Sunday, July 14, 2024

Hearing Examiner considers land use applications for two Bed and Breakfasts and Mountain Meadows sign variance

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LEAVENWORTH – The City of Leavenworth held a public hearing before the Leavenworth Hearing Examiner to review three land use applications on Feb. 9. Two of the applicants were seeking conditional use permits for a bed and breakfast, and the third was a variance to construct a residential development sign.

The first applicant was Paul Stamilio, the owner of 111 Birdhouse Lane in a Multifamily Residential Zoning district. Stamilio sought a Conditional Use Permit to operate a one-bedroom Bed and Breakfast within an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). The Staff Report recommended permit approval. It was noted that all parking was required to be onsite. There were no comments made by Stamilio or the public regarding the permit.

The second applicant was W. Dean Weidner of Mountain Meadows LLC, at 1500 Autumn Strasse, formerly considered 10380 Chumstick Hwy. Weidner requested a variance to construct a residential development sign exceeding the height limitation of 6 feet. The request was justified by the property’s easement requirements and the Chumstick’s 35-mile-per-hour speed limit, higher than the standard 25 mph in residential zones.

“It is far back from the road and it's hard to see at that speed,” said Rusty Gibbs of Gibbs Graphics, who spoke as a representative for the applicant.

Considering the unique road speed, the Staff Report found the request reasonable and consistent. Additionally, the sign met three of the four criteria, pursuant to Leavenworth Municipal Code 14.10.050: it is freestanding, the sign area does not exceed 18 square feet, and it is compliant with the Old World Bavarian Alpine theme required in commercial districts. Although, the location is in a residential zone, and therefore the theme is not required.

“We went through a lot of design considerations to come up with this, and basically we wanted to enhance the sign to make it fit in with the Bavarian theme and to work with the property,” said Dick Peel of Shoreline, Washington, who assisted with the design. 

The third applicant was Robert Palon, doing business as Central Haus LLC. Palon requested a Conditional Use Permit to operate a two-bedroom Bed and Breakfast within an existing single-family residence with an attached ADU at 602 Central Avenue. Two of the four bedrooms would serve as the Bed and Breakfast, and the remainder of the dwelling would be owner-occupied. The permit does not authorize the ADU for Bed and Breakfast purposes and requires all parking to be on site. A condition was added that the designated rooms could not change without authorization from the City.

Prior to the hearing, the City of Leavenworth received seven complaints from residents in the immediate vicinity of 602 Central that Palon did not live at the property, but no public comments were made during the applicant’s hearing. 

It was confirmed that Palon’s government-issued ID and voter registration listed 602 Central Ave. as his primary residence. Central Haus LLC is listed as the property owner, but Palon said he was the principal and only member of the LLC.

When asked why the complaints were made, Palon said he doesn’t spend much time out in the neighborhood, and his car gets parked in the garage.

“It could be for a number of reasons. The comment period encompassed the holidays, and I have two grown daughters that live out of state,” said Palon.

The Hearing Examiner will issue a written decision 10 working days after the close of the hearing for each request.


Taylor Caldwell: 509-433-7276 or taylor@ward.media

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