WENATCHEE RESIDENTS APPEAL CITY’S BLACKROCK TERRACE ESTATES DECISION
Petition states City erred on 11 key Findings of Fact & Conclusions of Law
The three-year opposition to developer Steven Tramp’s proposed Blackrock Terrace Estates development on the north slope of Saddle Rock Mountain is headed to Superior Court. Local residents filed an appeal of the Dec. 14, 2018 City Hearing Examiner’s decision to allow the project to move forward. The residents’ appeal is in addition to the Land Use Permit Appeal (LUPA) filed by the Washington State Attorney General, on behalf of the Dept. of Fish & Wildlife. The State’s appeal is specific to the critical mule deer habitat that will be lost and to the fact that no mitigation is offered by the developer to compensate for this loss.
“The Hearing Examiner and City Staff simply ignored the public, as well the City’s own Comprehensive Plan and zoning codes,” states the group’s spokesperson, Suzanne Hartman. “They disregarded what more than 100 local residents had to say about this ill-conceived development. They also ignored experts from the Washington State Dept. of Fish & Wildlife about critical mule deer habitat; engineers and hydrologists concerned about the issues of soil stability, runoff and slope steepness; land use experts who raised issues with conflicts to the City’s Comprehensive Plan and particularly the Foothills Community Strategy; biologists who identified the disruption of critical plant life on Saddle Rock; resident concerns about traffic and pedestrian safety – along with City data that confirms traffic speeds are greater than posted limits; and wildfire experts cautioning the City on the extreme vulnerability of this location where a wildfire raged across the entire Black Rock property in July of 2014.”
The residents ask the Court to set aside the Hearing Examiner’s decision and require that the developer be allowed only to develop the four lots immediately accessible to Skyline Drive and not allow development higher up on the steeper slopes of Saddle Rock. This also would protect vital mule deer habitat.
“We have heard from some in the community that this developer has ‘property rights’ to develop his property as allowed by City Code,” adds Hartman. “However, what the City and the City’s Hearing Examiner have failed to adequately consider is the property rights of every resident in the greater Wenatchee Community as codified in the City’s Comprehensive Plan – including the Foothills Strategy – and incorporated in applicable zoning codes regarding protection of the City’s view-sheds.” Hartman went on to add that based on the developer’s plans, this development could be under construction for a decade or more – destroying neighbors’ quality of life and the enjoyment and use of their property. “Simply put, this development must be stopped,” said Hartman.
Superior Court will decide the process and timeline on hearing the appeals.