The Chelan County Commissioners are going back to the drawing board on their latest round of amendments to the codes for short-term rentals.

Commissioner Tiffany Gering says the greatest objection was raised by a group known as The Residents Coalition of Chelan County over a proposed change to the allowable size of properties that can be used as short-term rentals.

"The main concern was the recommended change to the codes would allow for short-term rentals to be on any size lot. Right now, there are minimums, and the change would take away those minimums in any zoning."

Currently, the code states that the total square footage of “buildings and structures” must be no more than 6,500 square feet for every ten acres of land associated with any “project site”. The change would make a 7,000 square foot limitation permissible to apply to “each parcel meeting the minimum lot size of the zoning” rather than the ten-acre minimum.

The proposed amendment was identified by the Department of Community Development and approved by the County's planning commission.

In response to the wealth of public objection over the proposed change, the County will now review their latest set of potential code amendments.

Gering says the turn of events provides for a remarkable example of how the public process works in favor of the residents in Chelan County.

"This is what's so great about the public process. Often times, we have the public bring suggestions for code amendments to us and it goes through this process and many times there are angles that we didn't consider or things that we didn't think of. And that's what happened in this instance. We had a huge outcry from people that were opposed to this specific amendment. And it's nice because we (commissioners) can say, 'okay, we're going to remand this back to the planning commission and we're going to go through the process again and see if we can get it right'."

The commissioners have scheduled a workshop for Oct. 3 to review the proposed code amendments. After which, the County's planning commission on short-term rentals will be advised and begin a new period for public comment.

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