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Carnation Girl Scout Camp to be preserved

A development rights transfer agreement will permanently preserve the 438-acre Girl Scout camp near Carnation while allowing additional residential housing density in downtown Seattle.

Under the terms of the agreement, which was made through King County's Transfer of Development Rights Program, the county received a permanent conservation easement from the Girl Scouts for its 438-acre Camp River Ranch, including half a mile of shoreline along the Tolt River. The easement is free.

City Investors II, LLC, an affiliate of Vulcan Inc., paid the Girl Scouts $210,000 for 14 development rights that will allow construction of an additional 28,000 square feet of residential space at Vulcan's 2201 Westlake project, located at the southwest corner of Westlake Avenue North and Denny Way in Seattle. The 450,000-square-foot, mixed-use project, which includes 121 condominiums, 300,000 square feet of office space and 19,000 square feet of retail space, is currently in pre-development and is expected to break ground this year.

"This agreement helps keep rural areas rural by allowing a financial return to rural property owners while providing additional housing in Seattle," said King County Executive Ron Sims, who announced the deal on Wednesday, Jan. 18.

"As our region grows, incentive programs like this will serve us well by preserving our quality of life and also meeting increased need for development," Sims said.

King County's voluntary TDR Program helps rural property owners sell development rights to urban landowners who are seeking additional residential density. The program protects rural lands for farming, forestry, open space and habitat for threatened or endangered species, while allowing increased residential density in urban areas.

"Camp River Ranch has been the entry point for generations of girls to the wonders of our natural environment and the experiences these girls have gained have helped to sustain an ethic of environmental stewardship for these girls," said Grace Chien, executive director of Girl Scouts-Totem Council. "King County's TDR program and our partner at City Investors gave us just the vehicle to not only protect this valuable land asset, but put it to work to assure that outdoor education experiences can be provided to many more girls today and in the future."

More information on King County's TDR program is available at http://dnr.metrokc.gov/wlr/tdr/ on the Internet.

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