Okanogan County is holding a public hearing about a request from Cascade Holdings and Gebbers Farms to purchase four very small tax-title properties adjoining property the companies already own near Brewster.

The county ended up with the four parcels — a total of three-quarters of an acre — in the 1930s through a tax foreclosure because of unpaid property taxes, according to Okanogan County Treasurer Leah Mc Cormack. The properties were offered for sale at a public auction in the ’30s but didn’t sell, so they have remained county property, valued at $500 each, the lowest valuation permitted by law, she said.

Because the foreclosures are so old, the county has little paperwork on them. Properties like this could have been an easement that was never transferred or that was left off deeds for years, she said.

By state law, properties worth $500 or less that are not buildable lots can be sold to an adjacent landowner, said Mc Cormack.

Representatives of Gebbers Farms sent a request to the county in April expressing interest in purchasing the four parcels for $500 each, or a total of $2,000. Converting the properties to private ownership will allow Cascade Holdings and Gebbers Farms to use them for future development and orchard operations, according to their letter to the county.

Because it was so long ago and records are incomplete, the county commissioners suggested holding a public hearing on the proposed sale, according to Okanogan County Planning Director Perry Huston. Huston has determined the proposal is exempt from environmental review.

The public hearing is Monday (May 21) at 4 p.m. in the commissioners’ auditorium in Okanogan. People can provide up to five minutes of verbal testimony or can submit written comments at the hearing or in advance to ljohns@co.okanogan.wa.us.

For more information, contact Huston at (509) 422-7218 or phuston@co.okanogan.wa.us.