City says townhouse developer needs to revise application

Provided illustration An architectural drawing of the proposed 52-unit Queens Court Villas.

WENATCHEE — A developer planning to build 52 townhouses in No. 2 Canyon will need to revise the public benefit and unit density sections of his application before the project can move forward to the hearing examiner.

The city sent a letter to the developer, Darren Schamuhn of Castle Heights Holdings, on Friday with feedback from its planning division and several other local agencies, which is a standard part of the application process.

The city received about 70 letters of opposition from the public and an 18-person petition calling for the project to be denied. Those were also sent to Schamuhn.

In the letter, the city’s planning division requested clarifications about how the project, called Queens Court Villas, would benefit the public and be “harmonious” with the surrounding area, both of which are required by city code.

“We’re looking for them to clarify their public benefit,” said Community Development Director Glen DeVries. “Any development that comes through has a requirement to meet a public benefit standard.”

Schamuhn also needs to address the project’s dwelling-unit density, DeVries said. The project is currently at 8.4 units per acre but the area is zoned to allow for a maximum of six units per acre.

“There is a way that density needs to be calculated and there were some errors in the application on how that was calculated,” DeVries said. “They need to rework that. They have some options and it really depends on how they move forward.”

The application was submitted Jan. 23 and called for the 52 townhouses in 13 buildings on 6.19 acres at the end of Kings Court road.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is concerned the project may result in the loss of mule deer and shrub-steppe habitat due to its proximity to the foothills.

“The conversion of wildlife habitat to residential development contributes to the cumulative adverse ecological impacts to the mule deer herd at this location,” part of the WDFW letter said.

WDFW suggested the Schamuhn create a mitigation and management plan to offset these potential impacts.

Schamuhn will need to address these concerns before the application review process is completed, DeVries said. When the review is complete the city will schedule a public hearing on the project.