Twisp OKs variance for subdivision streets
The Twisp Town Council has approved a variance that allows streets in the Isabella Ridge subdivision to be narrower than required by town ordinances.
The council last week approved a Planning Commission recommendation that streets in the subdivision be only 28 feet wide, rather than 36 feet wide as required in the town ordinance for streets longer than 500 feet.
The variance also waives a requirement for curbs, gutters and sidewalks, and provides for a 50-foot right-of-way to the town along the streets to access and maintain public sewer and water systems.
The developer, Vaughn Jolley, requested the narrower streets because he said the standard size streets would be unnecessarily large for the subdivision.
The 12-home subdivision is being developed off May Street at the location of the former Allen Elementary School playground, in the neighborhood known as the Painters Addition. The development is one of the largest subdivisions undertaken in Twisp in many years.
Water main break repaired in Winthrop
A water main break that flooded Riverside Avenue in Winthrop and briefly cut off service to some businesses last week has been repaired, and pavement repairs are underway this week, according to Winthrop Public Works Director Rick Karro.
The main under Highway 20 broke last Monday (Oct. 19), Karro said. Service was cut off overnight to the nearby Methow Conservancy, 3 Bears Café and Quilts, and Mountain Paws before repairs could be made, he said.
Karro said the main is part of a system that was installed in about 1985 and has been plagued with “hundreds” of leaks and fitting breaks over the years. “There are regular blowouts all over town,” he said, but added that the majority of the problematic fittings have already failed. “Eventually, they will all be replaced,” he said.
New PUD policy for electric service disconnections
The Okanogan County Public Utility District (PUD) has changed its policy for disconnection and reconnection of electric service from nonpayment of bills.
Starting Dec. 1, the PUD will no longer reconnect service after business hours. Reconnection will only be done from Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Once proper payment is made, service will be turned on as soon as is practical, according to the PUD.
The PUD charges a $10 late fee for a delinquent payment and another $10 as a final warning before service is disconnected.
If no payment is received, the PUD charges $50 to disconnect service and another $50 to reconnect service.
The PUD urges customers with delinquent accounts to contact them to arrange a payment schedule and avoid having their power shut off.
Comments due this week on proposed Army helicopter training
People interested in suggesting topics for the U.S. Army to consider in evaluating a proposal to train combat helicopters in the North Cascades have less than a week to offer input. Comments must be received by Tuesday (Nov. 3).
The Aviation Division with Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) near Tacoma is proposing four new training areas for Black Hawk, Apache and Chinook helicopters and other aircraft. The mountain training area runs from south and west of Wenatchee to the Canadian border, west to the North Cascades, and east to the Okanogan Highlands.
The Army is currently soliciting input about topics they should address in analyzing the environmental impact of the training flights, which could include land use, air quality, noise, water resources and wetlands, and recreation and visual resources.
As proposed, the training would take place 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, but the majority of the training would be at night to simulate flight and combat conditions.
For a copy of the scoping document or more information, visit www.lewis-mcchord.army.mil/publicworks/sites/envir/eia_HTA.aspx or call JBLM at (253) 967-1110. Comments can be sent to email@example.com. A mailing address is also available on the website.
County seeks input on proposed zoning
The Okanogan County Planning Department has released a draft zoning code that contains significant changes, along with updated zoning maps for the entire county.
The zoning code helps guide development by creating zones that govern land uses, such as minimum lot sizes and where residential, commercial or industrial development can be, according to Okanogan County Planning Director Perry Huston.
The commissioners adopted a new comp plan last year. To go with it, they adopted an interim zoning code. The interim code expires in December, but can be extended if needed, said Huston. The current zone code was adopted in 1978.
Huston has found that the changes in the proposed zoning code would have a significant adverse impact on the environment. Based on that assessment, the county must prepare a detailed environmental impact statement (EIS) that analyzes these impacts and various alternatives.
The county is accepting suggestions for topics to be evaluated in the EIS. They plan to look at density (how many homes or other uses can occupy a given area), protection of natural resources, and water adequacy.
The proposed zoning code, environmental determination (“SEPA Notice”) and maps are available at www.okanogancounty.org/planning. Click on the links next to “Zone Code” (not “Interim Zone Code”).
The link for the maps brings up a long directory. The draft county zoning map covers the entire county. The indexed map will allow people to refer to numbered areas and then download the detailed map for that region.
Suggestions for the EIS must be submitted by Friday, Nov. 13.
For more information or to provide comments, contact senior planner Ben Rough at (509) 422-7122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.