Thursday, April 18, 2024

Golden Gate Ventures (Chelan Butte) property development planning continues


CHELAN – Last week, Chelan City Council held a public hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 26 regarding a Boundary Line Adjustment Code Amendment, and passed Ordinance No. 2023-1612.

Raja Venugopal, intended developer, said during the hearing that he wrote an email to the mayor and City Council members last year that he had come to an agreement to purchase Golden Gate Ventures’ property.

"Madhu, my wife, and I sent a commitment that we will take this responsibility seriously and develop this property in a respectful and thoughtful way," he said.

Over the last six to seven months, Venugoal said that he and his wife met hundreds of people in the community, [and] dozens of organizations and businesses to understand what was important to them.

Out of those conversations, three priorities emerged.

“Number one, that is an iconic piece of landscape of the community. They would like to preserve it,” he explained. “Number two, don’t just preserve for the sake of preservation, open it up for the public to enjoy it—so, recreational facilities, all of those preserved. “Number three, affordable housing is [a] very big need in the community,” he added.Venugopal looked through the code that [the] 2017 Comprehensive Plan provides, and saw that preservation was not at the top of the list.

“It has done for some degree of preservation and recreation, nothing much further…so I went back to my team and told them, ‘We need to achieve all those three priorities and we need to make sure the project cancels itself out because it’s private land, we are purchasing it. We have to bring the infrastructure, so I asked them to come up with a plan that meets all those requirements.”

Venugopal and his team will now look at moving forward and continue to cooperate with the city and build the private land in a way that continues to achieve those three priorities.

“Here I am, after nine months, reassuring the same commitment that I made back in December,” Venugopal said. “We will develop this private land in a more thoughtful and respectful way with the feedback from the community and support from the city staff and the degree of support that we get from all leaders of the community.”

The next Chelan City Council meeting will be a City Council Regular Meeting on Tuesday, October 10 at 6ß p.m. in Council Chambers, 135 E. Johnson Avenue, Chelan.ß


Katie Lindert: 509-731-3211 or



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