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 does not have a timeline for resuming planning on the “Owl Lane” property. As Orcas Island recovered from the Recession, it was clear that the community’s greatest housing need was affordable rental housing, and so OPAL has been focused on April’s Grove in Eastsound.
When planning does resume for the Owl Lane property, OPAL will 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.