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Thursday, January 7, 2010

AFLC plans open houses to answer questions

Ellensburg Daily Record - Thursday, January 7, 2010 1:33 PM PST

AFLC plans open houses to answer questions

staff writer

CLE ELUM — The company hoping to develop a self-contained community on property it owns in the Teanaway has scheduled two open houses aimed at answering concerns about the plan.

The meetings are scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 14, at the Homestead Barbecue, 801 state Route 970 in Cle Elum and from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, at the Kittitas Room in the Hal Holmes Community Center, 209 N. Ruby St., Ellensburg.

Teanaway country in autumn

David Bowen, president of the American Forest Land Co. (AFLC), says the meetings aim both to provide information for the public and to give him a chance to hear first-hand the issues and concerns the public has about the proposed development. The company owns some 48,000 acres of what is largely timberland in the Teanaway.

Questions have swirled around the company’s plans for the area since Kittitas County began a sub-area planning process last summer at the request of the company. The process is intended to develop a long-term plan for the area’s future that respects both the area’s lifestyle and natural resources, including wildlife and wildlife habitat.

The sub-area planning process screeched to an abrupt halt in November when the Kittitas County Board of Commissioners temporarily suspended the effort after a member of the public claimed binders containing documents relating to the company’s previous plans for the area had gone missing from the county’s Community Development Services office. A police investigation ensued. The binders, which AFLC had gotten back from CDS after filing a written request last March, have been turned over to the police and then referred to the county Prosecutor’s Office.

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