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Match Waiver for Opportunity Area projects

A match waiver policy was adopted in 2018. A “match waiver” means that CFT funding could pay 100% of the eligible project acquisition costs.

This match waiver policy was designed to help fund projects that would provide open space in the most under-served parts of the county, where “past history of inequities, discrimination, injustices, and limited regional investment is evident today." Providing a match waiver is intended to help “eliminate disparities in access to public open spaces and trails in communities with the greatest and most acute needs.” (cited from the King County Land Conservation Advisory Group, Final Report)

Key Steps for Applicants

  • Match waiver/opportunity area projects must show community engagement, including two letters of support with the application.
  • All applicants for the match waiver/opportunity area determination must submit "Supplemental Form #1" on the application.
  • When you meet with the Committee, please be prepared to talk about how your local government is working on equitable community development and preventing displacement of residents in the neighborhood where you propose to add greenspace.

Qualifying for the Match Waiver/Opportunity Area Determination

A project may qualify for a match waiver if it is determined to be in an “opportunity area.” There are two methods by which a location may be determined to be an opportunity area.

Method 1: Meeting Three Mapped Criteria

Project is located in a part of the county with the lowest incomes, highest hospitalization rates, and no nearby open spaces (as mapped by King County DNRP).

A map showing these general locations may be found here. Please contact Ingrid Lundin, Conservation Futures Coordinator, for additional information.

Described in code as (KCC 26.12.003J):

"1. Areas within King County that:

  1. are located in a census tract in which the median household income is in the lowest one-third for median household income for census tracts in King County;
  2. are located in a ZIP code in which hospitalization rates for asthma, diabetes and heart disease are in the highest one-third for ZIP codes in King County; and
  3. are within the Urban Growth Boundary and do not have a publicly owned and accessible park or open space within one-quarter mile of a residence, or are outside the Urban Growth Boundary and do not have a publicly owned and accessible park or open space within two miles of a residence."

Method 2: Qualitative Method

CFT Committee determines that residents in the project area, or the population served by the project, experience disproportionately limited access to open spaces, and demonstrated hardships such as low income, poor health, and other social and environmental factors.

Described in code as (KCC 26.12.003J):

"2. Areas where the project proponent or proponents can demonstrate, and the advisory committee determines, that residents living in the area, or the populations the project is intended to serve, 

  • disproportionately experience limited access to public open spaces and 
  • experience demonstrated hardships including, but not limited to, low income, poor health and social and environmental factors that reflect a lack of one or more conditions for a fair and just society as defined as "determinants of equity" in K.C.C. 2.10.210."

14 determinants of equity

The conditions that King County has identified that each of us need to thrive:

  • Access to affordable, healthy, local food;
  • Access to health and human services;
  • Access to parks and natural resources;
  • Access to safe and efficient transportation;
  • Affordable, safe, quality housing;
  • Community and public safety;
  • Early childhood development;
  • Economic development;
  • Equitable law and justice system;
  • Equity in county practices;
  • Family wage jobs and job training;
  • Healthy built and natural environments
  • Quality education;
  • Strong, vibrant neighborhoods.
14 determinants of equity infographic