Oroville approves Sandalia dock extension

OROVILLE – The Oroville City Council approved a request from Sandalia Beach Resort to extend their dock at the council’s Tuesday, July 15 meeting following the conclusion of a public hearing on the matter.

The request was for a 224’ dock with 24 slips, each with a ground-based boat lift, as well as an extension of the shoreline permit.

The public hearing was a continuance from the previous council meeting two weeks prior. The proponents from the resort added no additional information at the hearing. A rebuttal statement from Christian Johnson, Oroville’s Permit Administrator, was read by Chris Branch, director of Community Development. The rebuttal mostly addressed concerns raised by members of the Lake Osoyoos Association at the part of the public hearing held two weeks earlier.

One Johnson comments disputed the LOA’s contention that the expanded dock would restrict the flow of navigable water. He also talked about the resort’s mitigation, which included a public walking trail and a wetlands buffer, as well as shoreline plantings.

Councilman Ed Naillon asked if Sandalia maintained “no diving” signs and he was assured that the resort did so.

“I did go out there to look at the dock and measured in 16 locations,” said Naillon, adding that under each current slip the sand had been washed away and was about a foot deeper from prop wash.

He felt that moving the dock further out, as proposed by the resort would improve this issue.

“I was surprised when I think of a 164 foot dock (current size) this seemed huge… when you get out their on the lake and look at it didn’t seem so big to me,” said Naillon. “What I did see was that prop wash shows you do need some additional depth.”

Naillon asked what the impact that the LAO perceived was most detrimental.

“I think they were worried about size and navigation,” said Councilman Jon Neal.

“After a week of having to consider this issue I don’t set aside the concerns of the opponents, but they don’t outweigh the facts as provided by our staff and the needs of summer residents are not outweighed by those that live here year around,” said Councilwoman Neysa Roley.

Roley made a motion to approve Sandalia’s request with all the conditions laid out by the staff at the previous part of the hearing. Councilman Tony Koepke seconded the motion and it was passed with all council members voting approval, except Councilman Walt Hart who abstained.

Tumbleweed Film Festival

Sandy Lorentzen and Vicki Hinze appeared before the council to discuss the upcoming Tumbleweed Film Festival and ask for its support. Lorentzen is a volunteer for the event and Hinze owns the Pastime Bar and Grill, one of the event’s sponsors.

They said the film festival, now in its fifth year will be held over four days July 30 to Aug. 2 with a total of about 60 short independent films being shown.

“The first year it was in two locations, this year it is in five different locations,” said Lorentzen.

The festival starts off with an event on Wednesday at the Pastime Bar and Grill with a change for this year. Rather than showing the movies this year at the Pastime, ticket holders will follow a special meal by going to Vicki’s Back Door Club for the movies. On Thursday, there will be a family night at the high school commons. On Friday it will be a 21-and-older event at one of the founding venues, Alpine Brewing and on Saturday it will be at the other founding venue, Esther Bricques Winery south of town.

“Some of the most successful festival specialized… not everyone likes chamber music, but there is a whole festival dedicated to it,” said Lorentzen. “And just think of how difficult it was to start the Ashland Shakespeare Festival in Oregon. Today it attracts over 300,000 people and generates $168 million… that’s quite a positive economic impact for businesses in the area.”

She went on to say these types of events are generally run by non-profits like the Tumbleweed, which was founded by Geoff Klein and Mo Fine from Seattle because of their love of the Oroville area.

“The Chamber endorses the festival and we’ve been grateful to get Chris’ (Branch) advice. Right now it is a labor of love. I believe supporting and helping the film festival to grow is good for Oroville and hope you’ll all attend,” said Lorentzen.

Concessions Stand

Rosa Snyder updated the council on the concessions stand at Oroville’s Osoyoos Lake Veterans Memorial Park which she rents from the city.

“We’re doing fairly well I think. The Fourth of July was busy, we had to have three people working all the time to keep up. Breakfast is also going well on the weekend,” she said, adding that they are trying to keep prices low in order that everyone can afford something.

Other than some problems with the electrical circuit breakers, the only issue she finds is that the stand is “complaint central” and many people bring their gripes, real and imagined, about park issues to her and those that work at the stand.

“I can not say enough good about Rod (Noel) and his crew,” Snyder said, referring to the parks department head and those that work for the city at the lakeside park and campground.

Snyder said in addition to the campers, families and kids, the park gets many agriculture workers in the afternoons. She also said they’ve gone through 60 gallons of ice cream since opening.

“One thing we’ve done is start a program where parents give us $10 and then the kids are allowed to bring a code word to make purchases, rather than carrying money themselves,” she said, adding that when the money is depleted the parents can replenish the account.

The concession stand is rented on a percentage basis and the previous month $506 was paid to the city, according to city clerk Kathy Jones.

The business’ hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday through Monday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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