By Ann McCreary
A revision of the Twisp subdivision code has been completed by the Twisp Planning Commission and forwarded to the Town Council for approval.
The council received the updated code at its meeting on July 24 but delayed any action to provide more time for citizens to review the document, which is posted on the town website, www.townoftwisp.com.
Among the most significant changes in the code is the creation of a new “Development Standards Manual,” a separate document that addresses improvements such as roads, utilities and stormwater management. The development of a separate manual was recommended by the town engineer and public works director, said Kurt Danison, Twisp town planner.
“The level of detail in the subdivision code was not adequate” to address some of the issues the town has faced in recent developments, Danison said. The manual, which is expected to be completed in August, is more specific and detailed, he said.
The manual will reference Washington State Department of Transportation specifications for road construction and stormwater management, said Andrew Denham, Twisp public works director, who is writing the manual.
The revised subdivision code also includes a new option for commercial and industrial developers called a “binding site plan,” which is “part way between a planned development and a plat,” Danison said.
“It allows someone with a large piece of property to do a master plan describing the overall plan for development including roadways and utilities” without having to create lots, Danison said. Lots can be created later through an administrative process, but the town has a guarantee that required improvements will take place, he said.
“It’s a new concept for the town,” Danison said. “After communications with larger landowners it came to light there were people looking for industrial and commercial properties. Owners were reluctant to go through the platting process because they weren’t sure what the demand was.”