EAST WENATCHEE — Douglas County’s Wenatchi Landing project is nearing completion, setting the stage for development of the land at Odabashian Bridge and Sunset Highway.
The project only needs to go through several procedural processes in the next of couple months.
The county and the Douglas County Sewer District completed the extension of sewer lines along Empire Street in around October to November, 2020, Douglas County Commissioner Marc Straub said. The East Wenatchee City Council also approved an overlay district in September.
The landing is about 80 acres of property near the Odabashian Bridge. In 2019, the state Legislature provided Douglas County with about $4 million to extend a sewer line into the Wenatchi Landing area.
The Douglas County Planning Commission will review that zoning overlay at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, via Zoom, Straub said. People can join the meeting at wwrld.us/35ABbTR. The planning commission will then forward its recommendation to the Douglas County Commission, which will hold a public hearing and vote on whether to approve the overlay.
A zoning overlay gives special privileges to an area to encourage economic growth, Straub said. In particular, the Wenatchi Landing overlay will allow mixed uses, so residential and commercial structures could be built next to each other.
Straub said he and his fellow commissioners are excited by the potential economic impact of this completed project.
“It’s a real opportunity to use this area for attracting economic development jobs,” he said. “Opportunities for tourism and that sort of thing.”
Some of the ideas mentioned in previous reporting for the area include:
- A hotel
- A resort
- A winery
The Wenatchi Landing is within the city of East Wenatchee’s Urban Growth Area, Straub said, which means the city could some day annex the property. In the meantime, the county will collect sales and property tax from any businesses that locate there.
“As elected commissioners we have a responsibility to make sure that we are able to continue to deliver services and serve our citizens,” Straub siad. “That happens by way of taxpayer dollars.”
It will likely be 10 to 20 years before the city of East Wenatchee can annex that property, he said.