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Services for farmers in King County, Washington

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Sustainable agriculture in King County, Washington

Summary of Tall Chief RFP Development and Evaluation
Request for Proposal for sale or lease of Tall Chief Farm

Tall Chief Farm, Snoqualmie Valley, Washington
Tall Chief Farm, Snoqualmie Valley

Tall Chief Farm (formerly Tall Chief Golf Course)
1313 W Snoqualmie River Road SE
Fall City, WA 98024

The Tall Chief property was a dairy farm until approximately 1950, when it was developed as a golf course and resort.  In 2013, a proposal to develop the site into an 18-unit residential subdivision was approved by King County.  In response to community concerns about the impact of such a development on the adjacent farms, the farm economy, and the rural character of the valley, King County purchased the property to protect it as a farm and to increase farming in the Snoqualmie Agriculture Production District (APD).

In 2014, King County conducted a competitive process for proposals to return Tall Chief to an economically sustainable farming operation.  The Request for Proposals (RFP) was developed with significant community input, including public meetings and the opportunity to comment on a conceptual draft before the final RFP was issued.

  • 12/17/2013 Purchase of Tall Chie f Golf Course
  • 3/20/2015 Tour of site and buildings with farmers to discuss ideas for site
  • April/May 2014 Conceptual Draft of RFP developed
  • 6/10/2014 Conceptual Draft of RFP distributed to interested community members including: SVPA, Sno-Valley Tilth, King County Agriculture Commission, Kitchen Cabinet, and other interested Valley landowners.
  • 6/24/2014 Public Meeting on site to gather comments on the draft RFP
  • 7/10/2014 Meeting on site as part of Snoqualmie Forum Tour; described goals and process to date
  • July 2014 – Developed the Final RFP, including:
  • 8/12/2014 Issued RFP
  • 8/18/2014 Site inspection opportunity for interested bidders
  • 8/21/2014 Pre-Submittal Conference at Fall City Library
  • 9/24/2014 Additional site inspection opportunity (added at request of potential proposers  who were unable to attend the first site inspection opportunity)
  • 8/28/2014 Posted large sign at site entrance explaining the goal to get the site into farming and directing interested bidders to Procurement
  • 10/14/2014  RFP response due date

The County received three proposals, which were evaluated using the following criteria and scoring:

  • Experience and ability to carry out the proposal (30 pts);
  • Economically and environmentally sustainable agriculture (30 pts);
  • Maximum use/benefit of the upland area and/or existing infrastructure (20 pts);
  • Farmer/farm business vocational opportunities (10 pts);
  • Education opportunities (10 pts); and
  • Financial benefit to King County (5 pts).

The evaluation committee consisted of three county staff members and three community representatives from the King County Agriculture Commission, King Conservation District, and the Northwest Agriculture Business Center.

The evaluation included review of the written proposals and interviews with each of the proposers. The committee considered both in rating each proposal. The committee completed its evaluation and selected the proposal that they felt best met the criteria in the RFP. The County is now in negotiations with the successful proposer for sale of the property with a permanent conservation easement that will allow only farming, forestry and open space uses.  Once the negotiations are completed and a purchase and sale agreement is signed the County will announce the results.

For more information on the RFP and supplementary information about the site, please refer to the Tall Chief supplemental documents page.

For information about the Tall Chief Farm Request for Proposal, please contact Kathy Creahan, Agriculture/Forestry Program Manager, King County Water and Land Resources Division.