The Leavenworth Adventure Park (LAP) was perhaps the most contentious project in the history of the City of Leavenworth. The central feature of this project is an alpine coaster. Phase 1 of the project which included the coaster and two other outdoor “adventures” as well as food service, began operation on June 1, 2023. Phase 2 of the project will include other outdoor “adventures” and related facilities such as additional parking.
The City issued a permit to LAP allowing them to build the project subject to many “Conditions of Approval”. These requirements were intended to reduce the impacts of this project on the environment and surrounding neighborhoods.
Yet, barely 6 months after opening the project, the owners have submitted a request to the City asking it to modify several of these conditions of approval. Specifically, the owners are requesting that:
- The requirement to close at 8 pm every evening be modified to allow them to operate until 10 pm. (This condition was imposed to reduce disturbance of surrounding neighborhoods from noise and traffic.)
- The requirement for ticketed parking be eliminated. (This condition was imposed to ensure that visitors to Leavenworth did not use the LAP parking lot while engaging in other tourist activities in town.)
- The prohibition against live music on site be eliminated. (This condition was imposed to reduce the impact of unwanted noise on neighbors as well as to eliminate the possibility that the site would become a destination for unrelated activities.)
- The requirement for a noise study to assess the impacts of operation on surrounding neighborhoods be eliminated. (This condition was imposed to ensure that noise from continuing operations of the facility did not exceed local and state regulatory thresholds.)
City approval of any of these requests would make a sham of the entire permitting process. If conditions applied to projects to reduce environmental impacts can be lifted as soon as a project is built, such conditions have no meaning or effect.
The City has issued a notice that it will take public comments on LAP’s request up until 5 pm on Thursday, January 4th, 2024. Comments will help to inform the City’s planner, Lilith Vespier, in making her recommendations to the Hearing Examiner about whether any of the conditions of approval should be modified. It is expected that a public hearing on LAP’s request will occur in February.
We urge you to send an email to Lilith Vespier ([email protected]) requesting her to recommend denial of Adventure Park’s request. At stake here is protection of our community as well as the integrity of the City’s permitting process.