CompPlan-postFile photo by Don Nelson

 

BY MARCY STAMPER

The Okanogan County Planning Commission is holding a public hearing on Monday (June 24) on the county’s comprehensive plan, which may be nearing completion after six years of review by county commissioners, planning staff and the public.

The bulk of the 12th draft, released last month, is pared down from earlier versions, with one simplified category for rural density that would cover lots from one to 20 acres and details on critical areas and shorelines issues moved to their own plans.

The comp plan includes a provision for “more completely planned areas,” which would allow a region such as the Methow Valley to propose and enact specialized planning guidelines and policies. The planning commissioners added a section in this draft on the Methow Valley More Completely Planned Area (MVMCPA).

The Methow has had stricter environmental protections and lower densities than the rest of the county since 1976, when the county adopted a special plan for the Methow Review District. More specific local planning was later drafted for the Mazama area and also adopted by the commissioners.

“This update of the Methow Valley Planning Area MVMCPA is intended to refine previous planning efforts in light of changing conditions,” according to the May 16 draft, although the section focuses primarily on Mazama.

In addition to the new version of the comp plan, the county has released a draft environmental impact statement and a map to accompany the plan. The documents are available on the planning department website at www.okanogancounty.org/planning and at area libraries. For more information, call (509) 422-7118.

People may provide up to five minutes of oral testimony at the public hearing on Monday at 7 p.m. in the commissioner’s hearing room in Okanogan. People may submit written comments of any length to smckenzie@co.okanogan.wa.us by June 24.