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County approves Lakota land deal

Mirror staff

Federal Way is among cities benefitting from the Metropolitan King County Council’s effort to preserve open space in urban areas.

The council Monday approved allocations of Conservation Futures Funds, a program dedicated to the purchase of open space, agricultural and timberlands.

Nine projects throughout the county will receive funding, including the acquisition of wetlands near Lakota Park in Federal Way.

“This program is a guarantee that there will always be open spaces and natural areas left undisturbed and undeveloped within King County,” said Councilwoman Carolyn Edmonds, chairwoman of the council’s Natural Resources and Utilities Committee.

The ordinance approved by the council authorizes amendments to interlocal agreements with Federal Way and the cities of Auburn, Bellevue, Issaquah, Kent, North Bend and Seattle for the disbursement of the funds.

The Conservation Futures Fund is supported by a countywide property tax, which by state law can only be used to purchase open space or resource lands. While county government and incorporated city governments are the primary applicants for these funds, citizen groups and individual citizens have received Conservation Futures Funding after demonstrating the local jurisdiction is committed to helping acquire the open space. Recommendations on parcels for purchase are made by a Citizen Oversight Committee.

“These interlocal agreements are the culmination of efforts that usually start at a grass-roots level,” said Edmonds. “Long before city and county officials become involved, people in a community determine that these parcels are vital to the overall health of the community. I applaud all those who have worked to ensure that these lands will be available now and in the future.”

315722 Federal Way CFL (Lakota Wetlands Acquisition)

The Lakota Wetlands Acquisition consists of a 12-acre parcel located along 21st Avenue Southwest in Federal Way, adjacent to Lakota Park. The project allows for the expansion of Lakota Park to include natural lands for environmental education and passive recreation. The central portion of the property is primarily wetland and is urban wildlife habitat.

315711 Auburn CFL (Western Street Habitat Acquisition)

West Street Habitat acquisition: This 2-parcel, 4-acre property is primarily a meadow located on the western side of Western Street, adjacent to State Route 167. The project is adjacent to the City-owned open space to the north. A bus parking circle and lot proposed for the southerly parcel of this project may not exceed 15 percent of the project surface area and will not incur into the western half of either project parcel.

The list of Conservation Futures Fund recipients is attached.

Read more about this legislation on the King County Council’s LEGISEARCH system at http://mkcclegisearch.metrokc.gov and type in “2004-0068”

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