The Okanogan County hearing examiner will review proposals for changes to two existing developments in December — one in Mazama and one on Libby Creek near Carlton.
Mazama Ranch House
The Chechaquo Ranch/Mazama Ranch House proposal would modify an existing planned development near the Mazama junction and rezone the property to allow second-floor tourist-residential units above ground-floor commercial businesses. An existing building that currently houses the North Cascades Cycle Werks bike shop would be moved to create additional trailhead parking.
Steve and Kristin Devin, the owners of the Mazama Ranch House, want to create six separate parcels from two existing parcels, according to John Hayes of Technical Assistance Group, who submitted the application to Okanogan County on their behalf.
If approved, two of the six lots would be used for the existing lodge and Longhorn cabin at the Mazama Ranch House. Two other parcels would be used for two new duplex tourist/residential buildings and for parking. The remaining two lots would have commercial or tourist/residential units on the ground level and tourist/residential or seasonal housing on the upper level.
The proposal follows various mergers and lot-line adjustments to parcels in the area, as well as zoning changes for the entire 2.67-acre Chechaquo Ranch planned development. The zoning change is necessary to allow housing on the upper floors of the proposed buildings, according to the application.
The hearing examiner will also consider input about a proposal to add up to 14 overnight rental units and a commercial zip line at the Skalitude Retreat, located in Smith Canyon near Libby Creek, about 7 miles from Carlton. The 160-acre property is adjacent to National Forest land.
Overnight accommodations at Skalitude are currently provided in a lodge with three rental units, plus a separate house with another three units, according to the application submitted by owner Lindsey Swope. Swope plans an additional 10 rental units in six small, self-contained cabins.
The proposal also includes expanding the lodge and building a 2,000-square-foot conference center for meetings and banquets. In addition, there would be permanent, open-air structures in an undeveloped camping area for special events.
Another change is the addition of an eight-stage zip-line course. Current plans are for the zip line to rely primarily on tree-based platforms. It would be open to the general public as well as to Skalitude guests.
About 140 acres, or 87 percent of the property, would remain as open space — meadows, shrub-steppe and forestland.
The proposed changes include a new agreement to replace the existing zoning documents, which would clarify the number of tourists and event participants who could be accommodated at Skalitude. It would allow up to 350 participants at special events; larger groups would require a special permit.
In addition to drawing overnight guests for hiking, skiing and snowshoeing, Skalitude hosts events such as yoga retreats and weddings. Their biggest event is the annual Fairy and Human Relations Congress.
The Okanogan County planning director has found that neither proposal would have an adverse environmental impact.
The hearing on both projects is before the Okanogan County hearing examiner on Dec. 10 at 10 a.m. in the commissioners’ hearing room in Okanogan. Comments must be submitted in writing before the hearing or in person at the hearing.
For more information on either project, contact Senior Planner Ben Rough at (509) 422-7122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.