Description of proposal: The applicant is proposing a Master Planned Resort expansion to the existing Mission Ridge Planned Development (file ZC-366 approved through Resolution 87-77, as modified by Resolutions 88-104 and 95-152) to provide 621 condominiums, townhouses and duplexes, 275 single-family dwellings, 110,000 square feet of commercial spaces, a 57-room lodge facility, 80 employee housing units, several operations and maintenance buildings, and all associated infrastructure developed through five phases over a 20-year time frame. The applicant proposes ground water wells for potable water and Large Onsite Sewage Systems (LOSS) for wastewater.
The project also includes expansion of the existing ski resort and recreation areas within the project area and on adjacent state and federal land, including a new Nordic trail system, tubing hill, bike and walking paths, ski trails, six ski lifts, and a 590 space parking lot. The project proposes designating a total of 352.5 acres of open space, which includes 251.2 acres of natural open space. The project also proposes a fuel break within the open space along the eastern boundary of the developed area through fuels reduction or an early warning system.
Elements of the proposal include significant offsite infrastructure improvements that are located in several areas between the existing Mission Ridge Resort, the Columbia River and City of Wenatchee. Offsite infrastructure improvements to serve the resort include improvements to the city and county road system to mitigate transportation impacts, possible upgrades to the public water system if the use of ground water wells for potable water are not possible, and construction of a new electric system, including a new 115 KV transmission main, substation to be located in the upper Squilchuck proximity, and distribution system. The exact location of the new transmission main and substation are unknown at this time.
Proponent: Tamarack Saddle, LLC, Attn: Larry Scrivanich
Location of proposal: 6865 Forest Ridge Drive, Wenatchee, WA 98801. The proposal and associated improvements are located in several areas at and near the existing Mission Ridge Resort as well as between the existing Mission Ridge Resort, the Columbia River and City of Wenatchee. Please refer to the website below for a detailed project location description.
Additional environmental information: Project elements located on federal land are subject to NEPA review. An Environmental Assessment (EA) was released for public comment in February 2020. The EA addressed impacts associated with project elements on federal lands on Section 24 and 30, and state lands on Section 25, Township 21 North, Range 20 E.W.M., Chelan County. The NEPA documents are available on the US Forest Service website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=53981.
Lead agency: Chelan County
EIS Required. The lead agency has determined this proposal is likely to have a significant adverse impact on the environment. This determination follows review of the revised environmental checklist and supporting appendices submitted by the proponent (received January 21, 2020) and review of public comments received from the Notice of Amended Application (issued February 24, 2020). An environmental impact statement (EIS) is required under RCW 43.21C.030 (2)(c) and will be prepared. The EIS will address probable significant adverse environmental impacts of actions necessary to accomplish the proposed project. An environmental checklist or other materials indicating likely environmental impacts can be reviewed at our offices or at the following website: https://www.co.chelan.wa.us/community-development/pages/current-planning
The lead agency has identified the following specific areas for discussion in the EIS. The specific areas for discussion will be evaluated and refined after the end of the public comment period.
i. Further analysis of potential adverse impacts resulting from the alteration of geohazards, including landslide deposits and talus slopes, and from infiltration of stormwater and wastewater on the project site.
a. Groundwater and surface water movement/quantity/quality
i. Further analysis of the water requirements for the project, availability of sufficient ground water for resort uses, and of the potential adverse impacts resulting from the use of groundwater on stream flow and irrigation water downstream of the site.
b. Public water supplies
i. Feasibility and impact of extending the Chelan PUD public water system to the project site, which may require improvements to the existing water system.
3. Plants and Animals
a. Analysis of potential adverse impacts to plants and animals within the project footprint
b. Habitat and migration routes
i. Analysis of potential adverse impacts to both resident and migratory elk and mule deer populations.
ii. Identify appropriate mitigation for loss of habitat.
i. Analysis of potential habitat for listed and sensitive plant species within the proposed area of disturbance
ii. Identify appropriate mitigation for loss of habitat
4. Energy and Natural Resources
i. Analysis of impacts related to extending the Chelan PUD power and telecommunications system to the project site, which will require construction of a new transmission main, substation, and distribution system. Analysis shall be coordinated with Chelan PUD and shall include but not be limited to the Chelan PUD feasibility and application process and include load studies, review of environmental impacts, and land use rights and permitting.
5. Land and Shoreline Use
i. Analysis of the impacts to back country, existing trail systems, and existing recreation areas that are near the site, and impacts to implementation of the Stemilt-Squilchuck Recreation Plan.
a. Vehicular traffic
i. Analysis of the effects of increased traffic on Squilchuck Road and Mission Ridge Road on existing uses, including school buses.
ii. Refine transportation impact study and evaluation of traffic impacts on the regional transportation system as requested by City of Wenatchee and WSDOT.
iii. Refine mitigation plan and timeline as requested by City of Wenatchee and WSDOT.
iv. Analysis of the impacts of a single road access to the project site on emergency access, public safety, and evacuation in both winter and summer seasons.
b. Traffic hazards
i. Analysis of the impacts to traffic safety on Squilchuck Road and Mission Ridge Road.
7. Public Services and Utilities
i. Assess the impacts of the project on existing emergency services, including law enforcement, basic life support, and fire protection, and address the following:
1. Impacts to dispatching and capacity to handle the increased demand.
2. Identify any special services that may be required, and assess if adequate resources are available for those special services.
3. Review impacts to level of service delivery to the project and to the existing community due to increased demand.
4. Assess if adequate resources and staffing are available to meet increased demand.
5. Analysis of the capability of existing services to respond to a catastrophic event.
6. Provide an economic/financial analysis of the cost of providing services to the project.
7. Identify how to mitigate the impact on the delivery of emergency services or increase the capacity to meet the increased demand.
ii. Assess basic life-safety threats due to location, access, and resources (e.g. fire flow water supply, wildfire risk, evacuation, etc.).
i. Analysis of the feasibility of using Large Onsite Septic System for the entire development, including potential impacts to geologic hazards and downstream surface water contamination.
c. Solid waste
i. Assess the impacts to the existing solid waste management system.
Alternatives to be analyzed in the EIS include the following:
1. No action: Assumes no development beyond that permitted by current county zoning regulations.
2. Alternative 1 Preferred Alternative: The development as proposed
3. Alternative 2 Alternative Configuration: Other reasonable alternatives for achieving the proposal’s objective on the same site
Scoping. Agencies, affected tribes, and members of the public are invited to comment on the scope of the EIS. You may comment on alternatives, mitigation measures, probable significant adverse impacts, and licenses or other approvals that may be required. The method and deadline for giving us your comments is by email at Mike Kaputa or in writing to the official and address below by June 12, 2020, 5:00 PM (PST).
Responsible official: Mike Kaputa
Position/title: Director, Chelan County Natural Resource Department
Address: 411 Washington Street, Suite 201, Wenatchee, WA 98801