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Governors Point on Chuckanut Bay for sale

Bill Handsaker, a retired engineer from Minnetonka, Minn, makes pictures of Governors Point from an overlook on Cleator Road on June 16, 2008.
Bill Handsaker, a retired engineer from Minnetonka, Minn, makes pictures of Governors Point from an overlook on Cleator Road on June 16, 2008. THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

Governors Point is for sale.

The Sahlin family, which has owned most of the peninsula south of Bellingham for the past 50 years, has put the property on the market, as evidenced by a brochure produced by the Land Group of Cushman & Wakefield of San Diego, Inc.

“Once in a lifetime opportunity!” the brochure declares, promoting “San Juan Island living, without the ferry” on “125.86 spectacular waterfront acres” between Pleasant Bay and Wildcat Cove.

Wayne Schwandt, who worked with the Sahlins on an unsuccessful proposal to develop Governors Point, confirmed the property was for sale.

If you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it.

“The listing does not have an ask price,” Schwandt said.

The bare land, which can be developed with up to 25 homes, was assessed by the county at $70,000 per acre, give or take.

The land offer comes one year after the Sahlins’ business, Governors Point Development Co., lost in a state Court of Appeals, where it tried to convince the judges that Bellingham needed to make good on a 40-year-old promise to provide city water to the point. The appeals court let stand a lower-court ruling, which said there was no implied contract between the city and the developer. Shortly after a 1972 decision to provide water to Governors Point, the city substantially restricted the availability of municipal water outside the city limits, and consistently refused to provide water to the Sahlin property.

The Sahlins, who submitted a development application before the residential density was restricted to one lot for every five acres, were proposing a 141-lot subdivision on the peninsula, to be served by city water. Rather than appeal to the state Supreme Court, the Sahlins decided to sell.

The June 2013 court decision was not the reason Roger Sahlin put Governors Point on the market, Schwandt said.

“Water is available from other sources to meet a scaled-back project,” Schwandt said. “The owner has decided to focus his attention on other projects.”

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