I recently wrote an article for Silviculture Magazine in which I relied on my experiences on Cortes Island to make the point that “log and flog” schemes don’t serve local communities. This approach was attempted by Mike Reisterer in 2006 on the forestry lands at the intersection of Sutil Point Road and Bartholomew Road. He bought two large forestry-zoned parcels and logged them heavily while attempting to rezone them into multiple residential parcels. This approach was resoundingly rejected by the Cortes community.
The community had asked Reisterer to instead apply for a rezone while he had intact healthy forests to offer the community along the lines of the Siskin Lane rezone – some permanent forest preservation in exchange for the right to develop. Reisterer didn’t listen and he didn’t get a rezone.
Now he appears to be trying again by the back door: selling “Bartholomew Woods” (Bartholomew Broom Farm?) for a price aimed at developers: $1.3 million. The brochure is aimed at developers as well. It can be viewed at: http://macdonaldcommercial.com/_docs/8eebdd1d6d9839234bc659a4c8c8e9aa.pdf
The brochure states: The acreage offered is part of the Manson’s Landing area and has great potential for residential sub-division, resort and retirement oriented or affordable development.
1066 Bartholomew Road is the largest residential development property in Manson’s Landing and is ideally situated to be the recipient of future growth.
It doesn’t reveal that both these parcels are zoned forestry (F-1). In fact, it suggests that the northern 77 acre parcel allows one single family dwelling and one cottage per 10 acres. This just isn’t true under current zoning. Nor does the brochure reveal that both parcels were the subject of a widely supported petition which stated: Whereas maintaining forest land is vital for the cultures, environment,
economy and social fabric of Cortes Island.We the undersigned will oppose any rezoning of forest land (F1 or F2) on Cortes Island in which significant logging has occurred in recent years.
That petition can be viewed at: http://www.cortesisland.com/cgi-bin/tideline/show_articles.cgi?ID=362&TOPIC=0
Mike Reisterer didn’t complete his due diligence on the Cortes community’s view of “log and flog” schemes and its strong historic stance on protecting its forest lands through zoning. Now Reisterer apparently hopes to pass his problem along to some unsuspecting sucker who will face the same steadfast resistance to "log and flog" of forestry land on Cortes.
The parcels are not “the largest residential development property in Manson’s Landing.” They are zoned for forestry. There is no benefit to the community for a rezone. Caveat emptor – buyer beware. (The brochure also touts the 77 acre parcel’s proximity to Hague Lake without noting that there is no public access to the south end of the lake).
This land should remain in forestry until: 1) other large parcels near Mansons Landing are built out (the land behind the bank that abuts cemetery road is zoned for 2 acre parcels) and those impacts are fully absorbed; or 2) until the land has recovered enough that a potential rezone applicant has something to offer that the Cortes community wants. And that will take a long time.
For a broader view of these issues, please read my critique of forestry under the Private Managed Forest Land Act in Silviculture Magazine:http://www.silviculturemagazine.com/articles/summer-2013/whoa-neighbour-how-privately-managed-forest-land-owners-broke-social-contract
It responds to an article by Rod Bealing, Executive Director of the Private Managed Forest Land Council which is responsible for oversight of Island Timberland’s holdings, among others: http://www.silviculturemagazine.com/articles/spring-2013/public-attention-private-forests