By Marcy Stamper
For three weeks, Okanogan County has had its first new comprehensive plan in half a century. The county commissioners adopted the plan just three days before Christmas, but that plan is now up for reconsideration.
After further review of comments received at the Dec. 22 hearing — at which the commissioners adopted the plan, two separate plans for the Methow Valley, an interim zoning ordinance, and related maps — the commissioners approved a motion at their board meeting on Jan. 5 to reopen the process, according to Okanogan County Planning Director Perry Huston.
The commissioners were compelled by comments they received stating that conducting the hearing during the holiday season had made it difficult for the public to participate, said Huston.
The commissioners have scheduled another hearing in early February to assure that members of the public have every opportunity to express their views, said Huston.
The motion to reconsider applied only to the comp plan and did not specifically mention the other documents adopted along with it, but “I think they’re going to listen to whatever anybody has to say,” said Huston.
At the Dec. 22 hearing, verbal testimony was restricted to the interim zoning ordinance, although the commissioners were still accepting written comments on all the documents.
At the hearing in February, the commissioners’ options include rescinding the comp plan, moving to reconsider the other documents as well, amending the documents, sending the plan to the planning department for more revisions, reaffirming the adoption, or continuing the hearing to allow additional input, said Huston.
“Everything adopted is still adopted, but the motion to reconsider puts the comp plan back in front of the commissioners,” he said.
The new hearing is Monday, Feb. 2, at 1:30 p.m. in the commissioners’ hearing room in Okanogan. People will be allowed three minutes of verbal testimony at the hearing. They can also submit written comments before the hearing to email@example.com.
The comp plan and Methow plans, along with the resolutions adopting them, are available on the Planning Department website at www.okanogancounty.org/planning.
For more information, call Huston at (509) 422-7218.