Public hearing set on Port Angeles’ plan to exchange property
By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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City Council members will conduct a public hearing on declaring as surplus a stretch of land about 30 feet by 747 feet off the 1800 block of South Cherry Street.
The hearing is set to start at or shortly after 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers at City Hall, 321 E. Fifth St.
The regular City Council meeting, of which the public hearing will be a part, will start at 6 p.m.
After receiving public testimony, council members will vote on two separate actions: whether to declare the Cherry Street property surplus and whether to direct City Manager Dan McKeen to execute the sale of the Cherry Street property in exchange for three parcels of land along Peabody Creek between Third and Fifth Streets totaling about 2 acres, according to a staff memo included in the agenda packet.
Nathan West, the city’s community and economic development director, said no funds will change hands during the property exchange.
The city has been working on the land exchange with the estate of Lloyd Allen, whose family has been using the stretch of Cherry Street property as a driveway to access the adjacent Allen estate-owned property since at least 1964, West said.
Acquired from DNR
The city acquired the half-acre Cherry Street property from the state Department of Natural Resources, or DNR, in July 2003 after the state Legislature decreed a number of DNR-owned properties should be sold to individual cities for recreational purposes, West explained.
As a condition of the land acquisition, the city agreed to use the property solely for open space and recreational purposes, West said.
However, the property’s long-standing use as an access way to a piece of private property has prevented recreational uses, West added.
After discussions with the Allen estate and consideration of the land exchange by the city’s Real Estate Committee, West said city staff are recommending conveying the Cherry Street property to the Allen estate in exchange for the estate negotiating the purchase of three properties along Peabody Creek that can be kept for recreational uses.
The estate then will convey these Peabody Creek properties to the city, West added.
The three undeveloped pieces of property along Peabody Creek have been appraised at a total of $46,000, according to the city staff memo, while the Cherry Street property has been appraised at $38,000.
West said the property exchange is beneficial to the city because it will further the city’s long-term goal of establishing a trail between the downtown Port Angeles waterfront and the Olympic National Park Visitor Center at 3002 Mount Angeles Road.
Photographs of the Peabody Creek properties included with an appraisal report show an informal trail already running through the properties.
The exchange also will allow the city to keep the Peabody Creek undeveloped, maintaining the open spaces there and helping protect the health of the creek, West said.
“The properties we’re receiving in exchange are fulfilling all those needs,” West said.
A representative of the Allen estate could not be reached for comment.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at email@example.com.
Last modified: August 17. 2013 5:37PM