The efforts to save the Ballard P-Patch from development have taken another step forward, with the King County Council recommending allocation of funds to help the gardeners buy their half-acre plot.
The King County Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to recommend that the Conservation Futures program award funding to the P-Patch in order to help them purchase the property, as well as the adjacent property, thus protecting it all as an urban natural area.
The cost to buy the small garden plot is $1.95 million. While the council legislation doesn’t outright fund the purchase of the property, it “expresses the council’s interest in preserving the property and directs the CFT program to prioritize funding for the project.”
The CFT program uses funding from the Conservation Futures tax levy, which sometimes uses matching funds from parks levy proceeds to conserve open space lands through a public application process.* The Ballard P-Patch stakeholders would still be required to submit a full application and wait for the CFT advisory committee to review the request. Once the CFT committee makes its recommendations to the King County Council and Executive, a final decision will be made.
If it’s approved in July, the sale will move forward, and the deed will likely be held by GROW Northwest, which owns a number of other community gardens around the city.
The county funding would cover a substantial part of the cost, but must be met by a 1:1 cash match, Ballard P-Patch Leadership Chair Cindy Krueger tells My Ballard. The funds are not released until those matches are met,” so we have a multi-year effort ahead of us,” she says.*
*Editorial update for clarification