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File #: 2020-0062    Version: 1
Type: Motion Status: Passed
File created: 1/28/2020 In control: Mobility and Environment Committee
On agenda: Final action: 2/25/2020
Enactment date: Enactment #: 15605
Title: A MOTION providing direction to the conservation futures advisory committee on priorities for allocating conservation futures tax levy funds.
Sponsors: Jeanne Kohl-Welles
Indexes: Conservation Futures, Land Use
Attachments: 1. Motion 15605, 2. 2020-0062_SR_BPP CFT
Staff: Tracy, Jake


Clerk 01/22/2020


A MOTION providing direction to the conservation futures advisory committee on priorities for allocating conservation futures tax levy funds.


                     WHEREAS, in RCW 84.34.010, the state Legislature "declares that it is in the best interest of the state to maintain, preserve, conserve and otherwise continue in existence adequate open space lands for the production of food, fiber and forest crops and to ensure the use and enjoyment of natural resources and scenic beauty for the economic and social well-being of the state and its citizens," and

                     WHEREAS, RCW 84.34.210 authorizes the county to acquire property rights "to protect, preserve, maintain, improve, restore, limit the future use of, or other otherwise conserve, selected open space land, farm and agricultural land, and timber land," and

                     WHEREAS, property rights acquired under this authorization are defined as conservation futures, and

                     WHEREAS, RCW 84.34.230 authorizes the use of a property tax levy to fund the acquisition of conservation futures and the maintenance and operation of acquired properties, and

                     WHEREAS, RCW 84.34.240 authorizes counties to establish a special conservation futures fund to which the levy proceeds are credited, and

                     WHEREAS, King County has established a conservation futures tax levy and fund, and

                     WHEREAS, King County is required to establish a process to help ensure, over time, that the distribution of the tax levy is throughout the county, and

                     WHEREAS, K.C.C. chapter 26.12 establishes an annual process for distribution of the tax levy to acquire open space lands, including green spaces, greenbelts, wildlife habitat and trail rights-of-way, and

                     WHEREAS, the process includes an advisory committee that makes project and funding allocation recommendations for each project to the executive, and

                     WHEREAS, the executive makes project and funding recommendations as part of the budget process, and

                     WHEREAS, K.C.C. 26.12.010 allows the council to adopt a motion providing direction to the conservation futures advisory committee on priorities for evaluating project applications, and

                     WHEREAS, K.C.C. 26.12.025 establishes criteria for conservation futures project selection, which are:  "wildlife habitat or rare plant reserve; salmon habitat and aquatic resources; scenic resources; community separator; historic or cultural resources; urban passive-use natural area or greenbelt; park, open space or natural corridor addition; and passive recreation opportunity in an area with unmet needs; and projects that seek to redress historic disparities in access to or health benefits of open space in opportunity areas.  Additional criteria may include:  educational or interpretive opportunity; impact to open space resources; feasibility, including ownership complexity, a willing seller or sellers or community support; partnerships; if the property identified in an adopted comprehensive plan, park open space, habitat, cultural resource or community plan; transfer of development rights participation; stewardship and maintenance; regional significance; adopted financial policies; and any other criteria consistent with chapter 84.34 RCW," and Motion 15513 gives additional detail on project eligibility criteria, and

                     WHEREAS, the Ballard P-Patch is a half-acre ADA-accessible urban passive-use natural area for community gardening, gathering and other activities, that has been stewarded and maintained as such for over forty years, and

                     WHEREAS, the P-Patch provides educational opportunities to the community through garden tours for local schools, and

                     WHEREAS, GROW, the nonprofit organization that operates the P-Patch, seeks to redress historic disparities by serving low-income communities through providing more than two thousand pounds of organic produce from the garden to the Ballard Food Bank each year, and

                     WHERERAS, the owner of the land on which the P-Patch and adjacent acre of parking are located has expressed the desire to sell the properties, and

                     WHEREAS, as of January 20, 2020, a fund set up by GROW to permanently protect the Ballard P-Patch had raised over $59,000 from over three hundred donors, and

                     WHEREAS, if the properties are not purchased by GROW or a public entity, the P-Patch will likely be converted into residential development, resulting in loss of the open space resource and the benefits it provides;

                     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT MOVED by the Council of King County:

                     A.  The council establishes as a priority for the conservation futures advisory committee's consideration during the annual project selection and funding recommendation process, one or more projects that includes the purchase of or property rights for the Ballard P-Patch and adjacent property, including parcels 3526039030, 3526039023 and 3526039047, to prevent the loss of, and potentially expand, the urban passive-use natural area and continue to reap the community benefits it provides, including educational opportunities and benefits to low-income community members.

                     B.  The department of natural resources and parks, water and land resources division, is requested to work with landowners and jurisdictions in which properties reflecting this priority are located, in submitting project proposals that meet this priority,

as part of the 2020 conservation futures tax levy funding selection process provided for in K.C.C. 26.12.010.