Leavenworth Real Estate Blog

Hirst Decision Fixed

Geordie Romer
on January 24, 2018

 On January 19, 2018 Governor Inslee signed the Hirst fix legislation passed by the state legislature as SB 6091. This fixes the very troubling 2016 Washington State Supreme Court ruling known as the Hirst decision.

The Hirst decision caused chaos by adding uncertainty whether rural property owners would be able to prove water availability and get building permits for new construction. There was a lot of confusion and misinformation being spread around and many people including our local newspaper thought that property owners could no longer drill a well in Chelan County

Chelan County was on the record as taking a wait and see attitude and continuing to issue building permits.

I often told people "If I was a betting man, I would bet that the state legislature comes up with a solution, long before Chelan County stops permitting new construction."  Looks like that was a safe bet.

The new law will have different effects in different parts of the state because it relies on water resource inventory areas (WRIAs) to categorize how decisions about water wells will be made. There are 62 WRIAs statewide.

For Chelan County in the Wenatchee River watershed, (including Leavenworth, Plain, Cashmere, Peshastin) this means no changes to the rules in place prior to the Hirst decision. Some other watersheds have new fees and some additional restrictions on withdrawals, but Chelan County does not.

Property owners in the Leavenworth area can continue to apply for building permits and can continue to drill exempt wells for domestic use.  Folks interested in purchasing raw land also can be assured that they will be able to drill a well and apply for a building permit, just as they did before the court ruling.

Allyson and Geordie Romer

Leavenworth real estate agents - Allyson and Geordie Romer

For over a decade, Allyson and Geordie have been serving clients in the Leavenworth-area real estate market. Together, they work tirelessly to stay on top of the regional market and present the most relevant opportunities to their clientele.

When not in the office, they can be found exploring the endless recreation opportunities of the area in all of its seasons.




Geordie provided excellent real estate representation! We appreciated his detailed knowledge of the market, his up front and honest approach, and his negotiation skills.
As reviewed on Zillow  – 

- Laura Anderson



As “west siders” looking for a getaway near Leavenworth, Geordie provided insight … his knowledge of design features important in a “snowy winter wonderland” was appreciated. Thanks Geordie!
As reviewed on Zillow  –

- Jean Stern



Geordie made this somewhat complicated transition easier for us…going above and beyond to help us work through issues that came up during the sale of our parents home. We appreciated his knowledge, attentiveness to details and his willing spirit.
Our family is grateful for Geordie!
As reviewed on Zillow  – 

- Terry Foster



Geordie was great in every way. We have been looking in the Leavenworth area for some time, and Geordie was absolutely the best for local knowledge, history and depth on neighborhoods, developments and the local market trends. He was very quick to respond (even when he was on his vacation) and worked very diligently to get all of our questions answered in a very timely fashion. We would recommend him highly to anyone looking to buy or sell a home. Very friendly, and helped us navigate all of the local options before we made an offer on the property that we purchased. Thank you, Geordie!

As reviewed on Zillow  – 

- Ryan Olsen



It was such a pleasure to work with Geordie and his wife, Allyson on our cabin purchase. They showed us a variety of locations, listened to what we wanted and helped us find the perfect match. Everything was smooth and not stressful, just relaxed and easy. We would definitely recommend Geordie and use him again if the need arises!

As reviewed on Zillow  – 

- Cammie Schlosser


Moving to Leavenworth?

Are you looking for a cabin or a condo in Leavenworth that your family can use as a home base when climbing, skiing or hiking around Leavenworth or Lake Wenatchee?

Maybe you rent a house here and have decided to stay, surprised how a summer of rafting somehow turned into seven years.

Maybe it’s time to escape the hustle of the big city (and its rain) and move to Leavenworth with its four seasons.

Maybe you bought a condo years ago, don’t seem to use as much, and it’s time to sell.

Whatever your motivation, we are here to help. If you are buying a home, the best place to start is with our Homebuyer’s Guide to Leavenworth.