County to consider variance requests
A Mazama resident has applied for a variance from standard setbacks from neighboring property to construct a cover for a recreational vehicle. Tom Thompson requests a setback of less than 12 feet, rather than the 25 feet required in the Okanogan County zone code.
The hearing for the RV cover variance is scheduled before the county hearing examiner on Oct. 9 at 10 a.m. in the commissioners’ hearing room in Okanogan.
A Winthrop resident has applied to Okanogan County for a variance from standard setbacks to neighboring property to build an extension for a bedroom and bathroom and to extend a covered deck. The Roger Thompson residence is on West Chewuch Road, where zoning requires 25-foot setbacks. Thompson seeks setbacks of 15 and 21 feet on two sides of the property.
The hearing for the building-extension variance is scheduled before the hearing examiner on Nov. 13 at 10 a.m. in the commissioners’ hearing room in Okanogan.
For more information or to comment on either application, contact Okanogan County planner Anna Randall at (509) 422-7117 or email@example.com.
Bike trail work party at Sun Mountain
The Methow Chapter of the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance will host a trail work party at Sun Mountain on Sunday (Sept. 14), focused on improving the lower portion of the Magpie trail. The project will include a reroute and construction of a new section of trail with the goal of improving its flow and sustainability and reducing the potential for erosion and rutting. Meet at the Chickadee Trailhead at 8 a.m. and bring work gloves, water, and a snack or sack lunch.
Mine funds environmental projects
Operators of the Buckhorn Gold Mine near Chesaw will spend $180,000 on projects benefiting the environment across Okanogan County, according to a press release by the Washington Department of Ecology. The work is a result of a penalty settlement between the company and Ecology.
In July 2012, Ecology fined Crown Resources $395,000 for water quality permit violations at the Buckhorn Gold Mine. In June 2013, the two agreed that $80,000 would be paid immediately and $180,000 would go toward funding environmental remediation projects in the vicinity of the mine to settle the penalty.
The first project will apply $100,000 toward installing a network of 17 rain gauges in the burned area of the Carlton Complex Fire, according to the Ecology release. The gauges will automatically record and transmit precipitation data to provide early warning to residents of flash floods. The project will also help gather information about the fire’s effects and recovery. Partners in this effort include Ecology, the Okanogan Conservation District, National Weather Service and Governor’s Office.
Another $25,000 will go toward relocating a frequently flooded road at Lost Lake in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. The remaining $55,000 is slated to support other wetland and habitat enhancement and stream restoration projects in the area.
West Nile virus found in Okanogan County horse
The Washington State Department of Agriculture is reporting that an unvaccinated horse in Omak is the second case of equine West Nile virus confirmed in the state this summer. The 17-year-old palomino gelding was not vaccinated for the virus and has not traveled out of state, Agriculture said in a press release. The horse is responding to treatment.
The state’s first case of equine West Nile virus this year was reported Aug. 19, involving a Franklin County horse that was not vaccinated. That horse was euthanized.