A revised and updated Twisp zoning code, approved last month by the town Planning Commission, is under consideration by the Town Council.
Council members and the mayor said they will need time to review proposed revisions, and raised several questions about new definitions and other changes in the code at the council’s Jan. 8 meeting.
Changes in the code — such as new definitions, regulations and uses — are intended to make the town’s zoning clearer to the zoning code administrator, town officials and citizens, said Kurt Danison, town planner.
“Definitions were replaced with more modern definitions, in keeping with the community,” Danison said.
He said the planner and Planning Commission were asked by the council to update the town zoning code with an emphasis on reviewing commercial and light industrial land uses, residential development standards, accessory dwellings and storage containers.
“The Planning Commission worked on it for probably three years,” Danison said. Much of the public discussion during the code revision “swirled around the need for affordable housing in the community,” he said. Some of the revisions in the code are intended to address the concerns about affordable housing, such as allowing smaller lot sizes than are currently permitted for accessory dwelling units, Danison said.
The revised code also includes regulations that set minimum house sizes in the Twisp’s residential districts. The new minimum home sizes were developed in an effort to balance some citizens’ concerns about small homes in single-family residential zones with other citizens’ concerns about the need for more affordable housing in town.
Mayor Soo Ing-Moody said the Town Council will probably not take the zoning code up for action until at least February, to allow council members time to thoroughly review the document.