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Preston's vision realized with plan

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PRESTON - The community of Preston has made a firm statement to Washington that encompasses its history and natural beauty: Development stops here.

Preston is celebrating the completion of its Preston Vision, a six-year plan that has preserved 694 acres as open space surrounding the small community. Plots of land as small as 10 acres and as large as 425 acres that are worth a combined total of $11.9 million were purchased with preservation in mind.

The Preston Community Club helped draft the Preston Vision in 1997 and approached then newly-elected King County Executive Ron Sims with it. The plan was formed in light of the oncoming urbanization from the Eastside and centered around four principals the community wanted to see in Preston: active recreation, cultural heritage, education and open space. They outlined specific parcels of land that were historically and environmentally significant and began working on what could be done to save them.

"He [Sims] came out and walked through the community and saw the growth and development, some of which he had passed as a council member," said Doug McClelland, president of the Preston Community Club. "He then saw what we were trying to do."

What set the plan apart from other preservation efforts was the collaboration with other groups that had an interest in Preston's future. Tom Bernard, who owns and runs the I-90 Preston Industrial Park in Preston, said that before the plan was drafted any proposed development in the area met immediate opposition from groups worried that Preston was going to become one large office park. Bernard said that the business owners were as interested in keeping the area from becoming another Issaquah as anyone else. Once the businesses were included in the planning for preservation, everyone was able to get along when issues of development were brought up.

For the complete story, pick up a copy of this week's Valley Record

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