Saturday, August 28, 2010

Kah Tai public land transfer: fair market value?

The transfer of all public lands to the City (including Port, PUD and County holdings) within the boundary of Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park was intended to occur within the time frame of the federal LWCF grant received in 1981. Numerous references to this expectation exist in the public record. However, as early as 1980, Port officials were speculating about receipt of 'fair market value' from the City for such an exchange.

In its 2010-2015 Strategic Plan, the Port insists it is the caretaker and steward of PUBLICLY-OWNED lands. WE, the public, own the lands the Port manages. So, the Port wants to sell OUR land to US, and the Port wants US to pay US fair market value for land WE already own. How does that work?

What is fair market value? If the Port assumes that Kah Tai land can be commercially developed, the 'value' is considerable. But Kah Tai land is protected in perpetuity as an outdoor wildlife park by the Federal stipulations of the funding accepted in 1981. And why should fair market value even be a consideration? The Revised Code of Washington is reasonably clear about the subject:

RCW 39.33.010: (1) The state or any municipality or any political subdivision thereof, may sell, transfer, exchange, lease or otherwise dispose of any property, real or personal, or property rights, including but not limited to the title of real property, to the state or any municipality or any political subdivision thereof, or the federal government, on such terms and conditions as may be mutually agreed upon by the proper authorities of the state and/or the subdivisions concerned.

Those 'terms and conditions' could allow the transfer for one dollar. It's OUR dollar after all. Does it really matter which one of our PUBLIC pockets it is in?

1 comment:

  1. Ok, so the above being true, how is it the Port is ignoring that Plan, and straining to make the land available for Make Waves? What does the Port get for providing this unavailable land to MW?
    Isn't there something more we the people can do to prevent this cowardly dirty dealing, other than grumbling amongst ourselves? Have we no resources at the State, or even Federal level?