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8/30/2011 9:54:00 AM
Conservancy appeals 'Fingers' short plat
This photo shows the Three Fingers from Chelan Butte to the south.Mirror photo by Vince Lovato
This photo shows the Three Fingers from Chelan Butte to the south.

Mirror photo by Vince Lovato
Vince Lovato
Editor

CHELAN -- Members of the Lake Chelan Basin Conservancy filed an appeal with the city of Chelan against approval of a short plat issued for the so-called "Three Fingers" in July.
Conservancy officials are waiting for a date with a hearing commissioner, said conservancy member Tammy Hauge.
Conservancy attorneys Gendler and Mann, of Seattle, issued a report pointing to an 84-year-old deed between the town of Lakeside and the Chelan Electric Company that granted public access to the city and the public in perpetuity.
The Chelan City Council of 1927 adopted a resolution stating, in part, "no permits of any kind shall be issued by the city of Chelan or its officials or agents and the city shall endeavor to prevent the issuance of the permit by any other governmental agency."
The attorneys' report also cites a state statute guaranteeing the public access of public property.
Further, sitting City Councilman Stan Morse wrote a letter the city planning director Craig Gildroy in November, 2010, referring to the high-profile State Supreme Court case of Wilbur v. Gallagher which forced the removal of a fourth "Finger" east of the current three; and the state's Public Trust Doctrine.
City of Chelan Planning Director Craig Gildroy issued a short plat to GBI Holding Company of Wenatchee on July 25 but it came with a list of strings attached.
Despite the tentative short plat, conservancy members would like GBI to remove the Fingers completely.
Gildroy included 27 conditions GBI must meet to put the approved short plat into effect including deeding the westernmost finger to the city and developing it as a public park and dock.
Goodfellow Construction, of Wenatchee, contracted to widen SR 97A on the south shore in the 1960s and disposed of the sand and rocks in Lake Chelan, creating the fingers. Stephen and Daniel Goodfellow are GBI officers.
The fingers have been controversial with environmentalists and public access supporters claiming the land should belong to the public while the Goodfellow brothers believe they have the right to sell them to a developer.
Conservancy members hired the Seattle-based attorney partnership of Gendler and Mann to write a report of legal findings they believe would block issuance of a plat map. The report suggests city officials should reclaim the public rights to the disputed area by having the fingers removed and restoring public access to Lake Chelan.
The report states that issuing a short plat violates the state Shoreline Management Act, the city's Shoreline Master Plan and parts of its comprehensive plan.
A Goodfellow official said in May the holding company does not want to develop the property but getting a plat completed would make it easier to sell.

Contact Vince Lovato at editor@lakechelanmirror.com or 509-682-2213.


Related Links:
• City issues short plat for 'Fingers'
• Local group wants public access to 'Three Fingers'





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