Updated: Ski to Sea Tries to Bully Bellingham
Updated | Ski to Sea race does not need to race through sensitive Chuckanut Community Forest Park for special mountain bike leg. City did not renege.
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.