SOUNDOFF: Latest update on Krueger Farm

Friends of Krueger Farm are pleased that the readers of the Whidbey News-Times have been apprised of our fund raising needs and goals by way of Nathan Whalen's article in the May 19 edition of the newspaper. On behalf of our group I would like to make several corrections and additions pertaining to the property in an effort to make sure the community has accurate information.

Due to the evolving nature of the acquisition process it has been challenging to keep the public up to date regarding the division of the open space as regards acreage and division. I hope this letter will clarify the current status of the property and fundraising, as well as provide other relevant information.

Krueger Farm option has been renegotiated with the landowner, securing the purchase of 4 1/3-acres of the property, and splitting the remaining residential property and commercial property into separate options.

Reaching the first milestone in January, by raising more than $290,000, has secured the purchase of two parcels which purchase will be completed by the end of 2004. This purchase will remove approximately 4 1/3-acres and 19 dwelling units from future development.

To purchase the remaining 9 1/2-acres of residential property $600,000 needs to be raised, with almost half of this amount needed to meet a year-end option deadline. These remaining parcels are zoned and approved for 52 dwellings, including dual use commercial and residential, traditional single family and higher density units.

The town of Coupeville will be the owner of the residential property that is purchased, and along with an additional 12 acres being donated to the town by the landowner, will hold this land as open space. Whidbey Camano Land Trust will hold a conservation easement on the purchased residential property.

The commercial property has been spun off as a separate option, which is being held by a private party while public/private sustainable economic development funding is being pursued.

WCLT Role:

The Whidbey Camano Land Trust is providing expertise to this project in the areas of land negotiation and acquisition of the public open space property, working with the town of Coupeville and the landowner drafting of the conservation easement, and ultimately holding, monitoring and protecting the conservation easement.

Friends of Krueger Farm is hosting a Second Annual Ice Cream Social at the Recreation Hall in Coupeville on Sunday (not Monday), May 23, from 1 to 3 p.m. Commissioner Mike Shelton will be speaking and there will be informative displays and time to visit with neighbors. Please join us.

Jan Pickard represents Friends of Krueger Farm.

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