Chuckanut Ridge is now ready for purchase by the city of Bellingham, courtesy of Washington Federal Savings. Today, the bank foreclosed on Fairhaven Highlands, the owner of the 85 acres of beautiful south Bellingham woodlands, ponds, springs, and streams.
The city has been in negotiations for the land for over a year, unable to reach agreement with all the owners of Fairhaven Highlands. I have it from good sources that David Edelstein prevented the deal from being completed. Pike reappointed Edelstein to a second term to the Board of Trustees of the Bellingham Library as one of his first actions on taking office in 2007.
Washington Federal long ago indicated it preferred to sell the property and had no interest in developing it. When they took over Horizon Bank, Edelstein's former partner in the property, many hoped the city of Bellingham would negotiate to purchase the property. Edelstein and Horizon had planned over 739 living "units" for the sensitive woodland area. Many residents of Bellingham's south side have worked hard for years to stop the development and have the land purchased with voter approved Greenways funds. Indeed, the last Greenways levy even promised as much in its campaign material.
NWCitizen appears to be breaking this story; it is not yet posted on the Bellingham Herald website. Hopefully others will provide more information about this issue.