Cityvotes to sell 5 acres of airport land

Published on Thu, Jun 14, 2007 by ara Nelson

Read More News

City votes to sell 5 acres of airport land

By Tara Nelson

The city of Blaine is slated to sell a five-acre parcel of airport land it acquired from a Blaine resident last year.

In their regular meeting Monday, Blaine City Council voted 5-2 to adopt a resolution to surplus and sell the manufacturing-zoned acreage, which it acquired through condemnation in 2005 from Blaine resident Robert Carruthers for $305,000. At the time, the property was home to several tall trees that encroached the airport’s flight path.

Because those acres contain wetlands, the city of Blaine purchased the land to avoid mitigation costs.

Monday’s decision was part of an airport closure plan approved earlier this year that would ultimately abandon the airport as a municipal function.

On February 26, the council decided 4-3 rather than moving ahead with the expansion recommended in the Blaine Airport Master Plan, the city would sell the 43 acres of prime industrial-zoned land for development.

The decision was in response to an email the city had received from Mary Vargas, the state aviation planner for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Seattle district office in which she cited an “unrealistic” possibility of the availability of funds necessary to proceed with the city’s airport expansion plan.

Councilmember Bonnie Onyon asked city manager Gary Tomsic if he thought it would be better to sell the parcel one acre at a time.
Councilmember John Liebert disagreed.

“If I was going to buy property, I would probably want to buy five acres rather than just one,” he said. “But how do we know what someone out there wants to do?”

Councilmembers discussed advertising the property in the local newspapers, national realtor listings and even bidding on eBay.
At the end of the discussion, the council voted to proceed with an appraisal of the property and a later selling through a public sealed bidding process.

Councilmembers Myers and Charlie Hawkins abstained from voting.