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Fennel Creek Committee gets look at Corliss plan

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By Dennis Box

The Courier-Herald

The Corliss family has put a development plan on the table for their property across from the Target site on the Sumner-Buckley Highway.

The 250 acres owned by Scott Corliss, his father Harry and Michael Quigg is part of a 333-acre parcel known as U-8.

"I think it's a great plan," Scott Corliss said. "There are parks and ball fields, it protects Fennel Creek, and there is a nice sub-division with large lots. It will be nice."

The U-8 land was added to Bonney Lake's urban growth area (UGA) by the County Council in November 2003. The UGA amendments would have allowed Bonney Lake to annex the land.

The amendments were appealed by 1000 Friends of Washington (now known as Futurewise), an urban growth watchdog group, and the state's Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development. The council voted in June 2004 to rescind the UGA amendments.

The Fennel Creek Advisory Committee was set up to work out a solution for appropriate use of the U-8 parcel, which is considered an environmentally sensitive area because Fennel Creek flows along its border.

A solution that will satisfy both the owners and committee members has been a conundrum since last summer, when Corliss rejected a plan put forward by the committee.

Corliss' new proposal has been presented to the committee, according to Pierce County Planning Manager Chip Vincent.

"They presented the proposal about three weeks ago," Vincent said. "We are in the process of negotiating. We will present our concerns and I expect Scott will come back with a counter proposal. We want a plan that is acceptable to the property owner."

The end game, according to Vincent, is the land is annexed into the city and developed predictably.

"There has been a lot of political pressure not to develop this land," Corliss said. "If some of these groups don't want it developed then buy it from us. My dad spent his whole life buying property. Why is he being punished for wanting to develop it? It's not fair for people to try and play keep-away with our property."

Vincent said the county wants a blue print on how the land will be developed and placement of ball fields.

"Ball fields can work," Vincent said. " It depends on the type of ball field and where they are located."

Dennis Box can be reached at dbox@courierherald.com.

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