Residents who live on No. 1 Canyon Road west of Wenatchee are complaining to Chelan County about the process of a fellow landowner's project. 

The residents say they were not made aware of documentation filed by Tyler Chambers to build two homes and another structure, a free-standing garage/shop, on three parcels of land. 

Resident Matt Canlis says the act of publishing a public comment period in the local newspaper gave them insufficient notice of the project. 

“I confess I’m frustrated that that was the response that we eventually got, was something that was public, but none of us knew,” said Canlis. “And is there any reason why you couldn’t give us more time now that we’ve seen it, as a neighborhood to read it through, think about it. 

State law calls for publication of a public comment period for such a project to be published by the county in the local newspaper of record, which here is the Wenatchee World. It also calls the county to post the project to the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Register with the state Department of Ecology. 

The SEPA process identifies and analyzes environmental impacts associated with governmental decisions. Those decisions may be related to issuing permits for private projects. 

Three documents concerning Chambers’ project are posted to the SEPA Register - his plan for construction of the homes and garage, a SEPA checklist he filed and a notice from the county Community Development Department that an environmental impact study is not required for the project.  

The public comment period over Chambers’ project ended Monday  

He faces a couple of lawsuits and a stop-work order by County Code Enforcement. 

No. 1 Canyon Road Resident Julie Tarbert says Chambers has a history of bulldozing earth with no regard for neighbors. 

“Our fear is that if they approve this SEPA checklist and stuff that Tyler will just start plowing through the road, whether he has permission or not” said Tarbert, “Because we know if you give him an inch, he’s going to take a mile.” 

Chambers had been moving earth for some time before the stop-work order was issued. 

His earth-moving expedition drew alarm from neighbors and scrutiny from the county after it carved deep into hillsides in No. 1 Canyon in 2022.  

Neighbors have also claimed that erosion from his earthmoving has damaged their properties.  

An ongoing lawsuit against Chambers is being fought in Chelan County Superior Court, although there’s been no activity in it since last October. 

The lawsuit claims he disobeyed the stop-work order, and also failed to obtain a document called a critical areas report. 

In a separate lawsuit against Chambers by the Chelan Douglas Land Trust, attorneys for the Land Trust say they'll submit a status report to update the court on the case. There's been no activity in that case for some time.

The Land Trust has claimed Chambers’ excavation extensively damaged the Trust's adjacent land and led to the Trust losing funding for 50 percent of the value of that land. 

Chambers’ property is 66 acres in the 3300 block of No. 1 Canyon Road. 

Residents made comments to County Commissioners during a Monday public comment portion of a county commission meeting

Counties with the worst droughts in Washington

Washington State is continuing its drought emergency into 2024, citing low snowpack and hot, dry forecasts. Here are the counties most affected by drought, based on data from the U.S. Drought Monitor to identify the counties in Washington with the worst droughts in the week leading up to April 30, 2024.
Note: "Abnormally dry" is not considered to be a drought, but is included as a separate data point.

Gallery Credit: Jaime Skelton

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