Chuckanut Ridge Development Gets Extension

By John ServaisOn Aug 02, 2010

City of Bellingham Planning Director, Jeffrey Thomas, has granted a three month extension of development rights to Greenbriar Northwest Associates (GNA.) The rights - basically time to continue developing the Environmental Impact Statement - were set to expire August 1 and are now pushed back to Friday, October 29, 2010. Three months from now.

What is strange and interesting about this is GNA was owned by Horizon Bank and David Edelstein. The Feds closed the bank in January and Washington Federal Savings gained all of Horizon's ownership and rights to the property - thus putting them in partnership with Edelstein. Washington Federal has said informally they do not want to develop property.

The city of Bellingham has been in negotiation with Washington Federal since January to purchase the property. The mayor's office is negotiating and keeping the Council abreast on progress.

Perhaps the extension is meant to enhance GNA's bargaining position and a purchase is near. Or perhaps the negotiations are going badly and GNA is planning to sell the property to another developer. We do not know. Perhaps some informed readers can provide insight or a better informed estimate of what is going on.

The development expiration was being closely watched by the many residents who are strongly opposed to the massive and destructive development that GNA has been planning for the approximately 100 acres.

About John Servais

Writers • Fairhaven, Washington USA • Member since Feb 26, 2008

John is super cool, and knows more about the news and internet-news business than just about any other guy around. He runs this website, and keeps an eye on everything. Read some of his articles, and let him know what you think.

Comments by Readers

Michael Lilliquist

Aug 02, 2010

“...and keeping the council abreast on progress”?  I am sorry to report that this is the first I have heard about this (second)) extension.  I have written the mayor.  ‘Nough said.


Larry Horowitz

Aug 02, 2010

Thanks for taking time to post this update, John.  I believe Mr. Thomas? decision to extend the deadline reflects bad policy on the part of the city. 

What?s more troubling is this:  Washington Federal?s slogan, ?Washington Federal invested here? implies an awareness of - and interest in - the community they supposedly serve.  The extension requested submitted by Greenbriar NW?s (GBNW) attorney claims that ?previously unanticipated technical matters connected to the partial change of ownership have slowed the owners from moving forward with City officials.? 

Does anyone besides Mr. Thomas buy that BS?

The only thing that seems clear is that Washington Federal does not appear to care about an issue of great concern to a large number of citizens ? and potential customers ? in their new community.  What kind of signal is WAFed sending?

Horizon Bank was a community bank that didn?t give a you-know-what about its community.  It?s tombstone now reflects that fact.

How will Washington Federal be remembered?  What kind of legacy is WAFed planning to establish in the community?

Time will tell; but they?re certainly not getting off to a good start.

Links to letters from GBNW?s attorney and Jeff Thomas: info/eis-correspondence/2010-07-23-tull-ltr-to-thomas.pdf info/eis-correspondence/2010-07-29-thomas-ltr-to-tull.pdf