by Richard Uhlhorn
March 7, 2023 – Public Hearing – Campbell’s Highland Subdivision:
So far, it’s been a busy meeting week. It all began with a Public Hearing on Campbell’s application for its 42.3 acre development of 27 homesites adjacent to the Chelan Golf Course.
Chelan County Hearing Examiner Andrew Kottkamp presided over the hearing which didn’t last over 40 minutes.
No one from the public spoke at the meeting, so Kottkamp will rely on Chelan Planning Department’s recommendation for approval and the written comments from individuals for or against and agencies.
“I will make my decision within 10 working days,” said Kottkamp who also stated that it would be final. Anyone who wishes to appeal the decision will have 21 days from the final decision.
Charlie Underwood, Campbell’s representative told Kottkamp that he had reviewed the Staff Report and conditions of approval for the 27 lots. “We went over quite a few issues with Planning and Public Works,” said Underwood. He thanked both departments for their efforts.
The applicant, when they develop the subdivision, will be required to provide pedestrian connectivity from their development all the way to the Hwy-150 roundabout.
It was also noted that a new winery associated with the development, but under different owners is undergoing commercial review at this time.
There are no current plans by the Campbell’s to begin construction immediately.
March 7, 2023 City Council Workshop:
There were three topics on the City’s Tuesday workshop agenda; a City Website update, a Public Works GIS/GPS/Assest Management report, and a Scoping report on the HDCA downtown revitalization project by Consultant Tom Beckwith and his associates.
City Clerk Peri Gallucci told the Council and staff that she and Deputy Clerk Cali Taylor had spent hundreds of hours to get the City’s new public friendly website ready to launch. “We may need some more changes, but it has been a lot of work and a lot of fun,” said Gallucci. “It will be very helpful for our citizens.”
Couch took the workshop through the draft website. “There are six widgets (buttons) to take visitors to their desired area within the City,” she said.
Councilman Peter Jamtgaard asked how will people know what’s down the page, and complained that citizens might not drag down to find a calendar. He felt the calendar should be front and center, but City Administrator Wade Farris replied that the Peri and Cailey had worked really hard on the website. “This is pretty simple,” he stated. “I don’t know how much simpler it can be. The one’s I have looked at have been pretty similar. My hat’s off to the staff.”
Gallucci added that during the development process they had looked at hundreds of websites and stated that the new website’s help citizens find what they are looking for within the City government. She also said that the City Code functionality might be a couple of month’s down the road.
Asset Management program:
Public Works Director Jake Youngren, Engineering Technician Jackson Engstrom and Engineer Travis Denham gave a presentation on the ongoing efforts to transfer all of the Public Works records in a digital form that can be accessed by staff, whether in the field or office.
“This has happened over the last 24 months,” said Youngren. “It’s pretty exciting.”
Engstrom described how the department is utilizing different satellites do develop the City’s digital GIS Map. The satellites being used include American, European and Japanese units.
Each of the Public Works foremen have I-Pads so they can access data on-site. “This data is also accessible on cell phones,” stated Engstrom. Youngren used a three day search for a buried manhole as an example of that will be corrected by utilizing GIS latitude/longitude information to locate services. “That’s just a glimpse of what we are doing.”
The Asset Management program also follows labor, equipment and materials. Deham described how the GIS system is used to locate valves and pipes in the system.
Youngren finished the presentation by telling those present. “We love this stuff.”
Boyd Road Property:
Mayor Bob Goedde said Chelan County has two parcels they want to get rid of. One of those parcels is an old five acre gravel pit that has been offered to Chelan for $115,000.
Goedde said the County wants the total amount paid up front and requires that Chelan put affordable housing on that five acres within the next five years. If that doesn’t happen, the property reverts back to the County, but $115,000 is lost to the City.
Godde stated that the City is extremely disappointed in the County’s demands. Wade Ferris said the City will pull the plug on the deal and let the County put the property up for auction. “We don’t want to slam the door but are not excited,” said Goedde. He also said he’s not all that thrilled with the Chelan Housing Trust. Ferris said there could be an opportunity to partner with the Wenatchee Housing Authority to build affordable apartments on the property.
Historic Downtown Chelan Association revitalization:
Tom Beckwith – Beckwith Consulting, and three of his associates were on hand to give the City an overview of the scoping exercise they will be conducting for the HDCA’s Downtown Revitalization Project.
Beckwith told the Council that its work will take 18 to 21 months to develop its scoping documents that will include open houses for the public to weigh in on the project, estimated costs, financing options and complete bid documents.
Beckwith said staff would be working with businesses and property owners. “We can hopefully anticipate what the future is bringing,” said Beckwith. “There will be an older population, more electric cars, scooters and bikes.” Beckwith wants the exercise to develop not only what works now, but also to anticipate future needs.
One of the more contensious issues has been the proposal to expand (widen) downtown sidewalks. These are issues Beckwith will be dealing with as they go through the exercise.
Beckwith told the Council and staff that if they had any questions to contact Aimee Sheridan -executive director, of the HDCA. She can be reached at 509-682-4322 or by email at email@example.com.