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Considering the Enumclaw Thomas Farm land
There may be a solution for a vexing issue concerning a 155-acre farm on state Route 410 inside the Enumclaw city limits.
The site is the Thomas Farm at 123 Roosevelt Ave. In 1990 King County purchased the development rights under the county Farmland Preservation Program, prior to the Growth Management Act.
The issue for the city is, the farm is one of the only farmland preservation parcels inside a city.
City officials through the years have looked for ways to convert the site for urban use.
In 2007 Mayor John Wise sent a letter to King County Executive Ron Sims stating, “Operation of a dairy farm on the Thomas Farm has become problematic due to encroaching urban development. Active farming on the Thomas Parcel is incompatible with surrounding property uses as well.”
Changing the designation of the property would call for a countywide vote and a comprehensive plan change.
King County Councilman Reagan Dunn said he plans to bring the Thomas Farm change forward.
Dunn said changing the designation would be challenging, but is possible.
Enumclaw Mayor Liz Reynolds said her vision would be to convert the farm into a agriculture-tourism attraction for the city.
“People I represent always say don’t lose our charm,” Reynolds said. “This could play to economic development for our community in a manner conducive to our heritage.”
Reynolds said she would “hate to see a beautiful pastoral setting (like the Thomas Farm) turned into houses. We all have to put our thinking caps on. We have to think in the future where our revenues will come from. As a mayor I have to find new models to raise revenues without raising taxes.”