By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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Peninsula Daily News
SEQUIM –– A relic of Washington Street's U.S. Highway 101 past will come down this morning as crews remove the old Gull Station pole from the service station's former site.
Workers with Admiralty Crane will bring down the 30-foot pole at 8 a.m.
The city finalized the purchase June 14 of the lot at Sequim Avenue and Washington Street from Gull Industries for $215,000.
“This is an opportunity to create a hospitality area for Sequim citizens and visitors in a key downtown location,” Mayor Ken Hays said.
City Manager Steve Burkett said Friday that Gull Industries had been asking $250,000 for the 8,700-square-foot property at 104 E. Washington St.
“We got an attractive place for people to stop and relax in the middle of downtown,” Burkett said. “And we got it for a good price.”
Formerly one of the many service stations that dotted Washington Street before U.S. Highway 101 was re-routed, the Gull station closed in the 1980s.
Three underground storage tanks were removed in 2005.
Burkett said an environmental review done by the city during the purchase of the corner lot showed no remaining contamination.
The city does not have a long-term plan for the property yet, Burkett said.
It may keep it and develop it as a public space, or it may sell it to a private developer.
The City Council unanimously approved the purchase in March.
Owning the property gives the city more control over what develops there, Burkett said.
He noted the site is a busy location, and the city wants to ensure its future use fits its high profile.
For now, it will be used as an open area, potentially including the Saturday Open Aire Market and next month's Sequim Lavender Weekend.
Admiralty Crane quoted the city a price of $500 to remove the sign, which has a white plastic sheet covering the Gull logo.
Removal also represents the disappearance of a violation of the city's sign code, Hays noted.
Pole signs became an issue earlier this year when the city denied a request from Skunk Works Auto Detailing owner Linda Chamness to change the pole sign outside her business at 154 E. Washington St. that advertises an express lube and filter shop that previously occupied the building, which was a Texaco station for many years.
Because the building was vacant for more than a year, officials determined she could not change the sign.
The city, though, could not force the building's owner, Bill Littlejohn, to tear the sign down, so it still advertises the lube shop.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.