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Olympia moves toward buying remaining 72 acres for LBA Woods

This map shows the parcels that the LBA Woods Park Coalition has been working to protect in southeast Olympia.
This map shows the parcels that the LBA Woods Park Coalition has been working to protect in southeast Olympia. LBA Woods Park Coalition

The Olympia City Council is expected next week to approve an option to buy the remaining 72 wooded acres that are part of the so-called LBA Woods in southeast Olympia.

This option would allow the city to hold the land — commonly known as the Bentridge property — for a down payment of $1 million.

The city has until Jan. 31 to use the option and arrange to pay the remaining balance of $5.9 million over three installments by March 2019. Otherwise, the land will go back on the market, and the city will forfeit the option payment.

The council is slated to vote on the option at its meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

Residents with the LBA Woods Park Coalition have been lobbying city officials to buy nearly 150 acres of undeveloped land that borders LBA Park, at 3333 Morse-Merryman Road. Both the Bentridge Property and the 74-acre Trillium Property — which border LBA Park to the south and east, respectively — were originally slated for housing developments.

In April, the City Council approved the purchase of 149 acres, including the Trillium property for $5 million and the 75-acre Kaiser Heights property in west Olympia for $1.1 million.

The LBA Woods Park Coalition circulated a petition that garnered more than 5,300 signatures in favor of the city buying the land. That notion was supported in a park survey and in an extensive public outreach effort by the parks department.

The city’s goal with the Bentridge property is to dedicate 59 acres for a park. About 3 acres will go toward a future extension of Log Cabin Road between Boulevard and Wiggins roads, while 10 acres will be set aside for housing and neighborhood developments, according to the city. The Bentridge property is owned by a family under the name Dawley Trust.

The city of Olympia announced earlier this year that it planned to acquire 300 acres of park space.

Andy Hobbs: 360-704-6869, @andyhobbs

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