by Richard Uhlhorn
MaY 18, 2022
The Manson community is beginning to see the light. An estimated 40 people showed up in person at the Manson Community Council meeting on Tuesday evening, May 17, with most attending to hear about or complain about the proposed 66 lot Sundance Development just east of the Casino/Old Mill Bay intersection with Hwy. 150.
Many in the community are seriously concerned with the unmitigated taking place along the 150 corridor. Over the past couple of months, concerns have been raised with the Bluewater Terrace development and now the Sundance development which, according to Brian Patterson’s research will potentially add another 63 vehicles per hour during peak months to the highway.
Transportation issues is a huge concern with a community that has only one real egress out of the valley unless they want to drive up and over, eventually entering the highway off Boyd Road.
Transportation isn’t the only issue with the proposed “Planned Development” at Sundance. Patterson told the assembled crowd that the project lies on “Legacy Orchard Land” that has been farmed over the first half of the century which brings up the major issue of lead/arsenic levels in the ground.
Soil samples have been taken, according to Patterson, who has been at the forefront of getting the DOE to deal with lead/arsenic situations, but the County hasn’t provided the results and have apparently indicated that the project could be determined of non-significance. “They are required by law to provide the public with the soil sample resuts.”
Mr. Pittman, who has the pear and apple orchard adjacent to the development said he expects the developer to recognize that he has a right to farm. With the development bordering his property by only 30 feet, Pittman said, “They will be getting wet (with spray) and I spray a lot during the summer months.”
The planned development allows the developer an increased lot density from 40 lots to 66 smaller lots that many say will make it into another Lookout. However, as a planned development, only long term residential home sites are allowed with no Short Term Rentals.
The developer is also required to provide two ingress/egress avenues which include traffic through the Summer Breeze development and Hwy. 150.
Council member Kathy Blum talked about the many different projects that had been proposed for that property but eventually failed until this developer applied for the Sundance Estates project. “Nobody at planning has ever shown up for a meeting. We need to get the (County) Planning Department here,” she said. “When I suggested that to a planner in Wenatchee, he looked like a deer caught in the headlights.”
Carl Blum, a past member of the Chelan County Planning Commission said, “They only take on what the Community Development department gives them.” He encouraged the community to write letters and include them to the County Commissioner. “She represents you, write to her.”
Public comments on the Sundance project are due by Thursday, May 19. They should be addressed to the planner on this project at firstname.lastname@example.org. CC the County Commissioners: email@example.com,
Chairwoman Kari Sorenson said, “We can’t do anything. We need you guys to write letters and to stop being apathetic.” She also mentioned that County Commissioner Tiffany Gering has not come to a meeting after being repeatedly invited despite the fact that she lives in Manson. “She promised to come to all meetings and after three, we’ve never seen her again.”
Sorenson is tentatively setting up a Community Forum at 6 p.m. on May 31 at the Manson Grange Hall which will include Interim Community Development Director Deanna Walter, Planner Alex White, Jorge Orchard, and developer Ken Del Duca.
In other business:
Sheriff Brian Burnett came to the Council meeting to explain the new Code Enforcement program under the department. The Sheriff’s Department has entered into a contract and is hiring three civil servants to enforce the Codes of Chelan County including STRs (Short Term Rentals). These individuals will have undergone background checks and will be either trained and/or already have extensive code enforcement backgrounds.
However, for disturbances like noise infractions, the public should still call RiverCom at 911 or 509-663-9111 if it is not an emergency.
He also said that STRs should be posted at the residence and that someone must be responsible for activities at these facilities. Burnett said, “It seems that when people go on vacation, their brains are turned off.”