County purchases Shaw property

Submitted by San Juan County

On Tuesday June 25, the San Juan County Council approved the purchase of approximately 16 acres along 1427 Neck Point Road to support Public Works operations on Shaw Island. This decision follows a community meeting with Council Chair Jane Fuller held on June 3 and recapped for the public on June 7, as well as numerous meetings between county staff and Shaw residents.

Public Works has been seeking a solution for outdoor material storage and disposal (dirt) and maintenance facilities for staff (including running water and a restroom that staff currently doesn’t have access to). The county hopes this purchase may serve as a space to better enable mobilizing onto Shaw with increased regularity in the provision of ongoing essential public services.

In addition to approving the property purchase, council also approved a motion to “provide direction to Public Works to explore best practices for monitoring and disposal of road material or materials collected from road maintenance and repair.”

“The more I look at it, the more I feel like this is the responsible thing to do both fiscally and logistically, and it’s a really important decision environmentally,” said council member Cindy Wolf, noting the high carbon footprint associated with barging materials off-island. Designating a Public Works yard for outdoor material storage and disposal keeps sod and ditch sediment out of wetlands and streams.

“I have every confidence,” began Council Chair Jane Fuller as she addressed the Public Works Director Colin Huntemer, “that in managing your department that you’ll do right by the land, the property, its use, and in service to the islanders, and will remain open to continued dialogue and discussion about what this looks like.”

Additional Background

During a May 9, 2023 council meeting on Shaw Island, several residents raised concerns over road maintenance – primarily flooding, drainage, and culverts. County staff acknowledged those concerns and spoke to the need of locating a new construction yard on Shaw to provide an economical and sustainable location to dispose of material generated from road maintenance activities. The County’s Public Works Director, Colin Huntemer, indicated that he had been reaching out and having conversations with members of the community on this topic and encouraged others who may have interest or ideas to come forward.

Over the past year, the County considered several properties before agreeing to enter into a Purchase and Sale agreement for the property at 1427 Neck Point Road on April 19, 2024. Since that time, County staff from various departments have visited the property during a due diligence period that will conclude on June 26, 2024. Over the past few weeks, County staff has also connected with residents, potential neighbors, and the public regarding their interest or concern regarding this potential purchase.

Find a list of frequently asked questions about this acquisition and their answers here:

Questions and comments may be directed to the Public Works Director, Colin Huntemer, at