The Okanogan County hearing examiner has denied an application from a developer who wants to build a subdivision near Pine Forest, off Elbow Coulee Road, finding that the developer does not have adequate or legally available water for the project.
Hearing examiner Dan Beardslee rejected the proposal by Harry Burkholder to use a single well for the 12-plat Hummingbird Heaven Hideaway for several reasons.
Beardslee found that a single well, which can be used for up to 5,000 gallons per day, would not be adequate for 14 connections under the county’s public health rules. Beyond that, Beardslee noted that the state Department of Ecology has denied Burkholder’s application to drill a well on the property.
Moreover, Washington law requires a community/class A water system when there are more than 11 connections, but Burkholder’s application was for a group B system, which cannot be used for that many residences under state health laws, said Beardslee in his decision.
There is currently no well on the property, and the fact that Burkholder pointed out the existence of a well 1 mile away does not mean he can draw water from a closed basin, said Beardslee.
Beardslee held a public hearing on the proposal on April 27 and issued his decision on May 10.
Beardslee cited “voluminous verbal testimony,” plus considerable written testimony, opposing the use of water for Hummingbird Heaven. He noted that no one offered testimony that supported the use of water for the project.
Anyone with standing may appeal Beardslee’s decision until June 7.