WENATCHEE — A judge has reversed her decision from last summer ordering the removal of three manmade peninsulas on Lake Chelan.
The issue will instead go to trial, Chelan County Superior Court Judge Lesley Allan ruled.
Known as Three Fingers, the 6.12-acre property on Lake Chelan’s south shore is owned by GBI Holding Co., and was never developed. A fourth “finger” was removed after a court battle 40 years ago.
Allan’s initial order last May to remove the property came in response to Chelan Basin Conservancy’s lawsuit, filed after the city of Chelan agreed to allow its owners to divide it.
The conservancy argued that public access to the lake, and their right to use the bay, are impaired by the manmade fill. The judge agreed.
Seattle attorney Sandy Mackie said he’s drawing up an order now to reflect Allan’s Jan. 15 reversal after property owners and the state Attorney General’s Office asked the judge to reconsider that decision.
“The state said all kinds of things need to be looked at” before the judge can rule that a state statute is unconstitutional.
In her Jan. 15 reversal, Allan wrote that the court needed to resolve several things — including whether the Three Fingers were legally created — before determining whether they should be removed.
Allan also wrote that GBI Holding had submitted information about the potential benefits of the property which should be considered.
Mackie said no hearing had been set for the judge to consider those issues.
“The clients are clearly pleased with the decision,” he added.
An attorney for the Conservancy could not be reached this morning.
K.C. Mehaffey: 997-2512