Saturday, June 22, 2024

Property designated commercial

Brewster zoning code change interferes with residential sale

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BREWSTER – When Brewster residents Ronald and Ruth Ann Paslay decided to relocate to Wenatchee recently, they put their home at 401 Lakeview Drive, a one-way street between N. Bridge Street and the Columbia River on the market. It did not take long for the Paslays to find an interested purchaser, but something unexpected occurred during the buyer’s mortgage financing procedure.

An appraisal of the Paslay’s property revealed that the home they bought when the site was zoned R2 (residential) was now zoned C2 (commercial).

Paslay and neighbors Sheila Lautensleger and Juan Hernandez appeared at a meeting of the Brewster Planning Commission last Thursday, Oct. 4, to inquire when the zoning was changed and what, if anything could be done to resolve the issue.

“None of the mortgage companies will touch financing a home that is in commercial zoning,” Paslay told the commission. “So here we went from ready to sign today and be handed a check for what we’re asking for our home to no deal at all.”

Paslay said he arranged for a private loan to purchase a condo in Wenatchee and is currently paying interest on that acquisition plus the expenses to maintain the Brewster property.

“Here we are holding the bag on a home we’d like to sell and the only reason we can’t sell is because it was determined by somebody, sometime that that whole residential area should be zoned commercial,” Paslay said.


Lautensleger, who lives at 402 Lakeview Drive was concerned that if someone bought her home and wanted to replace it or the structure was destroyed by fire, the present zoning would not allow it to be rebuilt.

While Planning Commission members could not be sure when the rezoning had occurred the consensus was that it happened around the year 2000. They were also not sure if the original recommendation to make the zoning change came from an outside party or the commission members at the time.

Brewster planning contract consultant Kurt Danison of Highland Associates explained that when the zoning was changed there was a public announcement and series of public hearings but that the committee was not obligated by statute to notify each individual landowner.

In their discussion to resolve the zoning roadblock for the Paslays and give the other residents on Lakeview a resolution, the commission members requested that the parties get signatures from the other affected property owners and bring a consensus to the commission.

Danison also requested that Paslay check with his mortgage specialist to see if allowing residential as a nonconforming use in the commercial zone would meet financing guidelines.

“If we make it so those homes are not a noncomforming use and still remain in a commercial zone, would that satisfy the lender?” Danison asked.

Commission members agreed that they will work to resolve the difficulty to the satisfaction of all parties concerned once they determine the most expedient way to proceed.

“Since you fellas are in a position to fix it, that’s why we are here., we’re throwing our case on the mercy of the court and we need some answers,” Paslay said.

The parties agreed to reconvene at the earliest opportunity to pursue a resolution.

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