Kyle Jensen / The Record — South Whidbey Parks and Recreation Director Doug Coutts shows commissioners where one design would connect a new road to Highway 525.

Parks district signs off on potential new county road

The county’s efforts to construct a new road near the light industrial area on Crawford Road took its next step this week.

The county requested an easement to access South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District property, a move the parks board voted to support on Wednesday. Construction of a new road to Crawford Road has been discussed for years.

The property on which the county wants to access is near Trustland Trails, but north of Highway 525. Constructing a road would allow the district to access it’s own property that’s currently inaccessible.

“For me, it’s a no brainer,” Parks Commissioner Dennis Hunter said at the meeting.

The county requested the easement for the property, located in between Craw Road and Crawford Road and south of Whidbey Air Park, with the goal to build a public road connecting the highway with Crawford Road. As it stands, Crawford Road is private.

Parks Director Doug Coutts said the district can benefit from the move because it has land that’s surrounded by private property, rendering it inaccessible. Building a road would solve that problem, allowing the district to add to its recreation options.

Commissioners threw ideas around such as disc golf and additional trails.

South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District was deeded the land through a program that transfers county properties to entities that are required to preserve it as open recreation space for a 30-year period. The Trustland Trails property was also part of that ownership transfer, and both remain in the set 30-year period. Any decision would have to go through the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the body that oversees the land transfer program. Coutts says DNR has already OK’d the easement.

“I would recommend saying ‘Yes’ because it wouldn’t cost us anything,” Coutts said to the board.

There are two construction options the county provided the parks district. The first design has the road running from Crawford Road to the intersection of Highway 525 and Craw Road. The second option doesn’t connect to Craw Road, instead connecting to the highway west of Craw Road. The commissioners preferred the first option and had an issue with the second choice, saying the off-set intersections would pose a safety threat for cars turning onto the highway.

According to Commissioner Don Wood, the area is already a problem.

“The county was really looking at making Craw Road a true ‘T’ intersection, because if you make it off-set, you’re right back at the problem Crawford Road has with Pioneer Park Place,” Wood said. “It causes a lot of accidents with people trying to take turns.”