At its monthly meeting today the state Board of Natural Resources gave the go-ahead to sell 103 acres of state land to San Juan County. The county plans to add the parcel, located on the north end of Lopez Island, to its current Odlin County Park.
The county has leased the property since 2011 when the state legislature paid the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) $1.1 million for a 50-year lease with a lessee purchase option — those proceeds were used to fund public school construction statewide. With today’s action, the county will own the parcel outright once it reimburses the Common School Real Property Replacement Account $194,000 for the remaining fair market value of the property. DNR received the former U.S. military property in two transactions with the federal government in 1959 and 1960.
“This is a win-win for Washington state and San Juan County. We are more than doubling the footprint of a popular park on Lopez Island and also funding the Common School Trust, which builds facilities for public schools statewide,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, who also chairs the Board of Natural Resources.
“Through the dedicated efforts of Commissioner Franz and the Department of Natural Resources, numerous citizens, local public officials and the San Juan County Land Bank, we gain more parkland and public open space for county residents and visitors to enjoy,” said Rick Hughes, San Juan County Council chair, following the board’s approval of the transaction.
“This valuable addition to our county’s park system creates more places for people to enjoy low-impact recreation while preserving a unique natural environment,” said Jamie Stevens, San Juan County councilmember representing Lopez Island.
Further descriptions and maps of the Odlin South Transfer property are online.