Incorporation falls by the wayside

by Richard Uhlhorn

Incorporation… it’s been discussed by various Manson Community Council’s over the years and has never raised to the level of serious consideration by any of the preceding councils.

The current Manson Community Council is once again looking at the possibility, but isn’t sure who is pushing discussion. Councilman John Frokler stated that the Council still needs to have a public forum on the issue to determine if incorporation is something that the community wishes to explore.

“I know my opinion and I’m not for it,” said Frokler. The argument for incorporation has been the possibility of self determination if  the Manson becomes an incorporated city.

Manson Council member John Frokler is against incorporation.

Manson resident Brain Patterson produced a white paper four to five years ago. Councilman Chris Willoughby stated that in order to move ahead, if in fact the community wants to incorporate, they would have to find the funding for a study to be conducted.

Frokler said, “There won’t be any funding from the County.” Willoughby replied that the Council could petition the State for funding. “The first step is determining how many people in the Urban Growth Area want to incorporate,” said Willoughby. “Chelan is growing around the lake and their city limit is now at Rocky Point,” he added.

Manson Council member Chris Willoughby stated that the County wouldn’t fund a study for incorporation, but the State might.

Chelan City Councilman John Olson also pointed out that the City’s UGA is also all the way out to Pat & Mikes. “It has been projected that 1,000 homes per year will be built in the next 10 years.”

Mike Kirk, a Manson resident, stated that he likes small town Manson. “I would like to keep what we have here instead of the County telling us.” Kirk was the originator of the current idea to study incorporation.

Willoughby replied, “We don’t really need to reinvent the wheel.” It was stated very clearly that if Manson were to incorporate, they would still have to contract with the Sherrif’s Department, Chelan County Public works and others to make it work. “It is a serious decision to make,” he said.

Incorporation is about local control, but it creates another layer of government. “I like grass roots. We can, as a community push the County (to act on our behalf),” said Frokler.

Frokler continued, “Where is the group asking for this and willing to set up a hearing.”

Willoughby added that a lot of hurdles would have to be surmounted to see if the Council and community can ever make it happen.

Manson Boulevard speeding:

Manson resident Pat Hautenne once again spoke about the speeding issue on Manson Blvd. “Vehicles coming out of Manson are traveling at 40 mph when they hit my house,” said Hautenne. However, he added that the Sheriff’s Department was ticketing drivers for approximately six hours one day and, “he was writing a ticket once every eight to 12 minutes.” He also brought up the idea of placing speed humps on Manson Blvd. which the county engineer has already said No too.

Willoughby also brought up the alley parking issue that was discussed at a previous meeting. “I had about six inches of clearance with a fire truck. There shouldn’t be any parking in the alleys.

Shoreline permit:

The Council approved a shoreline permit. It was for an existing dock replacement. Forkler said it would be an improvement over what exists there now.

Homestead rules:

Both Willoughby and Frokler attended the County Development Task Force meeting that has representatives from Leavenworth, Manson, Peshastin and Malaga along with developers, contractors, real estate and agriculure.

The issue at the meeting was closing the current loopholes that allow residential lots to be divided and re-divided. A final draft of the decisions from the committee will be sent to the County Commissioners for approval.

“There were some good recommendations for R 2, 5 and 10 throughout the unincorporated county. “We talked about zone options and focused on flexibility and the Homestead act,” said Frokler.

The Homestead Act allows farmers to cut out their homes from their orchards if they lose the orchard or sell it. There are 6,700 substandard parcels in Chelan County. Anything under 2.5 acres is considered a substandard parcel. The task force corrected the loopholes in the RR codes.

The Manson Community Council meets every third Tuesday in the Manson Park Building beginning at 6 p.m. They encourage residents to attend because the more people in the room the more power the Council has to make changes within the County.

Update on Incorporation:

The Manson Community Council prepared a letter addressing incorporation and their role in the issue. It is apparent that unless a group of Manson residents request a study, that once again, the idea of Manson incorporating has died a silent death.

The letter:

Manson Community Council chairperson, Kari Sorenson sent the following letter out to resident who signed in at the Tuesday meeting.

It became apparent after our last Council Meeting that the Manson Community Council needs to clarify their stance on the subject of the possible incorporation of Manson.

At no time has the Manson Community Council been the leader of any discussion of incorporation. We were previously asked by community members to host the discussion during a couple of our meetings, which is the only reason the subject ever has appeared on our agenda. It became evidently clear during our last meeting that community members present at the meeting were assuming that the MCC was placing forth and leading this discussion by the fact that the Council was asked to “make a list of pros and cons for incorporation.” If we appeared flummoxed by the request – we were. To do so would be an unbelievable undertaking of time and resources. As a reminder, we are an elected board of community members that serve a 3-year term. We are not paid and are solely volunteering our time without compensation, and at our own personal expense at times as we have no funding. Additionally, each of us also has full time jobs outside of the Council. 

If anyone wishes to make a presentation at a future Council meeting regarding this or any other subject, please email your desire to in order to be considered on our agenda.

All that being said, as promised, attached is the “White Paper” Brian Patterson put together in 2016 regarding potential incorporation at that time. Please peruse and if you have any questions or comments, Brian Patterson’s email is listed above as the Council really isn’t in a position to answer any questions on this subject.

Thank you for attending our meeting and showing interest in our community. We look forward to having you with us again next month at the Manson Parks Department, as always, at 6 pm on the third Tuesday of the month — which is May 16, 2023. Please mark your calendars.


Kari Sorensen


Manson Community Council

A white paper on incorporating Manson was researched and prepared by Manson resident Brian Patterson four to five years ago. It has a lot of relevant data of interest to any individual or group interested in pursuing incorporation. It can be seen here:

Author: allthingslakechelan

I have been a journalist, photojournalist and reporter in the Lake Chelan Valley since 1988; first with the Wenatchee World, then 15 years at the Lake Chelan Mirror and another 12 years at GoLakeChelan. Currently, I am semi-retired but can't give up the media gig which is why I started All Things Lake Chelan blog. I also have two social media platforms; allthingslakechelan/facebook and lakechelansportsandrecration/facebook. I am also a professional photographer with many credits with major outlets around the world.

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