Camas, WA — The Camas City Council has approved the acquisition of 115 acres of land on the west side of Green Mountain adjacent to Ingle Road in Camas with the intent of preserving it as open space.
The acquisition includes 60 acres of donated land and 55 acres for purchase, including the top of Green Mountain itself and the area north of the former Green Mountain Golf Course. The land is currently zoned for residential development and includes 159 preliminarily approved property lots near Ingle Road. Construction of the lots had not yet begun and, as a result of the acquisition, will not move forward.
The city plans to engage the community and explore possibilities for the land’s use that are consistent with the city’s Comprehensive Plan and its Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan.
The city will acquire the land, which has been valued at $20.1 million, for $3.8 million. The purchase price of the 55-acre parcel will be paid in October 2021 to allow leaders the option of securing grant funding.
“The advantages of acquiring this Green Mountain land are tremendous,” said Mayor Barry McDonnell. “By securing this property, the City of Camas will preserve more forested areas, ensure public access to green spaces, and provide connections to recreational amenities in the region for the foreseeable future.”
The acquired land has been part of the community vision for over 20 years due to its importance in linking existing and proposed public trails, viewpoints and recreational opportunities around Green Mountain, Lacamas Lake and Camp Bonneville. The existing Lacamas Lake recreation and conservation corridor includes nearly 1,000 acres on the south, east and west sides of the 320-acre Lacamas Lake.
The acquired land also preserves significant open space in Camas, as requested by the Camas community. It is positioned in an area where considerable open-space acreage is owned by other public agencies, including Clark County, Camas School District and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.
The current owners of the property, who applied and received approval from the City for the Green Mountain Planned Residential Development, recently approached the city with this opportunity. The appraised value of the 60 acres of donated land is $15.5 million and the appraised value of the additional 55 acres has been estimated at $4.6 million. The timing of the acquisition is connected to year-end charitable gifting rules, as represented by the developer.
The vision for the city’s open spaces has been developed over several years with substantial input from citizens, stakeholders, city staff and key conservation partners. It reflects a variety of city, county and regional plans, including the Clark County Conservation Areas Acquisition Plan; the City of Camas Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan; the Lacamas Corridor Master Plan and the City of Camas Strategic Plan.
The council considered the details and impacts of the acquisition at the Dec. 7 workshop and regular meeting before formally approving the acquisition.