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Deal reached in Treemont development debate

FALL CITY - It appears that a solution has been found in the 14-year debate over the proposed Treemont housing development near Fall City.

Last week the King County Council announced a plan that would find the proposed project's developer, Port Blakely Communities, selling the 239-acre property to the Cascade Land Conservancy for $8.8 million. The conservancy would build on the property, but nowhere near the density Port Blakely had proposed for Treemont.

Although the council still needs to approve the deal, it appears that the parties involved in the longtime debate are pleased with the plan.

"With most land-use issues there's usually one party that's happy and one that's not," said Port Blakely Communities Vice President John Adams. "With this it appears everybody will be happy."

Under the proposed agreement, the Cascade Land Conservancy - a private, non-profit organization that conducts voluntary transactions to preserve natural and open space lands in urban and rural communities - would buy the land from Port Blakely and sell a conservation easement to the county for $8.7 million. Development on the property would be limited by the county to 30 homes on large lots in an area about 100 acres in size and would contain a large mix of open space.

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