After more than 20 years, the Heart of the Island DL 1375 remains a big focus for the Savary Island Land Trust.
When SILT began, Savary had no protected land. Today Savary has 200 acres of protected land (165 of these are within DL 1375.) This was only achieved through SILT’s efforts, the enormous efforts of the Nature Trust of BC, the generosity of Savary donors, and the timely contributions from federal and provincial governments.
Today DL 1375 is under threat of subdivision. District Lot 1375 consists of 133 hectares (330 acres) in the middle of the island; the parcel contains Western Canada’s only intact example of a forested dune ecosystem and is home to numerous rare and endangered species of plants and animals. SILT has always held the position that DL 1375 would be best preserved as an Ecological Reserve now and forever.
The land is owned 50% undivided interest by The Nature Trust of BC and 50% undivided interest by the Sahlin family. Last summer, SILT was contacted by Mr. Sahlin’s representative, Wayne Schwandt about a possible proposal of that would meet the objectives of the Nature Trust, SILT and the Sahlin family. We were thrilled to hear this news. Later, at our AGM on Savary, The Nature Trust of BC Advisory Committee Member, Doug Christopher asked SILT if we would raise $1,000,000 for DL 1375.
SILT began to take pledges towards the acquisition of the property in August and so far, we have received $187,270 in pledges. Thanks go out to all of you who have made pledges.
Unfortunately, the initial proposal put forward by Mr. Sahlin was later rejected for several reasons, price being one of them. The Nature Trust of BC and Mr. Sahlin have not come to an agreement as of yet. The Nature Trust of BC is interested in keeping the parcel intact. The Sahlin Bankruptcy in US and its implications for DL1375 In the summer of 2015 SILT reported that the 50% owner/developer of DL 1375, Roger Sahlin had filed for bankruptcy in Washington state.
The bankruptcy was initiated after Heritage Bank began to foreclose on Governors Point a 125-acre property located south of Bellingham, that the Sahlin family, has owned for the past 50 years. In September, the Court decided to move ahead with the sale of Governor’s Point and the Bankruptcy Plan provided for the auction sale of the property, with the net sale proceeds being used to pay creditors.
The buyer, Land Baron Company agreed to pay $9,720,000 for Governors Point but as SILT reported last summer, and despite repeated continuances, Land Baron Company was unable to raise the funds needed to complete the purchase. The closing date was extended numerous times but Land Baron Company did not close the purchase by the final June 6, 2016 deadline. Since that time another buyer, Morgan Bartlett of Madrona Properties came forward to purchase Governors Point for a total of $8,300,000.
Again, the sale did not close. According to court documents: “In the event the Sale shall fail, the Debtors shall promptly list the Property [Governors’ Point WA] for sale with a national auction company acceptable to the Debtors and the Advisory Committee, without reserve, with the intention of achieving the closing of a sale of the Property within approximately 120 days.” (UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON Lead Case No. 15-13216 p. 8)
Then, depending on how much money is raised at the without reserve auction, the Debtor will sell remaining assets: the Shorewood property, the share of the Westview Waterfront lots in Skagit County, the Winthrop property, and the Canadian properties. Developer threatens development of DL 1375 Shortly after learning about the second failed sale for Governors Point SILT received the following message from the developers’ representative Wayne Schwandt.