Land Use

While you may not think land use affects you, it does. Let me give you an example of a land use issue. Riverstone Ranch recently submitted a Comprehensive Plan Map Amendment to change their 63-acre property zoned as Commercial/Agriculture (10 acre minimum) to Rural Residential/2.5 (2.5 acre minimum). This land located between Leavenworth and Peshastin has the City of Leavenworth, the Friends of Leavenworth and many others concerned.


Concerns include: the environmental impact, as well as infrastructure issues with septic systems, wells, and increased traffic. The main objection seems to be that if the amendment is approved, the landowner will build homes. Both the City of Leavenworth and the Friends of Leavenworth believe that this amendment conflicts with the Chelan County Comprehensive Plan and the State’s Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A.020), which states the following:

  • Reduce the inappropriate conversion of undeveloped land into sprawling, low-density development
  • Maintain and enhance natural resource-based industries, including productive timber, agricultural and fisheries industries. Encourage the conservation of productive forestlands and productive agricultural lands and discourage incompatible uses.

Here is the Riverstone Ranch argument. The pear orchard is not producing due to market decline so the owner would like to remove the orchard. At this time, the owner has no proposed residential development. There are also proponents on this side, stating that you cannot force a landowner to farm an orchard that is not financially viable. And that no one should dictate what a landowner does on their property.


The Chelan County Community Development Department found the following (not all their findings are listed below):

  • SEPA issued a Determination of Non-Significance, meaning there would not be adverse impacts on the environment.
  • It is consistent with Growth Management Act goals, County-wide Planning Policies and the Chelan County Comprehensive Plan.
  • The amendment would not result in increased traffic or congestion on rural county roads.
  • It does not adversely affect surrounding land uses.

Both sides of this issue have compelling arguments. It would be easy to argue that there is no right or wrong answer. These are the land use issues that the Commissioners regularly face and then have to make decisions based on the information presented.     

Committee to Elect Tiffany Gering 


Phone: (509) 449-2979

Address: P.O. Box 3152, Chelan, WA 98816

Paid for by the Committee to Elect

Tiffany Gering for Chelan County Commissioner District 3 (R)