer Food Bank is a step closer to relocating in Bayview.

A decision by Island County yesterday approved Good Cheer's planned use for its facility. The Good Cheer Board asked the county whether a food bank could be built in a "rural zone." No appeals were filed to the board's request.

"This is a first great step," said Maury Hood, vice president and building committee chairman.

"The ruling means all the necessary ancillary uses to operate the food bank are approved for our rural zoned property in Bayview," he said.

The new site is between Bayview School and the future South Whidbey Commons.

Good Cheer plans to move the Food Bank operation, the receiving, sorting and distributing of donated merchandise and the administrative office to the new site.

"We have a lot of work ahead of us, but now we can proceed," Hood said.

Before the food bank construction even begins some of the work yet to be done includes closing an abandoned well on the property, conducting a traffic study, an environmental impact study and holding public meetings. Design plans for the building are yet to be finalized.

"We want the building to have a residential appearance and we plan to save many of the large trees on the property," Hood said.

Good Cheer purchased the acre of land in April for about $40,000.

"This is a very big day Good Cheer," said Good Cheer manager Kathy McLaughlin. "This is the beginning of some great changes that include a new food bank that will then lead to a newly re-modeled Thrift Store at our Langley site."

McLaughlin said the new location will provide clients of the food bank "the anonymity they can't get in Langley."

A joint use agreement for the Bayview School driveway has not been worked out yet with the South Whidbey School District.

Good Cheer is a non-profit agency that operates a food bank in Langley. It has served the people of South Whidbey since 1962.

The new location would serve citizens of South Whidbey from Greenbank south.

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