Leavenworth Adventure Park—Public Hearing this Friday

The public hearing on the Leavenworth Adventure Park’s request to modify the permit conditions in their Conditional Use Permit (CUP) is scheduled for Friday, March 29th at 9 am in the Leavenworth City Hall. RC3 has submitted a comment letter that describes our concerns.

First, we do not believe that the City’s zoning code allows applicants to apply to modify the conditions of their CUP. City code Chapter 18.52.090 clearly states that the term of a CUP is permanent. The City, not the applicant, can request the Hearing Examiner to review a CUP. The Hearing Examiner has the authority to “revise the initial conditions of approval if need for mitigation is determined. All conditions of the permit shall continue to apply throughout the life of the use.” This hearing is not about additional mitigation; it is about reducing mitigation and therefore the request by LAP is in conflict with the City’s code.

Second, while recognizing that we may not prevail on the above argument, we have requested that any change in the original permit conditions in the CUP be provisional for one year. At that time, public input should be sought to determine whether the proposed changes in LAP’s operations have had any negative impacts on residents. If there have been negative impacts, the provisional approval should be revoked.

Third, noise from the operation of the coaster is a significant concern. The public comment letters that were submitted by residents earlier this year clearly demonstrate that LAP’s operations, especially the screaming, are having an on-going negative impact on residents. The noise study done by the applicant is inadequate. The applicant did a noise study in January, a period of low use. A proper noise study should be done during the summer peak period. No measurements were taken in the immediately adjacent neighborhoods that are outside the city limits.

The City of Leavenworth has two separate codes that regulate noise. Chapter 9.33 relies on measurements of decibel levels. Chapter 9.34.030 states the following: The following sounds are considered loud or unusual noises in violation of this section: Yelling, shouting, whistling or singing on or near the public streets, particularly between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. or at any time and place as to unreasonably disturb or interfere with the peace and comfort of owners or possessors of real property.

In summary, we have serious concerns about the validity of LAP’s application as well as serious concerns about the lack of mitigation for the noise (screaming and yelling) from the users of the coaster.