(emailed on December 28, 2022)
Hello supporters of the Chelan Butte,
In case you don’t read all the way through this email, I wanted to start by noting that the issue of the Chelan Butte is on the agenda for the Tuesday January 3rd Chelan city council workshop (4PM at City Hall), along with some other interesting topics related to lodging taxes and grant funding (more details below). We’re asking that anyone local to Chelan who has availability attend this workshop to show support for the project. Thank you – now on to our update.
As you know, our efforts to preserve the Chelan Butte yielded significant progress in 2022. We felt that we had good engagement from the City of Chelan, the Trust for Public Land, the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust, and the Lake Chelan Trails Alliance. However, as noted in our last update, we were informed in late November that a developer signed an option agreement for purchase on the 875 acres of land that we had been targeting. We have since learned that the option holder is a husband/wife team from the west side of the state backed by numerous individual investors, primarily from the tech industry.
Because they were aware of our efforts to preserve the Butte, they reached out to us to start some dialogue. We have since had an initial video conference call with them to learn more about them and to state our goals for preserving the Butte. Previous option holders for these properties have discovered that there are likely to be significant up-front investments in infrastructure which they had not anticipated. Although we hope that the current option holders reach the same conclusion, we believe it is best to keep in communication with them and to continue to stress the goal of the Chelan Basin Conservancy and the majority of the Lake Chelan Valley community to preserve the Chelan Butte.
We believe that now more than ever, it will be important for the public to continue to let its voice be heard. As such,CBC anticipates ramping up its efforts to organize community input and make sure that the current option holders are aware of how strongly the public wants to seethe majority of the Chelan Butte preserved for future generations as opposed to being developed. We hope that you will continue to be a part of this endeavor!
The Trust for Public Land has indicated that it is still fully engaged in the effort to preserve the Butte and we continue to have regular meetings with them.
As for the January 3rd workshop mentioned at the beginning of this email, we believe that there will be two elements related to the preservation of the Chelan Butte being discussed:
- Dave Erickson with the Wenatchee Parks and Recreation department will be presenting information about Wenatchee’s experience acquiring, improving, and maintaining open space properties in the Wenatchee foothills. This has been a very successful program and there are lessons to be learned relative to preserving the Chelan Butte.
- CBC has presented the city council with a draft Resolution to be a co-applicant (along with the Trust for Public Land and others) for an earmark within the state budget for a planning grant to study the specifics of how properties on the Chelan Butte could be acquired, improved, maintained, and made available for public use(trails, trailhead parking, etc.). This study would include the opportunity for community input.
Both of these topics will help keep the issue of preserving the Chelan Butte at the forefront of City representative’s minds.
Happy New Year and thanks for your interest and support!
Brian Patterson – Chelan Basin Conservancy President
on behalf of the CBC board:
Lisa Garvich – Vice President
Tony Crosetto – Treasurer
Mary Bider – Secretary