KENNEWICK — Kennewick developer Jose Chavallo said it was an unfortunate mistake by the Kennewick Irrigation District to withdraw his water right for the 38-unit Citadel Estates subdivision.
Chavallo said he had not been advised that a decision was pending and claimed the rescission of his water right might have been against the state open meetings act.
"To my knowledge, this decision was not based on any report from the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation (and) we are not aware of any geotechnical report prepared by the USBR or KID," he said.
Chuck Freeman, KID district manager, said Thursday that there are three geotechnical reports.
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The KID board voted Tuesday to deny water to the project, citing the possibility that irrigating the slope on the north side of Thompson Hill south of Kennewick could cause the slope to become unstable and slip.
KID has its Division 4 canal directly below the 24 acres where Chavallo wants to put his proposed Citadel Estates.
Chavallo said in a statement sent to the Herald on Thursday that a bureau engineer who was reviewing safety issues on the project determined it may be adequate. But the engineer felt the level of safety would be hard to determine without further information, according to Chavallo.
Chavallo claims his geotechnical engineer provided the needed information, but was told the bureau engineer was not authorized to do any more review of the project.
"Neither KID nor the bureau has ever provided me or anyone else on this project any geotechnical reports. I was not provided with notice (of KID's) meeting or given the opportunity to defend the water allocations for my project," Chavallo said in his statement.
He said he wants the board to reconsider.
Lisa Beaton, Kennewick city attorney, said the KID decision will not be part of what a hearing examiner reviews before ruling in mid-May on Chavallo's pending request to build the project.
City staff has recommended approval.