Map view of Strickland property. Courtesy photo

Map view of Strickland property. Courtesy photo

City of Poulsbo looking to buy resident’s property next to PERC site

Ellen Strickland wants to sell her property to city instead of developers

The City of Poulsbo is interested in purchasing a resident’s property next to the future Poulsbo Events and Recreation Center at College Market Place in efforts to expand that area with a potential park.

According to council documents, Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson was recently contacted by an attorney representing property owner Ellen Strickland, who has been approached by multiple developers to purchase her property at 22108 Urdahl Road NW. Strickland would rather sell to the city and keep living in her home for a few years.

As a result, the City Council approved Wednesday for Erickson to sign a letter of intent to establish a basis for discussions on purchasing the property. The letter had already been signed by Strickland.

“This is not a commitment to develop it into anything in particular,” Councilmember David Musgrove said, adding the paperwork gives the city the time and opportunity to figure that out.

The land is adjacent to the PERC property at College Market Place and would expand the parkland to about 15 acres, providing several passive and active recreation amenities and meeting the city’s parkland acquisition level for west Poulsbo, documents state. Strickland’s property is just under 10 acres, sloping about 30 feet east to west.

“This is a fantastic opportunity,” Councilmember Connie Lord said. “It doesn’t bind us but it puts us in first position so we have time to make sure that it’s feasible, and we can make it all happen…It’s wonderful that this person is civic-minded enough to want to bring this into the city’s assets.”

Strickland’s attorney suggested the agreement to provide time for the city to conduct a feasibility study and arrange funding. The beginning point for a sale price is agreed to be $2.4 million, per an appraisal done June 1, and the city’s appraisal.

“We need a park up there,” Erickson said. “Houses are going in like crazy.”

Also during the council meeting, Erickson said the city has joined the Government Alliance on Race Equity, a national network of governments working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all, according to its website. The membership fee is $1,000 a year, and Councilmember Britt Livdahl will be leading the process.

“The reason why is, from my understanding and education through the Puget Sound Regional Council, the GARE association is the premier organization that explores equity issues and is the best educational tool there is,” Erickson said. “In order to have meaningful conversations, one of the first things we need to do is educate ourselves. If we want to be understanding, we have to learn.”

In the consent agenda, a budget amendment of $6,745 was approved for a new police boat trailer. Documents state the current trailer is over 40 years old and recently broke while trying to move the boat from the water.

“It has been repaired multiple times over its life and is now broken beyond repair,” documents say. “Purchase of the trailer is an immediate need as it is required to remove the police boat from the water and for transport as needed.”

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