Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Cashmere planning commission proposes parking, RV park code changes

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CASHMERE - At the Cashmere Planning Commission meeting on Feb 5, Director of Operations Steve Croci, announced that the Commission had completed its tasks and that the proposed changes to the city’s off-street parking regulations will be sent to the City Council for review and potential approval at the Feb 26th Council meeting. 

Three Commission member's terms ended in Dec., as a result, Zak Steigmeyer and Matthew Walgren were selected to be the new Chair and Vice Chair of the Planning Commission, respectively. Commission seats are still vacant, and anyone interested in serving on the Commission should contact Mayor Jim Fletcher at City Hall.

The Commission members gave approval for city staff to move forward with revisions to the city’s codes that regulate RV Parks and Campgrounds. Christina Wollman, Contract Planner with Perteet, Inc., explained that a public meeting and public comment period are required before changes can officially be made. Croci explained to Commission members that the changes are necessary because portions of the current code include incorrect language. Describing the error in more detail, he told the Commissioners that the current code for RV parks built in a commercial area includes requirements only applicable to residentially zoned locations. Croci added that the issue arose, and the error became apparent when the city received a request from someone interested in building an RV park on the east end of town. Wollman clarified that the process of permitting RV parks will change. The revised code would allow RV parks in public use areas, such as the fairgrounds and city property, and in commercial light industrial areas, but they must have at least 2 acres of land. Croci said a written management plan would also be required for a proposed RV park. The topic generated significant discussion among the Commissioners, who deliberated about where RV Parks and Campgrounds should be allowed. Based on the recommended changes, RV Parks will no longer be allowed in any residential zone, but the Planning Commission recommended that the topic be revisited when the city updates its Comprehensive Plan.

Planning for a joint meeting of the Commission and City Council, members revisited topics that they had previously proposed, which included: 

  • Possible changes to the Urban Growth Area (UGA) boundaries
  • The location of future development in the UGA.
  • Aesthetics and Cosmetics of the city.
  • Reviewing city codes to determine if they are limiting business development.
  • Reviewing city codes to determine if they are deterring the small-town appeal of Cashmere.
  • Potential expansion of water/sewer lines into UGAs.
  • Spaces for small business in town.
  • Recreational opportunities.

Steigmeyer also recommended that the city take a geographic approach to city improvement and look closely at individual small areas within the city. For example, he pointed to the area of “parking lots, dumpsters and (the) back of buildings” along Aplets Way. He suggested that the city should then consider if the City’s codes are standing in the way of improvements. Croci said the joint meeting will be held on either Feb 26th or March 11th at 6:00 at City Hall.

Croci told Commissioners that the development of the Spears and Fruitful Place (adjacent to the Christ Center Church) properties are moving forward with about 10 houses planned for the Spears parcel and about 20 houses on the Fruitful Place development.

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