I have two properties on Whidbey Island, both in the Oak Harbor area. When we first came to the Island in 1989 on a business assignment, we rented at various locations, more of less so that we would have a good idea of the differences in the neighborhoods and the varying climates of lifestyles available. We very shortly came to understand the main economy of the entire area is supported by the U.S. Navy. We also became aware that in choosing a long term location for our home we would need to become familiar with the Navy’s air operations so that the disturbance to our lifestyle would be minimized.
By doing this simple “due diligence,” we were able to pick a very peaceful location for our home and very handy location for our light industrial park business. The business site needed to be relatively convenient to airbase traffic, yet have the least possible negative effects from Navy operations. Not too difficult to do. The Navy had been operating on the Island for many years before we ever came here, so it wasn’t very hard to find the areas least affected by their operations, you just had to get off your duff and go do your homework.
Now, we have all the latecomers to the island who did not do their own “due diligence” and now want to kill the businesses and the lifestyles of all those of us who did do it by making the Navy think they are a not welcome residents of the Island. If these folks think the Navy’s operations are hurting their property values, just look at what will happen to property values if the Navy were to suddenly leave the Island. All of our businesses would close due to lack of sufficient customers. No one would be interested in buying derelict property, so the values would spiral down and the economy of Island County would be in the pit for many years to come.
Please do not allow this to happen just to please a few whining, lazy, latecomers who did not do their research prior to purchasing their properties and who now want everyone else to pay for their mistakes.