City Pro-Development, Not Quality of Life

Are our city officials uninformed, or worse, consciously choosing to ignore the facts?  I was taken back by both the article published by this newspaper last week, along with the quotes it contained from our city officials, including Mayor Farrivar.  From its inception (1967 CUP), the KOA campground located at the end of River Bend Drive, was approved for operation with a very important requirement.  When the remaining property (now behind Safeway) was developed, a new ingress/egress route was required to relieve use of the rural county road (River Bend Drive).  This logical planning was re-iterated and agreed upon in multiple rulings and legal documents by Chelan County, the previous owners of the KOA and the City of Leavenworth.

The city administrator, mayor and council member Larsen seem to have conveniently forgotten this history despite their presence or prior involvement in validating the need to close River Bend Drive to RV traffic.  They seem intent on reversing the prior six rulings/agreements by informed agencies and conveniently changing the Leavenworth Municipal Code to benefit the developers.  City Administrator, Joel Walinski, cites a comment by City Attorney, Tom Graafstra, describing the codes as "ambiguous" as one of the main reasons for needing to change the code.  LMC 18.51.040 (est. 1989 and reviewed/affirmed in 2017) "No entrance or exit from a park shall be permitted through a residential district nor require movement of traffic from the park through a residential district." doesn't seem vague to me.  It was put in place for a reason, to protect the safety and welfare of residents.  What seems ambiguous is the motivation of some city officials!

Joe Aponik

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