Parkwood lot given temporary reprieve from eBay auction

Parties interested in Port Orchard’s Parkwood lot have one last chance to bid before the city places the land at the feet of eBay, the worldwide auction giant.

The land, already cleared by the Port Orchard City Council to be added to eBay’s online inventory, is now back on the block here in Kitsap County.

“The property never made it to eBay,” said Larry Curles, Port Orchard city engineer. “Public notification of the eBay decision brought more interest,” he said, “so we’re going to try to sell it one more time. (A Port Orchard Independent) article got four or five different phone calls to the office and when we got one unsolicited offer, I said ‘if there’s this type of local interest, we should try one more time’ and I went back to the Council.”

The city has tried unsuccessfully several times to sell the land, but Curles said he expects multiple offers this time around. However, he said his main concern is not money, but getting the land back on the tax roll.

“The city doesn’t need it,” Curles said. “I think the council has the same attitude: Let’s get it on the tax roll.”

Curles said the 3.48-acre lot, located in the vicinity of Aspen, Dover and Fircrest streets, has been problematic for potential buyers due to the nature of the extensive wetlands found throughout the property.

According to Curles, the city tried to sell the land through a real estate broker with dissapointing results.

“Potential buyers saw that the wetland restrictions required more than just a casual clearance,” Curles said.

Curles said development would have to conform to Kitsap County regulations, which is not impossible for a buyer.

“We talked to Habitat for Humanity,” Curles said. “I thought it was an ideal place for one or two homes; previous buyers were looking to build at one end of the property. Buyers just need to talk to Kitsap County about a variance.”

The city first acquired the land in 1984 after the previous owner failed to pay for ULID limited improvement district assessment fees on the property.

The owner also had the option to petition the city for a reduction or removal of the fee, as many other property owners did. After two years, the city foreclosed.

The property was assessed this year at $43, 850, taking into account the challenge of getting permits to develop.

The minimum bid on eBay was to be set at $4,900 — just enough to pay the original assessment fee and reimburse the city for expenses associated with the land.

The eBay profits were going to be used to help pay off the Karcher Creek Sewage Treatment Plant expansion.

The city will accept sealed purchase offers on the Parkwood land until 4 p.m., Monday July 19.

To bid, contact Port Orchard Public Works.

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