Public comments needed by August 14, Public hearing July 18

I find it interesting the City posted the Public Notice for a Determination of Non Significance SEPA A2018-05 SEPA Flexible Thresholds only in the Chelan Mirror. This limits awareness, and the amount of comments from the Public due by August 14, 2018, concerning a change that could adversely affect many of Chelan’s residents. This proposal will make changes to the SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) applicability thresholds for the “Single Family Residential” and “Multi-Family”, and “Townhomes” projects collectively referred to in the document as Residential Developments. Included in the amendments are; raising Multi-family up to 60 units, and Townhomes up to 20 units. Raising the SEPA thresholds (which will be less stringent) will allow applicants’ proposals that are less than or equal to these thresholds to forego the SEPA Application process, which could potentially allow for a probable significant adverse environmental impact. With a SEPA review, the probable significant adverse environmental impacts can be identified. These are impacts such as traffic, soil contamination, critical habitat areas, power, water, infrastructure, etc. Identifying impacts through agencies and public comments can in turn help mitigate the impacts. SEPA allows the public to be included with the ability to comment and share concerns. Therefore, raising the thresholds as proposed by the City would eliminate some proposals from the SEPA review process. Public safety and protecting the quality of Lake Chelan should come first and foremost. Holding developments to high standards  to protect this beautiful valley, community, and Lake Chelan should not be compromised in order to make it easier to build here, even in the name of affordable housing. The proposed changes to the SEPA Flexible Thresholds is irresponsible for public safety due to the land use history in the Chelan valley, and the known toxins in the soil. It is important to keep measures in place to know what and how proposals will affect our Lake quality, infrastructures, traffic, water, sewer, schools, neighborhoods, community. We need to hold accountable our City Planning Department and City Officials for what is happening, and how our beautiful valley will be developed in the future. Please submit your comments concerning these proposed changes to the SEPA Applicability  Thresholds by August 14, 2018. For more information search for SEPA number 201803249  at
https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/separ/Main/SEPA/Search.aspx.   

The Public can also attend the Public Hearing and Open House for this and other proposals July 18, 2018 starting at 5 p.m. at Chelan City Hall.

Evie Hirschberger
Chelan

 

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