The state of Washington failed in its initial bid to sell some pristine acreage adjacent to Nolte State Park, but the story appears far from over.
At issue is a 27-acre parcel directly opposite the popular park north of Enumclaw, just across Veazie-Cumberland Road. Members of the State Parks Commission declared the land surplus months ago after determining it has no potential value to the state system. Bids were to be accepted through Aug. 13 with a minimum purchase price of $469,999.
No offers were received so the status of the land remains unchanged.
Virginal Painter, a spokeswoman for State Parks, said the department will most likely wait a while, then put the land on the market again.
Meanwhile, descendants of Minnie Nolte – who willed a large piece of land, including Deep Lake, to the state – haven’t given up efforts to see the land protected from the auction block.
When the state took ownership of Nolte’s property, which was used for years as a popular, private resort, it was with Minnie Nolte’s decree that it be used for the public good. The land west of Veazie-Cumberland Road was made into a public park and remains a popular destination.
The land east of the road is another story.
Nolte descendants maintain is should follow the same dictates, that it be used for public enjoyment. Painter said the Office of the Attorney General has ruled that State Parks can legally dispose of the land because it has been declared surplus.
Mary Vidano is a great-niece of Minnie Nolte. She shared in a recent email that family members have been advised “that the only parties with any legal claim to the property” are The Holy Names Sisters of Jesus and Mary.
In her will, Minnie Nolte expressed a desire for the Catholic nuns – who have a history of ministry going back 150 years in the Spokane area – to receive the deed to the land if the state did not keep the property for public use.
Vidano said the lack of bids gives the family some breathing room, time to organize a plan to prevent the sale of the acreage.