Sunday, July 21, 2024

Advocacy group proposal would expand day use dock space on Lake Chelan


CHELAN—The Chelan Waterfront Dock Advocacy Group, comprised of Art Campbell, Greg Petersen, and Ron Foster, lobbied for more day-use dock space and boater access to downtown during the citizen comment period at the June 11 bi-monthly meeting of the city council. 

The group proposes a 40-60-foot extension to the existing PUD dock at Riverwalk Park. At present, there is space for only four boats, and those spaces are usually all occupied during the summer months. Adding a floating dock and access ramp west of the bandstand would also improve access to the limited tie-ups.

Chelan resident and boat owner Foster read part of an information handout distributed at the June 4 council workshop.

“The demand for the facility is already there,” said Foster. “Currently, recreational users on the lake have few public places they can go. If you do not own property on the lake, then your boat must stay out on the water. Those who own or rent boats or bring their own boats and launch them on the lake cannot reliably access Chelan city center via boat.”

Foster pointed out the irony of the current lack of access to the downtown of a tourist mecca.

“We now have a beautiful city with a great downtown right next to the lake and we got four dock points (on the PUD dock) with access to downtown,” Foster said.

“The day use moorage project would be such a win for the city,” said Campbell. “Lake access is a big priority for the city and this project helps meet that goal. It’s a simple project that would have an immediate public benefit with a high return on investment for the city.”

The Dock Advocacy Group cited the following to support cost-effective two dock extensions:

  1. The expensive hardscape infrastructure is already in place at both locations. Only floating dock sections and a ramp need to be added.
  2. There is significant unmet demand for water access to the Chelan city center. Simply building the access infrastructure will quickly generate more economic and recreational activity for the city center.
  3. City residents and visitors will immediately benefit from the enhanced waterfront access without requiring new programs to generate interest and awareness, or the need to dedicate and modify new land for the project.
  4. We believe resources beyond the city can be accessed to develop and implement this project. In addition to PUD involvement, there should be funding available from the RCO (Recreation and Conservation Office) which prioritizes state trailer license revenue for projects such as short-term boat moorage. Our Advocacy Group has already met with Jim Kantz, Executive Director of the Port District, who has offered to help with the design work, submitting funding proposals, and permitting.

Campbell concluded his comments by offering tours of the proposed project to any council members interested in further inspecting the site.

Mike Maltais”360-333-8483 or


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