Ho ho ho, and more research!
I received the information packet from the listing agent. Lots of good info in there. The obvious issue from that information packet is ensuring that there is mutual respect for the Swinomish and their nearby cemetery. They apparently created somewhat of a perceived roadblock for the current sellers, and asked Island County to not allow a subdivision application to go through as presented, based on the tribe’s concerns of the parcel’s proximity to the cemetery. This concern is based upon “potentials” instead of “actual knowns” though, in that they are concerned that there “might be” burial sites on the property we are looking at.
I expect that I will need to hire an archaeologist to perform a complete survey of the entire property. That will remove the “maybes”, though of course it can’t be 100% known if something is buried somewhere on the property since the archaeologist would not be digging up the entire property. But, that’s why we hire them: for their expertise and ability to evaluate and make determinations without taking a bulldozer approach.
I made a slightly lower offer than asking price, based on the complexities of the parcel, the amount of time and money which will need to be invested to address the complexities, and the generally slow/soft market conditions right now (lots of inventory, lowering prices). The listing agent found it reasonable and a well put together offer, and she will present it to the sellers for their consideration.