County Council approves Treemont conservation deal

FALL CITY - The Metropolitan King County Council put an end to a 14-year debate last week when it approved a plan to allocate $8 million to purchase a conservation easement for land that was originally slated for the Treemont housing development.

Under the terms of the agreement, the council will purchase the easement for 245 acres from Port Blakely Communities, the owner of the property. In partnership with the Cascade Land Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that preserves open space in the Puget Sound Region, 145 acres will be protected as open space. The remaining 100 acres will be developed as 30 lots of low-density residential space.

The county will issue bonds using funds from the conservation's futures tax and real-estate excise tax. Cascade Land Conservancy is expected to harvest timber from a small portion of the property to pay the county back. A portion of funds from the home sales will also be given to the county.

"This is the culmination of an effort to protect this property's rural character," said Council Chair Cynthia Sullivan, co-sponsor of the ordinance. "Everyone benefits from this agreement."

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

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