Golf Course Out at Crescent Bar Island Resort?

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October 7, 2010 by   - () Leave a Comment

Crescent Bar Island on the Columbia River in Washington.

The golf course will be removed from Crescent Bar Island post-2012, near Kennewick, Wash., because it's too expensive, won't make money and limits broader public access, The Wenatchee World reported.

That was the consensus among a majority of Grant County PUD commissioners who on Sept. 30 endorsed a staff-proposed layout for the island that doesn't include the nine-hole course.

PUD spokeswoman Dorothy Harris, said the approved plan is preliminary, but the golf course will be replaced, largely with additional camping areas, some park and possibly cabins.

The plan also calls for boat moorage, park shelters and fuel sales for watercraft.

Changes wouldn't happen until after mid-2012, when long-term leases to island condos and RV lots expire.

Crescent Bar is about 30 miles southeast of Wenatchee on the Columbia River. Grant County PUD owns the island as part of the boundary of its Wanapum Dam.

Commissioners have ordered Crescent Bar's approximately 400 leaseholders to vacate the island by the time the leases expire.

Leaseholders are fighting their ouster and have begun legal action against the PUD. They say they'd drop their legal action in exchange for new long-term leases.

The PUD has so far declined their request.

The PUD is negotiating with state parks to operate Crescent Bar, much the way the state agency now does Wenatchee Confluence and Lincoln Rock state parks. Both are owned by the Chelan County PUD.

"There are no wrong answers to what you do here," Jim Harris, state park's director for Eastern Washington told commissioners at Thursday's meeting. "The demand is so high right now that is unmet. … Whatever you build is going to be used."

The no-golf proposal endorsed  by commissioners drew sharp criticism from a nearby business owner, who says the preferred plan will ruin the island's beauty with too many RV lots and leave golfers with only the par-3, nine-hole course at nearby Sunserra Resort.

"We're turning it into just a big RV park," said Tom Park, owner of Crescent Bar Resorts. The off-island company rents vacation homes at Sunserra and hosts pontoon- boat tours along the Columbia River. "What they're doing is taking away the beauty and aesthetics of Crescent Bar."

Park pointed to the earlier "Option D" announced by PUD staff that excluded the golf course but preserved more green areas.

Both this early plan and the current preferred plan call for existing island condominium buildings to be demolished.

Park blasted commissioners for approving a plan different from the earlier options presented to the public.

"They passed the plan within three hours and did it very quietly, so the public wouldn't know," Park said.

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