The City’s future growth rate is not expected to be as high as recent years. In 2002, the Office of Financial Management released population projections that provided high, intermediate and low projection alternative growth scenarios for Chelan County and the unincorporated cities. The Chelan County Comprehensive Plan states that the cities and County chose to plan for the high projections of 1.84 percent. The population within the city limits is estimated to be approximately 3,721 people in 2020, based on projections using the historical trend of 1.84 percent per year.
|1980||2,240 US Census|
|1990||2,544 US Census|
|2000||2,965 US Census|
|2010||3,063 US Census|
* Estimated population numbers
The climate in Cashmere is semi-arid with continental and marine characteristics. The Cascade Range forms a western barrier to the easterly movement of cool air in the summer and mild moist air in the winter. The area is also affected by the marine weather moving through the Columbia River Gorge. Summers are warm, dry and sunny. Temperatures range from 50°F to 80°F. Winters are cool and wet. Temperatures range from 10°F to 40°F. Annual precipitation averages approximately 15 inches per year, with most of the precipitation occurring in the fall and winter months.
Native vegetation in the valley is typical of dry climate zones and consists mainly of grasses and brush. Pine forests are the dominant vegetation in the higher elevations along the ridges, north slopes and into the tributary canyons. Orchards, agricultural activities and landscaping thrive with the aid of irrigation water.
Cashmere is primarily a residential community with a large percentage of the population commuting to Wenatchee for employment. Residential properties comprise approximately 441 acres, which is 54% of the total land area within the city limits. Industrial activities include processing as well as warehousing activities such as Bethlehem Construction (pre-cast concrete plant) and the fruit packing and storage plants owned by Blue Star Growers and Crunch Pak. Commercial areas include the downtown business district (Cottage Ave, Aplets Way and Mission Ave), the East Cashmere area, Sunset Highway and there are several small businesses at various locations within the city.
The City is located in the lower Wenatchee River Valley with elevations between 800 and 1,000 feet above sea level. The City is located on the east slope of the Cascade Mountains and is enclosed by the Wenatchee River and steep hillsides. North of Cashmere, ridges rise to over 2,000 feet above mean sea level (MSL) before ascending higher into the Entiat Mountains. South of Cashmere, ridges rise to over 2,000 feet above MSL and are connected with the Wenatchee Mountains and Mission Ridge.
The Wenatchee River is located along the northern edge of the City and is the largest body of surface water in the City. Mission Creek runs through the City and flows north to meet the Wenatchee River. Brender Creek is located on the western side of the City and flows east to meet the Wenatchee River.
The Cashmere valley enjoys some wonderful assets, which provide a solid foundation for long-term economic vitality. The following are key examples:
Natural Amenities – The area has clean air, an abundance of clean water, fertile soil, a warm, dry summer climate and cold, snowy winters.
Topography – The area’s topography varies from gently rolling hills to steep mountainous valleys.
Pre-existing Development – In-place infrastructure includes multiple transportation systems, water, sewer, power, governmental bodies, housing, commercial and retail enterprises.
Extensive Public Land Ownership – Over 85 percent of land in Chelan County is publicly owned. This allows easy access to the back country and an abundance of recreational opportunities.
Fruit Industry – The industry grows and markets some of the world’s highest quality fruit, including apples, pears, cherries, apricots, and peaches.
Tourism Industry – The area receives moderate tourist activity with visitors primarily coming to experience the Cashmere Pioneer Museum, Liberty Orchards candy factory, the Chelan County Fair, antique malls, or participate in outdoor recreation activities such as river rafting and mountain biking. Recent trends show positive growth in the overall economic growth and development of the community.