Thursday, June 20, 2024

Chelan City Council moves forward with lake access project


CHELAN - Unlike previous weeks, this edition (Tuesday, Oct., 22) of the lake access project drew about five people to the council chambers. Council candidate John Olson was the only speaker and former Mayor Bob Goedde sat quietly and took notes.

Jim Brennan, consultant for the project, spoke to the council and audience via conference call and explained the pros and cons of the various sites.

Before that discussion took place, City Administrator Mike Jackson announced that real estate agent Guy Evans said that his mother and landowner of potential lake access acreage on Spader Bay, Linda Evans Parlette, had agreed on the $400,000 offer for the property located just below The Lookout subdivision.

Jackson told the council that the seller wanted to make sure the land would remain "recreational in perpetuity" as part of the deal and that road and walking path easements were also part of the contingency requests.

The council discussed ways to pay for the purchase and voted to hold a special meeting at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct., 29 for further discussion.

(That meeting was held after the deadline for this edition, Wednesday, Oct., 30 Lake Chelan Mirror.)

After lively talks about various sites, beach potential and parking problems, it was agreed that Brennan will send a matrix via email to each council member showing the final seven sites' standing vis-a-vis parking, beach quality and other amenities or lack of so that comparisons can be made in a more convenient fashion.

Better signage for all sites was also agreed upon. 

Brennan pointed out that the nearly 10 acres involved with the Spader Bay acquisition was a "rare" opportunity for the city to preserve trails, wildlife habitat and other "passive" benefits such as the view.

Councilman Tim Hollingsworth pointed out that "real estate is a legacy" and that the city would have no options to do anything once the land "passed beyond control" of the city.

Other suggestions to pay for trail easements included getting a grant, paying the seller in stages over a 3-5 year period and possibly partnering with the Lake Chelan Trails Alliance (LCTA) for development of connecting existing trails to the Spader Bay land.

Guy Evans' real estate company comes into play when the LCTA is Googled. He would also stand to gain $10,000 (2.5%) in commission should the $400,000 purchase be approved. The city is being asked to pay that fee instead of the seller, apparently because the seller is Evans' mother.

Despite the fact that Councilman Servando Sobledo works for The Lookout, he continues to participate in meetings and discussions regarding Spader Bay acquisition, which if realized, would most certainly enhance the value of The Lookout and its property owners.

Evans has also been involved with selling lots and homes in The Lookout development. Despite opinions publicly expressing possible conflicts of interest between several of those named above, the council is seemingly on the path towards purchase of Spader Bay, which in the end may take place regardless of any "lake access" decisions.

Former State Senator Parlette was asked to comment from her side of the story via email, but no answer has yet been received by this reporter.

She owns the Spader Bay land along with a sister. 

Any grant involving the federal government would most certainly include adherence to provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and therefore complicate the building of a trail for public use.

To mitigate the cost of building a trail, Hollingsworth suggested volunteers could be mobilized and, under professional guidance, construct a quality walking/biking path for public use.

Check back for updates on this story. 



No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here