by Richard Uhlhorn
Short Term Rentals:
Chelan County Commissioner Tiffany Gering attended the Manson Community Council meeting on Tuesday, April 20, to discuss a variety of issues facing the community.
Regarding Short Term Rentals (STRs), Gering stated she had met with Jim Brown in the Planning Department and they were able to come up with some regulations for the planning commission board to consider at its May 7 meeting. “Both sides were kind of unhappy,” she said. “We are looking forward to getting regulations in place to move forward.”
Gering suggested that everyone visit the Chelan County Community Development page on the Internet. “The Planning Commission does extensive work. They read everything line by line. I’m not concerned at all… they will make good recommendations.”
The STR issue has been developing over several years with many complaints by neighboring residents regarding loud parties and no regard for peaceful coexistence.
Council Chair Kari Sorenson brought up the use of GIS for locating STRs that are not in compliance. Gering said she had talked to Brown and County Assessor Deanna Walter. Walter said it would be a great help to figure out how to access those STRs.
According to Brown, implementation of code enforcement could take awhile. “They are trying to work through 300 permit applications,” said Gering. “Jim is hiring (help) as soon as possible.”
Gering told the Council that County Public Works is setting up a committee to explore signage and scenic pull outs for people to view or take photographs from.
The Council brought up the issue of increased traffic in Manson and would like to see a 4-way stop sign installed at Green Avenue and Wapato Way. “We pay a lot of taxes to the County and we should be able to get some of that back.”
Gering replied to the request for stop sign by saying that a community needs to have a certain number of accidents to get a stop sign. It was suggested by Pat Hautenne. that the Community ask the Sheriff for a Speed Sign. “The Sheriff can plug in and get (traffic) data from the unit,” said Hautenne. The Manson Farmers Market held at the Grange Hall parking lot was also mentioned as problematic.
It was also noted that resident Brian Paterson said that the 20 year plan includes a bogus traffic plan that has not recognized the massive increased growth in both Manson and Chelan. The consultant reported that traffic would increase 1.5 percent each year for 20 years. It was noted that traffic has increased way beyond that projected number.
The Manson Parks Department is running a six year replacement levy for $.23 cents/per thousand. “We have been collecting less that 15 cents and are shooting for $185,000,” said boardmember Rob Campbell. “We use reserves to balance the budget.” Reserves come from launch fees and other fees generated by the park.
Manson resident Larry Pintner chimed in at the end of the meeting telling the Council that they needed to get all three County Commissioners to spend a weekend in Manson to see, “what we look at every single day.” He also felt that it was time to initiate user fees for the parks so the entire burden is not falling on the residents of Manson.
Judge Brandt approved a vacation of half of the original 25 foot right of way between the old swimming hole (now referred to as the dog park) in his court proceedings. This property has been in public use for many years. The vacation of a portion of this property went to a neighboring property owner (Buckingham Family).
The Dog Park is the only legal section of property on Lake Chelan which allows dogs to swim. It is specifically designated in Manson’s Comprehensive Plan as one of the community’s local parks.
The issue has apparently not been completely resolved at this date. Gering stated at the March meeting that she would talk to the
(Editor Note: Having followed the Shoreline Management Act, I believe it is illegal to transfer public lake front property for private use and/or ownership.) This was an important oversight by Judge Travis Brant.
Pintner remarked that the attorney regarding the dog park (old swim hole) property vacation said, “It is what it is!” Pintner added, “It is a disappointing situation ill served by the county commissioners. We need to get all the commissioners involved because she (Gering) is only one vote.”
“Why isn’t our State Representative at this meeting,” he asked. “We don’t need to write letters… we need to get aggressive.” Pintner added that as far as he is concerned, the community has an emergency situation. “It’s not business as usual…it’s a whole new world.” He would also like to see Governor Inslee visit Manson. “I don’t think our elected representatives are doing their job,” stated Pintner.
Campbell replied that the Parks Department receives 40 percent of their funding from user fees.
Manson Community Council meets every third Tuesday beginning at 6 p.m. Currently these meetings are being held on ZOOM and the connection is available on the community’s Facebook page.