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News from the Metropolitan King County Council

County Council by Councilmember Louise Miller, District 3
Several groups and individuals have contacted me over the past three years wanting to construct various facilities inside the boundaries of an Agriculture Production District (APD), such as the one located in Woodinville's Sammamish Valley, between Hollywood Hill and Kingsgate.
   The King County Comprehensive Plan established Agriculture Production Districts in an effort to preserve commercial farming in King County. King County residents have supported efforts to preserve good farmland and active farms for the value of local crops, dairy, and livestock, and for scenic and historical values.
   In 1979, voters approved a measure to buy farmland development rights, indicating a significant public commitment to preserve farmlands. Since King County residents have clearly stated their interest in preserving farmlands, the Comprehensive Plan has very clear and very strict policies pertaining to any type of construction not related to agriculture in the APDs.
   The plan states that any land used inside the APD for non-agricultural purposes must be replaced within the county's APD system. In other words, even if a church, government, or non-profit agency project was small enough that it could be built on a half-acre lot, the agency/organization attempting to build would have to purchase another half-acre of property adjacent to a county APD and deed it to the county. Not only is replacement property extremely scarce, but replacement constitutes a tremendous additional expense to any development proposal.
   As your representative on the Metropolitan King County Council, I am trying to give my constituents the best advice possible. In the current round of amendments to the Comprehensive Plan, the council has just made a very clear decision to support the policy described above. From a policy perspective, therefore, I do not think it is realistic to assume this policy will be relaxed any time soon.
   If you have questions or need more information, please do not hesitate to contact me at the Metropolitan King County Courthouse, 296-1003. My legislative aide, Paula Adams, is also available to discuss this topic with you; call 296-0308.