Douglas County Officials to Discuss North-End Development at Summit
EAST WENATCHEE — Elected officials and staff from several Douglas County agencies will meet next week to discuss the infrastructure needed to develop an area north of East Wenatchee.
The summit will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. March 12 at the Douglas County PUD Auditorium.
The 300 acres, located near the Odabashian Bridge, sit within the East Wenatchee urban growth area. Much of the area is undeveloped and has few roads and utilities.
At the meeting, Port of Douglas officials will present the findings of a study that analyzed the site’s development potential. Port officials will then seek feedback on how agencies can work together to attract job-creating businesses and tourism recreation opportunities.
The study was conducted for the port by the East Wenatchee office of RH2 Engineers and Seattle-based BERK Consulting, which evaluated infrastructure needs and market conditions and also arrived at recommendations for moving forward.
“We equate this kind of community development to investment planning,” said Lisa Parks, executive director of the Port of Douglas County. “We are planning for the future. If we plan right, and everyone does their share, everyone will benefit. We will create jobs and we will keep taxes and utility rates low over the long-term.
“But if we don’t start now, we will lose the opportunity and it will end up costing the community more in the long run,” Parks said.
The port has been serving as the project’s facilitator since receiving funds from the Douglas County Regional Council in 2012 to study the north-end site.
The area is bounded on the north by Highway 2/97, on the south by Goldcrest Street, on the west by the Columbia River and on the east by Highway 28. It is one of the last large undeveloped tracts in the Wenatchee metro area and in the 1990s was eyed for a large shopping mall. Development has been held up since then by the lack of utilities and roads.
The public can attend the summit. Agencies invited include the City of East Wenatchee, Douglas County Commission, Douglas County Sewer District, East Wenatchee Water District, Douglas County PUD, Washington State Department of Transportation and the Wenatchee Valley Transportation Council.
Lisa Parks, Executive Director
Port of Douglas County