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Neighbors complain about landowner project on Canyon Rd

Residents living along Canyon Road No. 1 west of Wenatchee are complaining to Chelan County about the process of a fellow landowner’s project.

The residents say they were unaware of the documentation submitted by Tyler Chambers to build two houses and another structure, a detached garage/shop, on three lots.

Resident Matt Canlis says publishing a public comment period in the local newspaper didn’t give them enough notice of the project.

“I must confess that I am frustrated that this was the response we ultimately got, something that was public but none of us knew,” Canlis said. “And is there any reason why, now that we’ve seen it, you couldn’t give us more time, as a neighborhood, to read through it and think about it.

State law requires a public comment period so that such a project can be published by the county in the local newspaper, here the Wenatchee World. It also calls on the province to place the project on the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Register with the state Department of Ecology.

The SEPA process identifies and analyzes the environmental impacts associated with government decisions. These decisions may relate to the granting of permits for private projects.

Three documents relating to Chambers’ project have been placed on the SEPA register: his plan for the construction of the houses and garage, a SEPA checklist he submitted and a notice from the provincial community development department that the project does not require any research into the environmental effects is necessary.

The public comment period on Chambers’ project ended Monday

He is facing a number of lawsuits and a stop-work order by County Code Enforcement.

No. 1 Canyon Road resident Julie Tarbert says Chambers has a history of bulldozing the earth without regard for neighbors.

“Our fear is that if they approve this SEPA checklist and things like that, Tyler will just start plowing through the road whether he has permission or not,” Tarbert said. .”

Chambers had been moving earth for some time before the stop work order was issued.

His earth-moving expedition drew alarm from neighbors and criticism from the province after it moved deep into the hills of No. 1 Canyon had been carved out.

Neighbors have also claimed that erosion from his earthmoving has damaged their properties.

There is a pending lawsuit against Chambers in Chelan County Superior Court, although there has been no activity there since October of last year.

The lawsuit alleges he failed to obey the stop-work order and also failed to obtain a document called a critical areas report.

A separate lawsuit against Chambers by the Chelan Douglas Land Trust will be dismissed next month due to inaction for more than a year.

The Land Trust claims that Chambers’ excavation severely damaged the Trust’s adjacent land and resulted in the Trust losing funding for 50 percent of the value of that land.

Chambers’ property is 66 acres in the 3300 block of Canyon Road No. 1.

Residents provided comments to county commissioners during a public comment portion of a county commission meeting Monday

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Gallery credits: Jaime Skelton