Land Owned for Future Development
In January 2007 OPAL purchased six acres in the hamlet of Orcas Village to be developed as a cluster of permanently affordable homes. Applicable zoning allows one home per half-acre for affordable housing that remains affordable for at least 50 years.
The location, near the ferry landing, is ideal for people who work in the southwest part of the island or who commute to Friday Harbor. The sunny, south-facing exposure will enable OPAL to maximize passive solar gain as part of our commitment to building energy-efficient homes.
In keeping with OPAL’s practice of an open design process, in December 2006, prior to deciding whether or not to purchase the property, OPAL hosted a public meeting at the Orcas Hotel. Community members provided valuable input and opinions. OPAL continues to work with neighbors and the community in an effort to assure that the site plan is sensitive to the land and to the existing neighborhood.
Changing economic conditions, as well as changes to the county’s Critical Areas Ordinance, have delayed the design and development of homes on this site. Now that the CAO is finalized, OPAL can resume the process of determining how best to use this land.