WENATCHEE — The fate of the proposed Leavenworth Adventure Park now rests with Chelan County Superior Court Judge Travis Brandt.
Brandt heard arguments Wednesday afternoon from attorneys for the developers, Friends of Leavenworth and the city. He said he’d announce his decision as soon as possible.
The two-hour hearing did not include public testimony, but about 30 people attended.
David Bricklin, attorney for Friends of Leavenworth, said context should be taken into account when determining the project’s impacts. For example, the park would not be on a ski hill but in a small Bavarian-themed town.
Bricklin also raised concerns of traffic, as the park would be located along a busy highway, and how noise might affect nearby residents. Traffic analyses were done in April and September, rather than the anticipated peak season of summer, and a noise study was conducted at a California park instead of on the site.
Another argument Bricklin made was that the park’s main feature, an alpine coaster, exceeds height restrictions in the city code. He said it qualifies as a structure, defined in the code as “anything constructed or erected with a fixed location.”
Leavenworth’s attorney, Thom Graafstra, said the code is ambiguous in parts and that interpretation should be left to the city’s development services manager. For example, there’s confusion over wording used for measurements.
Graafstra said the city’s mitigated determination of non-significance adequately addressed the park’s potential impacts.
Duana Koloušková, attorney for the developers, noted that such adventure parks are all over the country and in Europe. Leavenworth’s Bavarian theme is a design style but not a use restriction, she said, and the park would be in the tourist-commercial zone.
Koloušková said the park would mainly draw residents and tourists already in the Leavenworth area, but Brandt seemed skeptical, saying it was likely that at least Wenatchee residents would want to check out the park.
Only a few people could ride the alpine coaster at a time, Koloušková said, and it would be more of a toboggan ride than a rollercoaster.
“We’re not proposing Whac-A-Mole, we’re not proposing a gun range,” she said. “… We’re talking about sluice mining for kids and we’re talking about a ropes course.”