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Places of Assembly and Outdoor Amplification Code Update 2020

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UPDATE:  The topic of amplified sound has been postponed for the time being and will be revisited at a later date.  Important community issues have been brought up through the public process with the City Council and the Planning Commission that deserve additional time to research and discuss solutions that meet the ever changing needs of our community.


The City of Wenatchee Planning Division has begun a process to revisit how it handles public assembly uses in residential areas and similarly how events utilizing outdoor amplification are regulated. An interim control is currently in effect on these topics. Ordinance 2019-13 was adopted by the Wenatchee City Council on February 28, 2019 and includes interim regulations that will expire after 12 months from the date of passage unless extended, repealed, and/or replaced. On January 23, 2020, the Wenatchee City Council passed Ordinance 2020-05, extending the existing interim control for another 6 months unless extended, repealed, and/or replaced. The purpose of this process is to ensure that the best approach is taken on this topic to meet the community’s needs.

A brief introduction to these two topics is provided below:

Assembly uses:  The city code authorizes neighborhood centers and places of assembly in residential zoning districts with the approval of a conditional use permit.  The definition of a neighborhood center is the location where activities occur for a social, cultural, economic, or educational nature.  Places of assembly include a building used in whole or in part for the gathering of people for deliberation, entertainment, amusement, or awaiting transportation.  These definitions are overly broad and could lead to uses proposed that would be incompatible with their surrounding neighborhoods. 

Outdoor amplification: The city code does not include specific development or performance standards to adequately address and mitigate the impact of amplified sound generated by non-residential uses in residential districts.  Outdoor events are becoming increasingly popular and without appropriate mitigation measures, negative impacts to existing neighborhoods will occur.

The Wenatchee Urban Area Comprehensive Plan includes goals and policies that require non-residential uses to be designed and operated in a compatible manner with the neighborhoods where they are located.  The interim ordinance is necessary to give city staff and the planning commission time to study the land use impacts and the appropriate development standards.

Draft Documents

Draft Code Amendments

DNS and SEPA Checklist

Public Comments

Comments on the proposed amendments should be submitted as soon as possible for consideration by city staff, the planning commission, and the city council.  Comments are accepted up to and at the public hearing.  Comments may be emailed to mparsons@wenatcheewa.gov or mailed to:

 Planning Division

City of Wenatchee

1350 McKittrick Street, Suite A

Wenatchee, WA  98801.

Past Meetings

  • May 15, 2019 -  Workshop with the planning commission - Meeting start time: 5:30 PM
  • December 11, 2019 - Workshop with the planning commission - Meeting start time: 5:30 PM
  • January 15, 2020: Workshop with the planning commission - meeting start time: 5:30 PM
  • January 23, 2020: Public hearing with the city council on an ordinance to extend the existing interim control - meeting start time: 5:15PM
  • February 19, 2020:
    • Open House - CANCELED
    • Workshop with Planning Commission - meeting start time: 5:30PM

Future Scheduled Meetings:

All of the following meetings will occur in the City Council Chambers at Wenatchee City Hall (301 Yakima Street, Wenatchee, WA 98801) unless stated otherwise:

  • The public hearings that had been advertised for March 18 and 26 have been canceled. An updated public hearing schedule will be advertised at some time in the future.

QUESTIONS?

Please contact:

Matt Parsons at: 509-888-3253 or by E-Mail at mparsons@wenatcheewa.gov

or

Stephen Neuenschwander at 509-888-3285 or by Email at sneuenschwander@wenatcheewa.gov