City prevents new housing development, instead brings NEW hiking, mountain bike park to North Bend, thanks to ‘well-planned’ partnership

City of North Bend Community and Economic Development Director Gina Estep is very excited about a brand new park coming to the city – a park that made possible because of a “well-planned partnership” with a common goal as the end result.

It all started with a piece of property near the exit 31 interchange – 32 acres that was slated for a development of 95 residential homes.

Enter the partnership.

The City of The City of North Bend partnered with Si View Metropolitan Park District and King County to purchase the acreage that contains land Estep describes as containing “high quality environmental features including mature forests, wetlands, creeks, steep topography and a glacial erratic rock feature.”

Estep explained via email that the purpose of the purchase was to preserve the property and its healthy ecosystem – land located along the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Scenic Byway of Interstate 90 –  and to provide North Bend residents a community park that will include hiking and biking trails, a King County regional trailhead to over 100,000 acres of public land and environmental education opportunities.

How the partnership worked

North Bend created a multi-jurisdictional partnership between the Si View Metropolitan Park District and King County Parks, which included a financial commitment of $250,000 from each.  Those partner commitments made the City eligible for two different grants: a $1 million Conservation Futures Grant and a $250,000 Land Water Conservation Grant.

The city got the $1 million grant, but not the smaller one – so the partners went back to work to find the additional needed funds to secure the land purchase. In the end, both Si View and North Bend contributed another $50,000 and King County reallocated $150,000 of Park Levy Funds to seal the deal.

So – the Trust for Public Lands purchased the land from the property owner for $2.24 million and then sold it to the City of North for $2 million, which means the trust also contributed about $240,000 to make the park a reality.

From Partnership idea to Ownership Reality

Estep said this partnership and land acquisition will ensure contiguous public ownership connecting the community of North Bend with Rattlesnake Mountain, hiking and biking trails, provide a regional trailhead for a future connector trail that will connect the City to the existing extensive trail systems, preserve a wildlife habitat and enhance the Mountains to Sound Greenway corridor.

Although grow is a real issue in North Bend, with many community members wanting to maintain the rural character and natural beauty while keeping development at bay, this partnership is proof there are things cities can do to prevent new growth when the right partners have ‘skin in the game.’

Look for future stories as this land becomes a new North Bend park.

The Mountains to Sound Greenway, Department of Natural Resources and Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance are all supporters the project. Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance has even donated 2,000 volunteer hours to the project to help build multi-use mountain bike trails.

Park Partnership Funding:

  • City of North Bend:                                    $300,000
  • Si View Metropolitan Parks:                     $300,000
  • King County Parks Levy:                           $400,000
  • CFT Grant Funds:                                       $1,000,000
  • Total:                                                            $2,000,000

 

Aerial photo of land purchased (in yellow) by City of North Bend through a partnership with KC Parks and Si View Parks.

Comments

  1. Excellent!

  2. Elena Montgomery says:

    Congratulations to Gina Estep and everybody who took part in the acquisition process!
    Fantastic!

  3. Chris Anderson says:

    You know, the Snoqualmie Hills West area would also make an excellent mountain bike park. Who would’ve thought that good old Mayor Hearing and crew would be more forward thinking than Larson and his cronies?

  4. When living in North Bend, I always wondered if the town was going to recognize the huge potential of the recreational community to contribute to the local economy. The trails are being built all around, and it’s a half field of dreams equation, “they are building it, they will come, but how will North Bend prepare to welcome and gain?” Looks like a great step in that direction!

  5. Count your blessings you have thinking people on your councils. We can’t say that holds true in Snoh. Cnty. We have a slide prone slope with an earthquake fault line under it, that the Snoh Cnty Council approved, with Terry Ryan being the tie breaker vote. A Canadian developer will create massive terracing for 112 homes, with ALL services of streets and maintenance of this terracing being the responsibility of the home owners assoc and home owners. The risk is high, and the home owners will be naive to the past problems of slides on this property. The neighborhood has challenged it all the way to superior court in King Cnty, with no positive results to preserve the green space above a salmon stream, surrounded by 100 year old evergreens. This also protects Picnic Pt Beach.

  6. What a difference…meanwhile a few miles to the north plans are progressing to develop 160+ homes plus a conference center next to the Falls…

  7. Kudos to North Bend. It’s nice to hear that instead of developing more housing they elected to do bike trails, etc. Meanwhile Snoqualmie just wants to keep building and building and once again it will be over developed just like the Highlands in Issaquah. People moved out this way to enjoy the mountains, the Falls, etc. Not to see all these homes going up like Brooklyn NY. I guess it’s all called greed.

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