Langley has reached a decision regarding the sale of an odd, triangle-shaped piece of pavement down by the South Whidbey Harbor.
The owner of the Boatyard Inn initially approached the city about a sale of the 340-square-foot property. As a condition of the sale, the owner would transfer the piece of property to the Port of South Whidbey so that the building owner and the port can enter into an easement agreement for a larger and more functional parking area.
As another condition of the sale, striping and paving along Wharf Street would occur.
To meet city code, the Boatyard Inn, which is undergoing a conversion into a condominium complex, has to have a certain number of parking spaces for residents. A request to lower the number of required parking stalls must go before the city’s hearing examiner.
At a city council meeting last week, Langley Director of Community Planning Brigid Reynolds said the building owner may not be interested in the property sale anymore if the hearing examiner grants their waiver to reduce the number of required parking spaces.
City code requires 15 spaces for a 10-unit residential building. Reynolds said the Boatyard Inn currently has 12, which includes an easement for two stalls with the port.
Krista Loercher, owner of Whidbey Island Kayaking, a business down by the property in question, approached the council with an alternative solution. She proposed that her business could rent the city-owned property year-round as a parking space for a new eight-passenger van that will be bringing walk-on passengers from the Clinton-Mukilteo ferry into Langley.
“This is a way this property can generate some revenue for the city,” Loercher said. “Also, help a business that’s located in the city and help us bring more people to Langley sustainably.”
Councilmember Dominique Emerson asked about gifting the city’s parcel in exchange for a parking spot, but Mayor Tim Callison said it would be a violation of a state law prohibiting a gift of public funds.
Instead, Council-member Thomas Gill suggested a parking spot deeded to the city could be made a condition of the sale.
The council agreed that the sale could be made with this added condition. The single parking spot would be deeded to the city after cosmetic improvements are made to the property.
Reynolds said the selling price must be determined by the council. There have been no appraisers yet who have evaluated the property.
“I think it’s a challenge because it’s such an odd-shaped lot and it’s so small,” Reynolds said.
The sale might be off the table, however, if the Boatyard Inn is no longer interested in the property.