By Ann McCreary
A variance approved by the Twisp Town Council last week will allow the developer of the Old School House subdivision to build a street that is narrower than required by town ordinance.
The six-lot subdivision is located on the former site of the old Allen Elementary School off May Street. The council approved a request to reduce the pavement width for a dead-end street into the subdivision from 28 feet as required by town ordinance to 24 feet.
Twisp’s Planning Commission recommended the council approve the narrower pavement width, as well as waiving requirements for curbs, gutters and sidewalks.
Public Works Director Andrew Denham said his department had reviewed and signed off on the street plans.
“We’re trying to find a compromise that is doable for a smaller developer,” Denham said. The six-lot property is owned and developed by Paul Barth of Sacramento, California.
The Town Council granted a similar variance for the nearby Isabella Ridge subdivision last year.
Denham told council members that his department is currently reviewing town codes related to development requirements related to streets, sidewalks and other infrastructure to update and revise them.
Requirements for sidewalks in certain developments may be changed, for instance, because “sidewalks are not consistent with the transportation plan – we’re looking more and more at shared use paths” that would accommodate bikes and other types of transportation, he said.