Residents weigh in on Tollgate

NORTH BEND - Ball fields, a play area for kids, a structure for events such as a farmers market and a connection to regional trails were among the top choices of what residents want to see as part of the Tollgate Farm Master Plan.

About 50 residents attended an open house Oct. 22 to let city officials, consultants and members of two committees charged with helping shape the plan know what they wanted included when the 48-acre central meadow of the farm is revamped.

The central meadow of Tollgate Farm was purchased by the city and King County in 2001 - the city owns nine acres outright, with the remaining meadow property purchased as a joint effort with the county - for the purpose of preserving the area. The surrounding farm area, about 390 acres, is owned by King County and is subject to strict development regulations that would make any development difficult due to environmentally sensitive areas.

Consultants from the Seattle branch of EDAW, a land and community planning consulting firm, presented the open house attendees with two alternatives for the area. Although no decisions have been made regarding the property, said Sandy Fischer, director of design studio for EDAW, the conceptual drawings were intended to act as a discussion catalyst.

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