Sunday, July 14, 2024

Leavenworth Grassroots encourages an open dialogue with the community

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The Leavenworth community gathered on May 8 in the local fire station for a visioning meeting to address new ideas and issues within the city. Covid has put a pause in discourse for the community, and this meeting was meant to be a way to bring the dialogue back to establish a better relationship between the city and its residents. The main discussion point and purpose for the gathering was to reconnect the residential and business community to collaborate and determine a long-term vision that is beneficial to everybody. It was also conveyed that building awareness and participation within the city is critical to its increasing popularity. The meeting began with updates as to what has been going on within the city in terms of changes or additions to the community. The first major update was regarding Leavenworth Meadows, the upcoming apartment housing that will contain 300 new units. This new apartment complex will also contain four townhomes and will be situated near Chumstick Highway and has raised concerns of traffic impact, affordability, wetland impacts, and stormwater runoff interruption. This new complex will help create more housing within the community, however, the issue of affordability seemed to be of large interest during the meeting. The next main conversation was the building of a recreational center/pool for the community. This project has been in the works for a while now and there has been a bit of backlash from the locals as well. Concerns about raising taxes for locals to pay for the construction were voiced during the meeting. The gathering continued to discuss tourist and hotel development possibilities, mainly looking into the vacant area behind Safeway. Many ideas have been floating around, although nothing is set in stone and there is an ample amount of time to discuss the notions in their full extent. This new dialogue between the community and the city will aid in instances such as this one, as they are attempting to discover the right addition to be made for that specific area. Some ideas for this space were an ice rink, a climbing wall/gym, spa with outdoor pools, and condominiums. There is also speculation regarding a proposed hotel and water park between Cascade Hospital and the Post Hotel. There has also been a great amount of code changes in the past couple of years, mainly to update the outdated codes that were established before the city became increasingly popular. Another big issue in this meeting was the discussion of Leavenworth’s roads and the terrible conditions. According to statistics, Leavenworth has the third worst roads in the state of Washington. There will be improvements to maintenance and snow removal equipment that will help in preserving roads and creating a smoother pavement year-round. Ultimately, this gathering opened discussion between the community and the city and people were able to voice opinions on anything relating to these concerns. The city encourages more people to attend meetings like these, as well as the City Council, in order to create a better discourse that will build a more productive vision.

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