A legal settlement involving King County, the YWCA and neighbors of the Cedar Hills addiction-treatment center will allow a scaled-back housing project that will reunite children with parents who have been released from jail or prison.

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Parents who were once in jail or prison will be able to reunite with their children at King County’s former Cedar Hills addiction-treatment facility under an agreement with neighbors who sued to block the transitional-housing plan.

But Passage Point, as the project is known, won’t accept as many families as King County and the YWCA once planned. The legal settlement reduces its size from 70 one- and two-bedroom apartments to 46.

A neighborhood opposition group, Cedar Hills Rural Preservation Alliance, won a legal victory last year when a Snohomish County Superior Court judge said King County violated its own land-use laws by allowing the project under a 43-year-old permit issued for the treatment center.

The project was put on hold, and King County appealed the decision to the state Court of Appeals.

Sean Kronberg, president of the opposition group, said it decided to settle because the county could have gotten around a possible legal defeat by changing its laws or declaring the housing project an essential public facility.

“We’re going to turn our focus toward making it a successful project,” Kronberg said. “It’s in our neighborhood, it’s in our community. It’s going to have an impact. We’re going to try to make it a positive impact.”

The county’s director of human and community services, Jackie MacLean, said she hopes the apartments will be ready for occupancy by the end of the year. “I can’t imagine anything better than some of these children staying out of the foster-care system and being back with Mom and both Mom and the kids having the support to learn to be a family,” she said.

Although the project will be downsized, said Linda Rasmussen, director of homelessness initiatives for the YWCA, “being able to help 46 families at one time is going to be a great thing. Hopefully, once people realize what good can come out of a project like this, there will be an opportunity in other locations to replicate this.”

Located in a rural area on the edge of the county’s Cedar Hills Landfill property near Maple Valley, the YWCA-run project would provide counseling and help with parenting, job skills and addiction recovery to parents — mostly women — who have been in jail or who have been homeless.

Under the agreement signed last month and announced last week by the neighborhood group:

• Passage Point will be fenced, with a gated entry, security cameras and an alarm system.

• Persons convicted of sex crimes or serious violent crimes will not be accepted as residents.

• The YWCA will hire a staff member to act as a liaison between families and the Issaquah School District.

• An unused building will be demolished.

Keith Ervin: 206-464-2105 or kervin@seattletimes.com