by Richard Uhlhorn
Campbell Resort’s latest development iteration for its property located above Riverwalk Park calls for a 24 unit motel with a swimming pool to be built. This plan came under attack at the Tuesday evening City Council meeting on August 10 when several residents of the neighborhood voiced their concerns to City Council members.
Christy Nielsen, a long time resident of Chelan told Council members that the entire neighborhood would be severely impacted by Campbell’s development. Citing the neighborhood as one of Chelan’s oldest, Nielsen said, “Twenty-four units is inappropriate and will impact water, sewer and traffic. The only access to this property is through the neighborhood.”
She also mentioned the traffic issues with the middle school/high school with parents, teachers, students and buses. “It also will impact Riverwalk Park,” she added. “It will erode the quality of life in the neighborhood.”
Nielsen remarked that she is not against responsible development and cited the new apartment complex along 97A that hasn’t impacted the neighborhood. “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should,” Nielsen stated.
Planning Director Craig Gildroy urged Nieslen to write a letter to the Planning Department as a part of their record. “There will be a public hearing on this development in the future,” said Gildroy.
Lisa Garvich, another resident of the neighborhood and an active opponent of Campbell’s proposed development stated she shared the same concerns as Christy Nielsen. She told the council that the development would affect the entire community.
She accused the Planning Department of doing the bare minimum to notify residents and citing that residents within 300 feet of the proposed development are the only ones who receive notification letters. “It doesn’t take in the entire neighborhood.”
She would like to prompt more notification of developments on the City’s website, Facebook page and not have it buried where it is hard to find. A public reader board has been proposed to notify citizens of issues in the community. Mayor Goedde remarked that a reader board would cost $25,000.
Garvich stated that Friends of Chelan believe the city has not done enough to inform the community about this project. Many residents are unaware and therefore are not being afforded the opportunity to participate in the public comment period, which addresses all concerns relative to the environmental impacts a project of this size will have on our community writes Garvich.
We do not feel these minimum requirements adequately help to make the community aware and despite our efforts to ask the city to do more, time is running out for residents to participate in the process if they desire to.
A spokesman for the Earley family said they were not opposed to development, but were opposed to the Campbell proposal. He said that the City should take into consideration the entire residential community being effected. “I cannot fathom a motel in our neighborhood,” he said. His frustration is that the neighborhood is one of the treasures within the city.
Mayor Goedde remarked that the City is run by codes and mentioned the 280 apartments planned out by Walmart.
The public comment period for the Campbell development ends on Friday August 27, 2021. Comments should be sent to the City of Chelan Planning Department.