Spader Bay Property on City Council Agenda

The Potential Acquisition of Spader Bay is Contentious

by Richard Uhlhorn

Tonight’s City Council meeting (6 p.m. Council Chambers) might prove to be a contentious meeting. There has been a growing swell on Social Media against the City’s desire to potentially purchase 9.8 acres of property at Spader Bay.

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This is an aerial view of Spader Bay taken several years ago. The line surrounding the property is what the City is looking at purchasing and improving for an estimated $1 million dollars.

The property sits just west of and above the Spader Bay residential area and is extremely steep, rocky and, at this time, landlocked.

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The Backstory:

This property has been for sale over a period of years and is a part of the City’s efforts to find more Public Access for the community. In its efforts to look at this property for its potential for a public park, recreation and open space with a public trail system, the City Council has authorized the expenditure of $25,000 for J.A. Brennan and Associates to explore potential public access sites around the City Limits that have been shut off to the public for years.

J.A. Brennan has been retained to develop concept plans including a plan for the Spader Bay property. Brennan has been retained to conduct an assessment of potential water access sites including the Spader Bay Property.

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This is an old map outlining potential public access points that were lost when the PUD raised the lake 21 feet. J.A. Brennan and Associates will look at eight of these sites and develop a concept plan for more public access to the lake.

Years ago, when the Lookout project was just beginning, Guy Evans (Ray O’Neal’s grandson) had been retained by the Lookout developer to help with the project as general manager. At that time, Evans felt that it would be easy to obtain easement access to the O’Neal property through Spader Bay. That turned out to be impossible

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As a landlocked piece of land, the City, if it purchased this property, would have to somehow find access for the public, and would have to develop the property into a usable public recreation area.

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A recent photograph of the Spader Bay property for sale.

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A closeup of the Spader Bay hillside and shoreline.

The acquisition of open space, shoreline and trails property is supported by the City’s Pros Plan of 2016 and the Lake Chelan Community Open Space Vision Plan.

Tonight’s meeting will address the potential purchase of this property with an assumption of $1 million to be spent to purchase and improve the site.

The City plan would be to use its REET (Real Estate Excise Tax) funds to pay for the debt service if the property was purchased.

Tonight’s suggested motion is to authorize the Mayor to finalize and execute a Purchase and Sale Agreement between the property owners.

It is expected that a large contingent of residents will show up to tonight’s meeting to argue against the purchase of the Spader Bay Property. The meeting begins at 6 p.m.

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