City Council approves wakeboard park permits
Ecology now will review the project
MONROE - The controversial wakeboard park project at Lake Tye is one step closer to getting the final green light to start construction.
The City Council at last week’s meeting voted 6-1 to approve watersports company H30’s shoreline permits needed before construction can begin. Councilwoman Patsy Cudaback voted no.
The permits application has been forwarded to the state Department of Ecology, which will have 30 days to review the application, public works director Brad Feilberg said. Once it is cleared by Ecology, H30 must wait 21 days before it can begin construction. Ecology’s decision could be appealed during this time.
Unlike in the past when this topic was before the council, no one spoke out during the time set aside for citizen comments.
Hearing examiner Carl Cox recommended the city grant the permits following a resident appeal of the city’s environmental review of the project. Cox sided with the city in the appeal in a Dec. 11 decision.
The project will take up 17 acres of the 42-acre lake and will include a cable-tow wakeboard ride supported by six towers and a beginner cable line supported by two towers in the southern portion of the lake. The ride will include trick features and a 2,500-square-foot pro shop that will house ticket and retail sales, restrooms, lockers and office.
Throughout the process, H30 said it wanted to peacefully coexist with current uses on the lake, such as fishing and swimming.
The project has long been a source of controversy among residents who say the public lake shouldn’t be used for private business. They also are concerned about noise, traffic and safety.
Supporters of the project say it fits nicely with other uses and provides an activity for people in the summer.
H30 said in May it anticipates an average 150-day season, about the same as the skiing season at Stevens Pass. Peak season would be June through August, and the park would be open seven days a week. H30 estimates 200 people per day during peak season. Off-season would be April, May, September and October, and the park would be open 9 a.m. to dusk.
H30 has agreed to an initial 10-year lease instead of the original 25 years. H30 wants the option to renew the lease. The company would pay to build, operate and take care of the lake while in business. The city would get lease payments plus 2 percent gross sales. H30 in May estimated the city would collect about $58,000 the first year, $80,000 the second year and $100,000 the third year. The company said those were conservative estimates.
Last May, the company said it would offer city residents a 10 percent discount on the price to ride. At that time, the company predicted most of its sales would come from two-hour passes at $27. The next best seller would be the full-day pass at $45.
Cudaback has been vocal in her opposition to the project.
During the discussion at the Jan. 8 meeting, she cited what she considered to be inconsistencies between the city’s shoreline master plan and the wakeboard proposal.
“I find that there will be negative effects in this area,” Cudaback said.
“I’m concerned with compatible use, like with fishing and swimming during the summer.”
Check out our online Publications!