JANUARY 6, 1997

 The Edwards Agency

Opinion

City hasn't proven it paid a fair price

fair price Mayor Miller's response to my letter regarding the purchase of 3.14 acres by the city must be answered. Mayor Miller, like the City Manager and their consultant, states as fact that the price paid "reflects a fair value for the property and is in line with other downtown purchase/sale agreements." None of the three provides a single piece of documentation.
   The fact remains that the property purchased is, and was, zoned multifamily, 48 units per acre, not commercial or industrial. The appraisal of $1.1 million was based upon the zoning and recent sale of similarly zoned property. Washington Appraisal Services provided documentation, Mayor Miller has not, nor has the City Manager, nor has the city's "professional real estate broker." Just "trust them"; if they say so, it must be true.
   The fact that the city paid $200,000 less than the original asking price does not make it a "good deal." My home is appraised at about $200,000. If the city really believes that paying half again the appraised value is a good buy, I will sell the city my home for $300,000, but they will have to let me use the driveway and garage.
   As for shared parking, it sounds good, and looks good on paper. In this case, not only did the city pay half again as much for the property as it was worth, but the city then gave back a right-of-way and guaranteed 48 parking spaces to Leisure Care for Brittany Park's use, leaving only about 2.5 acres for the city's use, not the 3.14 acres the city paid for. Note that Leisure Care offered NO guaranteed parking spaces to the city, absolutely NONE!
   Does that sound like "shared parking" to anyone, except Leisure Care, the City Administration, and the four Councilmembers who voted for it?

Bob Dixon, former city councilmember, Woodinville