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Bainbridge council moves forward on declaring Suzuki property as surplus land

The Bainbridge Island City Council asked city staff at its meeting Monday to draft a surplus resolution for the 14-acre Suzuki property so the land can eventually be sold.

It has long been debated whether the Suzuki property — a city-owned parcel at the intersection of New Brooklyn Road and Sportsman Club Road — should be dubbed a surplus property.

In fact, in lieu of a city council decision, the idea has sat on the shelf and collected dust for the past six years.

The Bainbridge Island City Council, however, revisited the discussion at its meeting earlier this week with the hopes of finally bringing the topic to a close this year.

"I don't like the idea at all of the city being in the development business," said Mayor Anne Blair.

"That's my reason for definitely supporting the idea of surplussing," she said.

Over the years, the city council has considered handing the land over as surplus property to the Housing Resources Board to be used for affordable housing.

The council has also considered earmarking the property as the future home of a combined police station and court facility.

This week's discussion was timely as the city is currently evaluating potential sites for a new police station and possibly a new courthouse.

Regardless of where the station is ultimately located, proceeds from selling the land as surplus could go to funding the construction of the new public facilities.

Several members of the council also entertained the idea of keeping the Suzuki property under the city's name and leasing it to a nonprofit or commercial entity with an agreement for how the land should be used.

In Monday's discussion, though, the council advised city staff to go ahead with drafting a surplus resolution for the property.

With the ball rolling in at least one direction, the council will have a process to work from as it decides what to do with the acreage.

City staff will return later this month with the surplus resolution.

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