A rural Washougal property owner has proposed to build a recreational park featuring a variety of outdoor amenities, including zip-line courses and a “mountain coaster,” on his 150-acre site.
MacKay Sposito, a Vancouver-based energy, public works and land development consulting firm, has invited people living within 500 feet of the property to an informational meeting, to be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at Laurel Lane Event and Retreat Center, 192 Laurel Lane, Washougal.
“As the team of architects and planners work to prepare plans and documents to submit to Skamania County, it became apparent that sharing the property owner’s vision with the neighbors is both important and beneficial,” the invitation states. “Rather than wait for the county’s required notification process, the team — that is the property owner, the architect, and the planning and engineering firm — decided it would be best to hold an informal neighborhood meeting to share what the vision is and what steps the team will be taking to obtain an approval from Skamania County.”
The property, located at 4101 Canyon Creek Road, contains a “very rare large timber farm located near Cape Horn Skye,” according to redfin.com. It was most recently sold for $1.4 million in February 2022, according to zillow.com.
“The property owner … has put together a local team of planners and architects to help implement a vision to create a recreational park inspired by the beauty, landscape and uniqueness that the upper Washougal River valley offers,” the invitation states. “The owner’s vision would strike a balance of providing experiences ranging from excitement to tranquility and from recharging to relaxation, all while being sensitive to the surrounding area.”
The property owner hopes to build a “nature-inspired” recreational park that will offer “adventures or peaceful escapes” through zip-line courses, tree-to-tree canopy walks, aerial net parks, treehouse camping and a “mountain coaster,” and would include a small event venue for weddings and family gatherings, according to the invitation.
“The proposed park activities would be designed to provide captivating experiences for visitors to take in as actively or as passively as they wish,” the invitation states. “Placement of activities and structures will be integrated with the existing forest to provide a nature-focused experience.
The proposed activities will be largely interior to the property and at least 50 feet, and in many cases 100 feet, away from adjacent properties’ border lines.”
The proposed park will be phased in over time and “be ever-mindful of respecting the surrounding area,” the invitation states.
The property is owned by Derek Hoyte, MacKay Sposito planning services manager Marty Snell told the Post-Record.
Hoyte was briefly jailed in 2009 after Skamania County officials discovered he was operating six zip lines without permits on 83 acres of land he owned in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, according to a 2010 report by The Columbian, the Post-Record’s sister publication.
In 2010, the U.S. Attorney’s Office sued Hoyte in federal court in Tacoma, claiming the U.S. Forest Service confirmed reports that Hoyte had reinstalled zip lines on the property and was constructing a suspension bridge without permission, according to a 2010 report by The Oregonian.
In March 2022, four Haiku, Hawaii, residents sued NorthShore Zipline Company, also owned by Hoyte, alleging he “knowingly and intentionally disregard(ed) their concerns about noise, invasion of privacy and emotional distress,” according to a report by mauinews.com.