By Marcy Stamper
Developers are seeking to rezone part of the Chechaquo Ranch/Pasayten Peak planned development in the Mazama core to accommodate future development including retail, tourist-residential units and expanded and reconfigured parking for Methow Trails.
The property, along Goat Creek Road across Country Road from the Mazama Country Inn and the Mazama Ranch House, is just over 4 acres.
The changes would accommodate tourist/residential housing as well as seasonal housing on the upper floors of three commercially zoned lots. It would also add a separate building with three bedrooms for nightly tourist rentals and parking.
Under the current zoning, the developers cannot place housing on the upper floors of the buildings. According to the application, submitted by John Hayes for Pasayten Peak, LLC, “no one can answer why this was placed in the commercial zoning.” Bill Pope is the managing member of Pasayten Peak.
The commercial zoning was first developed as part of planning for a destination ski resort that was never built, according to the application. Hayes calls the commercial zoning “overkill” in the context of how Mazama has developed in the past three decades and says that the community has advocated for a mix of commercial and business uses in the Mazama core.
Part of the application seeks to clarify the different types of zoning and what types of development that could cover.
Three existing commercially zoned lots would be amended to incorporate commercial uses on the ground floor. Each one could also have up to two two-bedroom tourist residential/seasonal housing units on the upper floor, plus parking.
A fourth lot would have the potential for a three-bedroom tourist/residential building, according to the application.
The developers say the changes would add six middle-income two-bedroom residences for tourists or for seasonal residences on the upper levels, as well as the three-bedroom tourist/residential building.
There is an existing development agreement with the county for five parcels in the Pasayten Peak project, which would be amended with these changes.
Renovations to the adjacent parking lot are a separate project being done by Okanogan County, the state Recreation and Conservation Office and Pasayten Peak. Those changes would reconfigure the parking lot to include a trailhead, trails, information kiosks and restrooms and would add designated entrances and exits to the parking lot, which are intended to improve safety for motorists and pedestrians on Goat Creek Road.
The Okanogan County planning director has determined the rezone would have no impact under the State Environmental Policy Act.
The principals of Pasayten Peak, Methow Trails and the Mazama Advisory Committee will describe the project at a presentation at the Mazama Community Club on Thursday (June 4) at 7 p.m.
For more information about the application to the county, contact Okanogan County Senior Planner Ben Rough at (509) 422-7122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
People may comment on the environmental review through Wednesday (June 10) to Rough. There will be a future opportunity for comments on the project itself. No deadline has been set for the project review.