Residents In Peshastin Not Sold On Community Park Plan
The focus of a public workshop in Peshastin is changing after expressions of public concern.
The original intent of the gathering later this month was to discuss the possibility of constructing a community park on 65 acres where a lumber mill used to be located.
Chelan County Commissioner Shon Smith says the meeting will now center on what Peshastin residents want to see done with the land.
"There was a little bit of, I think, jumping the gun (in) deciding as to whether or not they want a park up there, or what that park would look like," said Smith. "So, we pulled back a little bit for the community meeting."
Smith told fellow commissioner Kevin Overbay during a public discussion Tuesday that the change in focus for the workshop was made during a meeting he attended last week of the Peshastin Community Council.
It was originally thought that the approximately 2,800 residents of Peshastin would welcome a park to call their own as its one of the only communities in the area without one.
The Washington Department of Natural Resources secured a $35,000 grant from the state's Recreation & Conservation Office to help fund a feasibility study for a Peshastin park.
Chelan County and the National Park Service were set to offer leadership on how to move forward with a potential park at the upcoming meeting.
But Smith says there's concern about overcrowding from visitors in the town which only has one major road into and out of it.
"They're already getting a lot of pressure from the Leavenworth overflow," said Smith. "And I think the residents up there have a real legitimate concern that if you build it too nice, too many people will come, and it will then ruin it for the locals."
The county has been working with a private landowner to potentially develop the 65 acres where the lumber mill used to be.
Smith said they want to make sure it's known that the county is not pushing the community park on the residents but will support the Peshastin Community Council with expertise through the county Natural Resources Department on development of the land.
The workshop, with its new focus, will be held at the Peshastin Memorial Hall, 10204 Main Street, on Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 6:30 p.m.