Land trust's Trillium Woods deadline extended 90 days

Whidbey Camano Land Trust has another 90 days to raise the money needed to buy the former Trillium Woods property northwest of Freeland, trust officials said late Thursday.

The three Snohomish County banks extended the June 10 deadline to raise $4.2 million to buy the 664-acre property, the largest single-owner forest remaining on Whidbey Island.

The trust must raise an additional $1.8 million by Sept. 10 to reach its goal to preserve the property for rural recreation, said Pat Powell, executive director of the land trust.

In the past 12 weeks, individuals have donated everything from pennies, nickels, and dimes to $100,000 checks. As of Thursday, the land trust has commitments for $2.4 millions, leaving $1.8 million to raise, Powell said.

Jeff Lewis, president and chief operating officer of Shoreline Bank, said Thursday that the new deadline would be the trust's final extension.

“The land trust’s ability to raise this much money is remarkable," Lewis said. “But we’re under a regulatory obligation to sell non-earning assets and can’t extend this deadline any further.

"We have more than $4 million dollars tied up in something that’s earning nothing and is costing us every day,” he said.

Shoreline Bank, Coastal Community Bank and North County Bank acquired the property at public auction this past fall when the Arlington developer who owned it defaulted on $5 million in loans.

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