By Marcy Stamper

The Okanogan County planning department is considering an amendment to the county code that would change the zoning for about eight acres just north of Twisp from the 20-acre uplands to the 12,500-square-foot zone on the valley floor.

The change for the Walking D property would accommodate future building sites while retaining an irrigated agricultural field, according to the application submitted by Ken Doran. Without the change, any building would have to occur in the field, which is already zoned for 12,500-square-foot lots.

The majority of the property, which covers hundreds of acres, is protected by a conservation easement, according to Okanogan County Senior Planner Ben Rough. The rezone would follow the boundary of that easement.

Rough said he has estimated the affected land at seven or eight acres, but a written legal description would be required if the proposal is approved.

The Doran family wants to build up to 10 homes for family members over the next two decades but has no immediate plans, according to the application. There would be no restrictions on selling the property in the future, said Rough.

The Okanogan County planning director has determined there would be no significant environmental impact associated with the rezone. No date has been set for the hearing.

People may comment on the potential environmental impact of the zone change under the State Environmental Policy Act by Wednesday (April 16) to brough@co.okanogan.wa.us. For more information, call Rough at (509) 422-7122.