July 24, 2018
Local residents have formed "Friends of Leavenworth" to address concerns about their city’s rate of growth.
Echoing environmental concerns about how more water diversion from the Icicle could encourage uncontrolled growth in the Wenatchee Valley, the steering committee for this new group warns in a Wenatchee World guest editorial that "several proposed projects could have large impacts on our natural landscape, water resources, . . . aesthetics, and traffic."
The Icicle Work Group’s draft programmatic EIS states that Leavenworth currently uses 320 million gallons of water per year, but projected demand over the next 20 years is for 495 million gallons –- a 55% increase.
"Over-promotion and over-development threaten the quality of life in the upper Wenatchee Valley." the group warns. "We believe that Upper Valley residents must have more influence on pivotal city and county decisions."
Several recent or proposed developments have triggered these concerns, including two new residential developments and a proposed amusement park with an alpine roller coaster near the entrance to Tumwater Canyon.
Friends of Leavenworth urges in its guest editorial: "As development demands gain momentum and impending decisions pile up, it might be time for the City and County to gently apply the brakes."
Friends of Leavenworth has launched a new website at www.friendsofleavenworth.org.