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Port of Friday Harbor hears proposals for lease property

LWVSJ Observer Corps* -  The Port of Friday Harbor Commission met on January 25, 2023 and reviewed Requests for Proposals about potential leases for port property.

A local coalition that earlier proposed a business incubation/maker space told the Commission the coalition has more partners, including Skagit Valley College and envisions a larger Innovation Center, possibly on multiple port properties, including a three-acre Weber Way plot in the RFP. They asked the Port not to lease any of the parcels until they complete and present a feasibility study. The Commission noted that under their newly adopted lease policy, they would not be considering any other new leases until July, by which time the coalition expects to have its proposal ready.

An e-mailed public comment asked that noise abatement be a consideration in new leases and in support of the Innovation Center proposal.

Tarragon proposed to build a flexible space for light industrial and warehouse applications using three Spring Street lots . The Commission agreed to hold the property for Tarragon for 3-4 months to develop a detailed proposal and lease negotiations, perhaps with a different parking, without an additional parcel, and fronting the buildings on Spring.

San Juan Outfitters proposed to build a 4000 sq ft of warehouse space for outdoor equipment storage, a commercial kitchen and vehicle parking on a one-acre Weber Way lot. The Commission agreed to enter lease negotiations on a more detailed proposal. They had mixed reaction to adding seasonal workforce housing.

The Commission decided not to act on a proposal to compost, grind stumps, and crush glass on a parcel that was not advertised, has noise restrictions, and needs a conditional use permit.

At upcoming meetings the Commission will review which parcels to advertise for proposals to be considered in July.

Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) met with Port Commissioners Victoria Compton and Barbara Marrett, and Port Director Todd Nicholson on January 20. Shipyard Cove's concrete barge ramp that will be replaced is behind them. Larsen procured $660,000 for its replacement.

Commissioners reported good feedback on the newsletter, many comments on Jensen/Ship Yard Cove; that Opalco wants to talk to the Commission about solar power, and support for the upcoming Tribal Canoe Journey in May. They plan a February 4 listening session.

Staff reported on the serious flooding effects of the King tides on Port property with video replay.

New staff members in dock manufacturing and capital projects were introduced.

*The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization encourages informed participation in government. The Observer Corps attends and takes notes at government meetings to expand public understanding of public policy and decisions. The notes do not necessarily reflect the views of the League or its members.


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