Birch Bay to discuss land donation

Published on Thu, Dec 4, 2003 by Rebecca Schwarz Kopf

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Birch Bay to discuss land donation

By Rebecca Schwarz Kopf

The community of Birch Bay was recently given an in-kind land donation worth $338,000 and now the community is setting up a process to establish and prioritize ideas for its use.

During a November 17 meeting dubbed �Meet the Developer Night� sponsored by Smart Growth Birch Bay, Ken Hertz of Malibu Associates announced the company was giving Birch Bay land worth $338,000, located near Grandview Road.

It was also at this meeting Hertz outlined Malibu Associates� plans to construct more than 100 lots on a 90-acre parcel of land within Birch Bay�s urban growth area on Point Whitehorn and Grandview Roads.

Hertz is committed to giving the land to the community, but he wants to see a project for it first, said Kathy Berg, vice-president of the Birch Bay Steering Committee.

�The point of such a donation is a tax write-off for the developer,� she said. �Of course the advantage to the Birch Bay community is that we have $338,000 worth of value.�

Birch Bay is the fastest growing community in the county and is seeing a great number of retirees and families moving into the area. One such idea for the land donation is the possibility of a school � about one-third of Blaine school students live in Birch Bay.

�We�ll be setting up a process to allow the community to have input and prioritize possible projects,� Berg said. �The plan is to have a community meeting in January. It will be representative of the community that participates.�

The process of how the donation will be transferred to the Birch Bay community is something that remains to be answered. �We are not quite sure how that�s going to happen,� Berg said.

For example, she stated, should the project go towards a school, the land would likely be deeded to the Blaine school district. However, if the area would be used for a parking lot and restrooms project, the land would be deeded to the county parks department, as Birch Bay is unincorporated.

More information concerning the issue will come out in the next couple of weeks, Berg said. Ken Hertz could not be reached for comment as of press time.

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