County Council approves Treemont bonds

KING COUNTY - The Metropolitan King County Council has approved the sale of Limited Tax General Obligation bonds that will be used to finance the purchase of what was to be the Treemont housing development near Fall City.

Earlier this summer the council approved the appropriation of more that $8 million to purchase from Port Blakely, the owner of the Treemont property, a conservation easement of 245 acres, originally slated for more than 190 homes.

"We're stopping suburban sprawl from creeping up into the Cascades," said Councilman Larry Phillips. "Purchasing the conservation easement ensures that there will be room for some additional homes while protecting rural character, open space and wildlife habitat in the Patterson Creek Watershed."

Approval of the bonds ends a 14-year debate over the proposed development that found two community groups opposing the project.

In partnership with the Cascade Land Conservancy - a nonprofit organization that preserves open space in the Puget Sound region - 145 acres will be preserved as open space. The remaining 100 acres will be developed as 30 lots of low-density residential space. The sale of the bonds will be used to finance the purchase. Conservation Future Funds and the Real Estate Excise Tax will be used to pay the debt service on the bonds.

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