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home : premium content : news May 30, 2016


6/26/2013 12:17:00 PM
KOA annexation on hold until issues with county resolved
Ian Dunn
Editor

There have been many twists and turns in the saga of the KOA annexation into the city of Leavenworth. The most recent stumbling block was the requirement by the Leavenworth City Council that KOA resolve all outstanding issues with Chelan County prior to being considered for annexation.

Recently, the city hosted a meeting between the KOA Development Group and Chelan County, in an effort to help resolve some of the outstanding issues.

"I think what we had for a month and half was a stalemate. When we got the players to the table, what we got in place was the county and KOA are going to work on a settlement agreement to have to the KOA come into compliance for the conditional use permit (CUP), for which the KOA was built on," said Joel Walinski, Leavenworth city administrator.

The county issues surround the number of units at KOA, the type of units and where they are located on the property, he said. Walinski said they've tried to create a path where the county feels KOA is in compliance with existing CUP so they can confirm with the city.

Without annexation, KOA would be forced to upgrade their sewage treatment on the site. Walinski said they've been able to take this item off the table, because if the project moves forward, KOA has committed to putting in the road, sewer and water lines.

"That is not part of the agreement. I know some people say they have to have the second entrance to KOA. We believe that can be accomplished through annexation," he said. "The pieces the city has asked to be in compliance have to do with the number of campsites, the placement of those campsites within the property and the type of campsites, because those were defined in the initial CUP."

It has been suggested it will take anywhere from six to eight months to work through these issues. Walinski said KOA wants to focus on their camping business through the summer, then focus on coming into compliance this fall. Be in shape, so early next spring, they can make improvements.

Walinski said the county and KOA will work through the compliance issues over the summer, because there are a number of inspections that have to be done.

"They need a couple public hearings and those type of things. They are going to work on getting all that completed," he said. "If they can get in compliance, that's when it comes back to the city council for consideration of the annexation."

Dan Reina is heading up the KOA Development Group. He said they are in compliance with the county, except for one item. But they need an amendment to the CUP before they can solve that particular item.

The county told them it would take eight months, Reina said, but he is hopeful they can come into compliance before then. The new road could be constructed this year, he said, if it can be permitted.

"We've met with them and the city and the mayor. We've come to an agreement and are just formalizing that now," Reina said. "We're already moving forward on the things in the agreement. Those things have already been accomplished, except for that one item."

Ian Dunn can be reached at 548-5286 or editor@leavenworthecho.com.





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