By Marcy Stamper
The owner of Pipestone Canyon Ranch is applying for a variance from Okanogan County so he can apply to create an event center on the property, 7 miles east of Twisp.
George Hoksbergen is proposing a venue for events such as weddings and catered dinners, using an existing building on the property, which is on Balky Hill Road near Beaver Creek Road.
The building has its own kitchen, meeting room, bathroom and septic system, and was previously used for meat cutting and jerky production and as a bakery, according to Hoksbergen’s application.
Hoksbergen needs a variance from the county’s requirement for at least twice the minimum lot size to be permitted to apply for a planned development. Because Pipestone Canyon Ranch, which is on a 29.3-acre parcel, is in an area zoned for lots at least 20 acres in size, it would need 40 acres to accommodate a planned development without the variance.
Planned developments are intended to provide diverse opportunities for development and to minimize impacts on natural resources through the design and placement of buildings and other amenities, according to Okanogan County code. Rezoning property for a planned development changes the allowable uses and includes special requirements for open space and water systems.
If the Okanogan County Board of Adjustment grants the variance, the landowner will be able to proceed with an application for the event center, according to Randy Johnson, a planner with Okanogan County.
The Board of Adjustment has scheduled a hearing on the variance for Tuesday, Sept.17, at 7:30 p.m. in the commissioners’ hearing room in Okanogan. For more information, contact Johnson at (509) 422-7117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.