Thurston County Courthouse
Building One, Room 152
Better bring lunch and dinner.
The appeal of Thurston County's "Mitigated Determinatin of Non-significance" (MDNS) for a geoduck operation in the ecologically sensitive and enjoyed Zangle Cove and associated Shoreline Substantial Development Permit continues January 17. Based on an email from the Hearing Examiner, it may be a marathon, stretching into the night, noting parties should "... arrange to be available into the evening as late as necessary."
What are those tidelands really worth?
"I want to be a farmer." Be careful what you wish for, because your tidelands may now be taxed as "geoduck farmland" instead of open space. Unless lobbyists can prevent it.
As the hearing has progressed, Mr. Sohn has stated he wanted to be a farmer on his tideland parcel. Apparently to that end, or for some other reason, he has decided to separate his tidelands from his upland parcel. So doing creates the ability to now tax his tidelands at what their true value is, as tidelands created for a geoduck operation, instead of "open space" as they and others in Zangle Cove have been for decades in the past, affording an extremely low tax rate. For reference, Taylor Shellfish purchased 10 acres of tidelands, many used for growing geoduck, from Manke Timber in Mason County. Those 10 acres of tidelands are currently appraised at $872,000 (dropping slightly from $899,000 in 2013). If appraisers used "like sales" as they are supposed to, Mr. Sohn's 1.6 acres of tidelands, if used for a geoduck operation, would be appraised as high as $139,000.