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City on list for sex offender housing

NORTH BEND - King County officials are considering a remote site off Exit 38 as a possible candidate for a sex offender halfway house.

State officials are looking at 13 new locations as potential sites for the facility, which the state is being required to build by a federal court order. Two King County sites, located in Federal Way and SeaTac, were targeted late last year. A site near Carnation was under consideration until it was removed from the list this year.

Strong opposition to those southern King County sites has lead state officials to consider the new locations.

Last week King County council members Julia Patterson of SeaTac, and Pete von Reichbauer of Federal Way, urged the state, via a letter to the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), to consider the North Bend site near Southeast Grouse Ridge Road. The site is located about six miles from Ken's Truck Town.

"It is far removed from schools, parks, bus stops and day-care centers," the duo wrote. "While the area is remote, it still affords easy access to treatment centers, employment opportunities and other essential requirements the federal court and the state Legislature have established."

Both Patterson and von Reichbauer have proposed housing sites located in their district.

North Bend City Administrator George Martinez said word of the issue came via a call from the media last week, and not the state agency.

"We're a little surprised that DSHS didn't notify us that this site was on the list," Martinez said.

Martinez said the location was "just not appropriate" for a number of reasons, including its proximity to trail heads, the lack of services near the site and the lengthy time needed for police response.

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

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