Thursday, May 23, 2024

Leavenworth Adventure Park gets win on hours and music, but denied parking changes

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LEAVENWORTH – The Leavenworth Adventure Park (LAP) will be able to extend indoor hours and offer both acoustic and amplified live music under certain conditions, according to the Hearing Examiner’s decision on Apr. 10. The LAP’s request to remove the ticketing requirement for parking was denied.

The decision allows the park to operate its indoor space until 10 p.m., with no guests allowed in the outdoor area after 8 p.m. All outdoor operations will continue to be limited to 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. As for live music, the park will be allowed to offer live acoustic music outside until 8 p.m. or inside until 10 p.m. Live, amplified music will be allowed inside until 8 p.m. 

The decision regarding music and hours seems to have struck a happy medium between the park and those who expressed opposition to any changes during the hearing, such as the Residents Coalition of Chelan County (RC3), a nonprofit that has advocated against the park since its inception. 

In a statement to Ward Media, LAP General Manager John Sutherland said he appreciated the Hearing Examiner’s approval regarding music and hours and doesn’t think the changes in operation will be noticeable. RC3 President Kirvil Skinnarland expressed appreciation for the 8 p.m. curfew for amplified music indoors.

“We think that was kind of a good, conservative move, since we don't really know how amplified music is going to work indoors, and it's harder to take something back once you've given it, so we were pleased with that,” said Skinnarland.

In terms of parking, the LAP requested it no longer be required to ticket parking for the duration of the patron’s visit. In its original letter to request amendments, the LAP stated it had experienced technical difficulties with its ticketing kiosk early on and had abandoned the requirement altogether. The park was able to successfully manage parking after a few months through staff management and switching to a reservation-only system, which was not included in the original conditional use permit.

However, the decision stated that the current system is working well, with no reason to modify the conditional use permit requirements despite the LAP using a different method. Sutherland said he would be reaching out for clarification on the statement.

Lastly, in his letter of decision, the Hearing Examiner noted that public testimony did not focus on the three amendment requests, but “it is the nature of the human screams coming from the guests that are riding in the cars coming down the hill that is most upsetting to the area residents.” However, the complaints were beyond his scope of decision.

Skinnarland stated the RC3 was disappointed that the Hearing Examiner was unable to address the complaints of screams coming from the coaster, and was currently working to address the matter with the City Council. 

The LAP is also considering options such as planting trees or adding material to the coaster, to lessen the sound.

“We are working actively with the city to try to mitigate that as well. It will never be completely gone, but we can hopefully help mitigate the screaming so that it doesn't bother people,” said Sutherland.

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

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