Port scraps plans to condemn, will settle with landowners

Commission to buy vacant, 12,000-square-foot parcel near waterfront for nearly 24 percent over its appraised value

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Weeks after talk of condemnation came up at a Port of Camas-Washougal Board of Commissioners meeting, Port leaders have approved a settlement agreement with the owners of land near the waterfront.

The Port will pay Mike and Tammy Ledington $210,000 for the couple’s 12,000-square foot, vacant parcel south of Route 14 at Seventh Street in Washougal.

The Port had previously offered the Ledingtons $187,000 for the land — 10 percent more than the parcel’s appraised value of $170,000 — but the Ledingtons sought $315,000, the amount proposed by their attorney.

Port Executive Director David Ripp said the agreed upon price of $210,000 was determined by considering the appraised value, the Port’s offer and the cost of legal fees if the Port had gone to court for a condemnation proceeding.

In April, Port commissioners authorized Ripp and legal counsel to “exhaust reasonable efforts through direct negotiations to acquire the property fee interest.”

If the negotiations were not successful, the Commission could move to “condemn, take, damage and appropriate the real property fee interest necessary to carry out the provisions of the resolution.”

Ripp said he was happy the Port was able to come to an agreement, settle on a price and not have to go through condemnation.

The Port may use the land for economic development and to create enhanced public access to the waterfront.

Ripp said the Port plans to straighten out “A” Street for safety and economic purposes.

Port leaders expect to close on the property by June 15.