By Marcy Stamper

Okanogan County hearing examiner Dan Beardslee approved a proposal to rezone eight acres on the Walking D Ranch after considering plans of the family corporation and comments from the public. The new zone will be 12,550-square-foot lots, replacing the 20-acre lots that previously applied. His approval was dated July 4.

In his written report, Beardslee found that the proposal is consistent with the applicable sections of the comprehensive plan for the Methow Valley, which he said is intended to be “flexible” and to direct residential development toward existing facilities, such as areas surrounding incorporated towns. The Walking D property is just north of Twisp.

While all comments from the public recommended against the change, Beardslee found that none of the commenters cited any part of the comp plan that would prohibit the rezone. He also noted that the new zone follows a logical boundary along an existing conservation easement on the property.

Beardslee placed one condition on the proposal, requiring the applicants to provide the county with an accurate legal description and map of the newly zoned area.

Beardslee also approved an application from the Lost River Airport Homeowners’ Association to change plat maps to reflect current conditions on the ground by “vacating” a portion of a road that was never built.

Beardslee found that the roads had always been maintained by the homeowners’ association and not by the county. The land from the “vacated” road will be annexed to three lots adjacent to the vacated road but will not create any new lots.

Beardslee placed several conditions on his approval to ensure that the association submits a new plat map that complies with county regulations and is signed by the relevant property owners. Beardslee issued the decision on July 6. The hearing examiner’s decisions can be appealed to the board of county commissioners. The appeal deadline is July 30.