By Richard Uhlhorn
Last Tuesday’s Manson Community Council preceded the Hearing Examiner’s meeting on Wednesday, November 16.
Andy Kottkamp, Chelan County hearing examiner, had several Manson issues to consider during his hearing on Wednesday.
Two of these issues were residential developments; the 66 lot Sundance Estates on 9+ acres and a 14 lot Summerset Vista Crest development north of the Sundance property.
At the Community Council meeting, Chairwomen Kari Sorenson asked Brian Patterson for an update. Patterson stated that he had talked to the County and their comments were confusing. “The Staff Report was not what I expected… there was no mention of old regulations.”
Patterson went on to state that the current County Code requires a minimum lot size of 10,000 sq. ft. but Sundance is asking for lot sizes from 2,077 sq. ft. to 6,462 sq. ft. with access off Hwy. 150 and a private road to the north. Based on the staff report received, Patterson said, “I don’t know how the public can evaluate this… I’m just as confused.”
The Sundance project has been a major concern with the both the Council and public throughout the north shore of Lake Chelan.
Patterson wrote a letter to Hearing Examiner Kottkamp on May 15 addressing the SEPA review on the project. In his November 14 letter to Kottkamp he stated that he had requested the Staff Report on three different dates but had no response from the County Planning Staff. He had to get the staff report from the Manson Community Council.
His letter to Kottkamp stated that the County obviously didn’t want the public or Kottkamp to understand “how it is that this project is supposedly compliant with Chelan County Code which based on lot sizes requested, it isn’t.” Patterson added to his letter that the project clearly cannot be approved.
On Wednesday, November 16, Kottkamp called the hearing to order and heard several other issues before him before opening the hearing on the Sundance and Summer Crest development proposals.
“I have lots of locals commenting on this project and these comments are a part of the record,” said Kottkamp.
The staff gave their confusing report on lot sizes and an existing zone change based on a December 23,1996 code. Interim Director Dianna Walters came to the staff rescue and tried to explain the density issues which were as clear as mud.
The project manager for Sundance Estates said it was their intention to build single family houses, put in all infrastructure including storm water retention ponds. “We have no plans to allow Short Term Rentals,” he said.
Kottkamp replied that the developer has the burden of proof to address all issues covered in the staff review including the contaminated soil issues. “The proper procedures will be monitored,” said Kottkamp.
Kottkamp opened the hearing for public comment, but none was forthcoming. “I will have my determination in 10 days.”
Summerset Vista also had no public comment.
Manson Community Council continued:
Missing from the meeting was Kathy Blume and Gordon Lester.
The three council members present; Kari Sorenson, Cindy Smith and John Frolker unanimously removed Kathy Blum from her seat on the council for non-compliance with Council bylaws.
Lester’s term is coming to a close and the council will have to elect someone to his position. Blume has two more years remaining on her seat, so the counci will have to appoint someone to her seat.
They decided to kick the bylaws for discussion at the next meeting.
Speeding was discussed on Manson Blvd. and Boetzke Avenue. The speed limit is posted at 25 mph but vehicles including fruit trucks commonly speed up to 40 mph on Manson Blvd at the Boetzke Avenue intersection creating a dangerous situation.
“It’s only a matter of time before someone is injured there,” said a resident who lives on that intersection. “We need to put a camera in there and have the Sheriff’s Department start writing tickets.”
Frolker said that perhaps a discussion with Manson Growers would be helpful. “It’s something the Sheriff needs to address. Perhaps they could put their portable radar machine there.” Sorenson added that a letter could be written addressing the issue and have it posted to the Council’s Facebook page and on the Manson Tribune website.
Sorenson reported that Gordon Lester would be retiring from the Council and that the Council needs to appoint someone to his chair and for Blume’s chair.
The Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce’s move into Manson across the street from the Manson Chamber of Commerce was brought up. The Council members and others were curious as to why the Lake Chelan Chamber would move an office into Manson.
City Council member John Olson said he’d found out that the Chamber signed a $3,000 per month three year lease on the property and planned to have it manned 8 hours a day, seven days a week.
Olson also remarked that he asked the Chelan Chamber’s executive director Mike Steele to forgo advertising in the valley because the valley can’t take care of the visitors that are coming already. He asked that some of the 3 percent money be used for tourism related infrastructure which is now allowed by law.