Work is starting on information needed for establishing a conservation easement at Greenbank Farm.
Commissioners for the Port of Coupeville, which owns the farm, recently approved a $9,000 contract with Edmonds-based Terra Valuations to conduct the appraisal.
Leaders at the Port of Coupeville and Greenbank Farm want the conservation easement so it would add another layer of protection to the agricultural, recreational and environmentally sensitive lands that make up the bulk of the farm’s acreage.
Pat Powell, executive director for the Whidbey Camano Land Trust, said the appraisal will help determine the value of the potential conservation easement.
The Land Trust has been tapped by the port to facilitate the development of the easement.
The port is agreeing to surrender development rights to basically several pieces of property on both sides of Wonn Road. Powell said the value considerations for the proposed easement would come from the development rights the port would be willing to surrender.
Port Executive Director Jim Patton said the county will reimburse the port half of the cost of the appraisal, pending approval by both sides.
Terra Valuations is familiar with Whidbey Island and the unique zoning classification that is applied to the Greenbank Farm.
The company recently completed a similar appraisal at the Pacific Rim Institute for Environmental Stewardship, the only other property in Island County classified as a Special Review District, which have their own, customized sets of regulations applied to each property.
The valuation information is expected to be presented to the port commissioners this month.
The information will help determine whether the commissioners will continue with the process for the conservation easement that has to be approved by both the Port of Coupeville and the county.
Island County last year awarded the port district a Conservation Futures Fund award for the easement at the farm.
The appraisal will help determine the amount of the award.