Manson Community Council Minutes
Regular Meeting on February 20, 2018
The meeting was called to order at 6 PM by Chair, Kim Ustanik with council members Kathy Miller and Jeremy Jaech present. Several members of the Manson community were present; the sign-up sheet for the meeting is attached to these minutes.
After the flag salute, the minutes of the January meeting were approved.
Jeremy gave the Treasurer’s report, saying that he does not yet have access to the council bank account but that Kathy Blum would contact him when she returns to transfer custodianship of the account to Jeremy.
Next up were community reports, beginning with a report from Phyllis Coleman regarding the main street tree issues. The report from Phyllis is attached to these minutes. Jeremy asked if the cost for the proposed changes has been determined and Phyllis said it had not. She stated that it is also not known where the funding for the project would come from at this point. County Commissioner Doug England, who had joined the meeting by this point, said that he is concerned that the tree plan changes more frequently than it should and that he wants a long term solution, not just the current fad. He noted that the current trees are in bad shape because they have been trimmed by road crews and orchard workers who do not know how to property prune a decorative tree. He also said that any solution must preserve the irrigation systems in place and be sustainable, assuming that business owners will care for the trees in front of their businesses. He noted that there are state regulations regarding trees next to roadways that may conflict with the proposal, and suggested that the group connect with Chelan Public Works to determine those requirements. Kim encouraged the group to keep working on the project in coordination with the county.
Following the tree report, Robin Pittman provided a report from Manson Parks. Trees are being removed at the Old Mill by the PUD and will be replanted in the fall. The PUD is working on repaving and needed to remove the trees for that purpose. The new trees will be more diverse than the current trees to help with disease prevention. In the waterfront area, the Parks are working with Pacific Engineering to develop a plan to improve the area and would like letters of support from the council and others. A question was asked about drawings of the proposed changes, and Robin noted that they are available on the Parks website and at the Parks office.
The Manson Chamber of Commerce report was next, presented by Mariah Pyle. The Chamber is planning a downtown wine tasting walk on March 17th. The Manson Bay Casino is donating the use of up to four shuttle buses to move people between Chelan, downtown Manson, and the outlying wineries. Tickets will be available soon. They are also planning a SoupFest event and a dance at the Grange the same day with the Manson Jazz Band. The next meeting of the Chamber will be February 28th.
Kathy Miller, who also attends Chamber meetings, noted that there was a lot of discussion about WinterFest at the last meeting. No data has been received from the Chelan Chamber yet regarding revenue, but the Manson Chamber believes that the event was a success and in particular noted that it was more family-friendly than past years. Also, she noted that the wishing chimney was a success, replacing the wish lanterns.
The next topic on the agenda was activities between the last meeting and this one. Kim noted that the county had asked for comments regarding Manson Growers adding new CA units, and that there had been lots of comments from the community, mostly concerned about landscaping and truck traffic. Jared England, who was attending the meeting, noted that traffic should decrease because the fruit going into the new units has been trucked out of town and then back to town for packing in the past. They expect the facilities to be ready for fall harvest.
A question was asked about whether Manson Growers is growing its membership, and Jared said it was. The cooperative is becoming attractive to more small growers as the larger packers are becoming focused on the big growers.
Kim noted that the county is reviewing changes to the vacation rentals regulations and had asked for input from the council between meetings, specifically for a questionnaire that the county is planning to use to survey current use. The deadline for comments was very short with the questionnaire arriving late on a Friday with comments needed by the following Tuesday, so council members sent their personal comments to the county. Doug England noted that the county was using a survey in place of the work groups that were used regarding regulations for marijuana because those work groups had been ineffective. There are required hearings before the county will make any changes and comments are welcomed at any time prior to the hearings.
Doug England stated that the Manson UGA is the only part of the county that has vacation rental regulations today, and the new regulations, when in place, will supersede the Manson regulations. He also said that Community Development is understaffed so will use consultants to suggest regulations and fees, and expects that it will be the end of the year before there are hearings with the Planning Commission.
The council will solicit more feedback on the questionnaire and wants to hear from people on all sides of the vacation rental issue. Lilith Vespier at Community Development will compile the input received.
Next on the agenda was Old Business. The first item was boundaries for the proposed changes to the regulations governing residences in the Manson downtown area. The question is to which areas will the changes be applied, the “triangle,” the triangle plus Commercial Tourism zone, or all of downtown plus the Commercial Tourism zone.
There was a lengthy discussion about the proposed changes to the regulations, but the county was not requesting comments on the specific regulation changes at this time. Due to the
considerable interest of the community members present, the council encouraged formation of a group to look at needed changes to the ten-year-old UGA.
It was noted that the triangle area is the area with older residences most likely to be remodeled. It was also noted that at the time the current regulations were put in place there was much enthusiasm for how much the downtown area would expand, which has not occurred.
After much discussion, Kim asked for a vote between three alternatives: (1) new regulations apply only to the downtown area (CD) excluding Wapato Way between Pedoi and Wapato Point Parkway, and to the CT zone; (2) new regulations apply only to the triangle area; and (3) new regulations apply to all of downtown (CD zone) and the CT zone.
Majority of the community attendees and council selected (1) as their choice, so the council is recommending that the new regulations apply only to the downtown area (CD) excluding Wapato Way between Pedoi and Wapato Point Parkway, and the CT zone.
The second issue was parking, and whether or not the county should “encourage” parking for residences in the triangle area be placed behind or to the side of the house. After discussion and a vote by attendees and council, the majority decided to make no recommendation to the county regarding this issue.
The next item on the agenda was communication channels for the council. At the last meeting there was a discussion about increasing the channels, and Kim and Jeremy “jumped the gun” in setting up a Facebook page and a website before the council had voted to include those. After discussion, Jeremy moved and Kathy seconded, and all three councilmembers present voted to approve the use of a website, an email list, posters, radio, and newspapers to communicate agendas, issues, and actions, but to defer the decision on the use of Facebook until next month.
There was a brief discussion regarding whether the council was subject to the Open Public Meetings Act. Doug England provided an opinion from county legal staff stating that it is. He also provided some materials explaining the ramifications of that.
Kim provided a report on Manson recycling. This isn’t a good time for recycling and China, the biggest importer of recycled glass, is rejecting glass from the USA for too much contamination. Zippy Disposal may get a franchise to collect recycling door-to-door if the EPA funds it, but it will exclude glass.
Kim read two emails from community members, one concerned about the future use of Ernie’s Gas Station and a preference for making it a public space, and one concerned about affordable housing.
Kim noted that the council has decided to hold a Special Meeting the first Tuesday of each month to keep up with requests from the county, and that the meeting will be cancelled if there are no items to discuss.
The meeting was adjourned at 8 PM.
Signed by Jeremy Jaech