(emailed on November 17, 2023)
Hello supporters of the Chelan Butte,
This update message is a significant milestone in our community-wide effort to preserve the Chelan Butte, even though we don’t know how this will ultimately play out. In this email we will briefly present two positive developments.
As we noted in our Update #10 email, the owner of the approximately 900 acres we have been hoping to preserve (Golden Gate Ventures – GGV) was able to complete one iteration of a subdivision scheme prior to an important code change implemented by the City of Chelan. This included one iteration of a Boundary Line Adjustment in March 2023, and one iteration of an exempt subdivision that was completed on September 8, 2023, just a few weeks before the code change was finalized. As a result, there are now 58 lots on the roughly 900 acres across the Butte (link).
Put simply, GGV changed the configuration of the original 30 parcels (into 29 ten-acre parcels and one nearly 600 acre parcel), then subsequently subdivided the nearly 600 acre parcel into 29 new parcels, for a total of 58 parcels. The code changes that prevent these types of backdoor subdivision creations in the future went into effect on October 6, 2023.
What we could not share with you until now was that the subdivision that created the second batch of 29 lots did not comply with the exemption code that was in effect at the time. That code required that the smallest lot created by the subdivision exceeded 20 acres – we assert (and our lawyers agree) that GGV did not meet this requirement.
Our first positive development to report is that after October 6, CBC met with the City of Chelan to point out this deficiency. The City verbally agreed with our assertion. The City concurred that the result is that the 29 parcels created are not legal and the City cannot approve any land use applications (such as building permit applications) for those parcels in the future. As a result, half of the 58 parcels currently shown on City and County online maps for GGV appear to be unusable. Two Code Violation Complaints have also been filed with the City to formally document our assertion.
Our second positive development to report is that CBC had an initial meeting with the law firm that will be facilitating the newly-funded Chelan Butte Acquisition Feasibility Study. The stated goals of this study will be to identify potential land to be purchased, how such a purchase could be funded, how ongoing maintenance of the land could be funded, and potential ownership structures for the land. Based on recent conversations, we believe that the Trust for Public Land is still ready and willing to secure land that that may be identified as a result of this study.
This study will include public input on what land our community would like to see preserved. It sounds like the first public meeting to discuss this topic will occur in early 2024. We will of course be informing you when a date is set and will encourage everyone to participate. In preparation for this, we would like to further expand our email list, so please forward this email to anyone you know who might not have already signed our online petition to preserve the Chelan Butte (link). By signing the petition, they will automatically be added to our email list. Thank you!
That’s it for now, but as always please feel free to reach out to us with your comments and questions.
Chelan Basin Conservancy President
on behalf of the CBC board:
Lisa Garvich – Vice President
Tony Crosetto – Treasurer
Mary Bider – Secretary
Chelan Basin Conservancy
P.O. Box 1073
Chelan, WA 98816