A property owner on Gold Creek is seeking a variance from Okanogan County to be able to build a house 50 feet from the ordinary high-water mark, instead of the standard 75 feet.
The 0.68-acre parcel on North Gold Creek Road, owned by Jason Storrs, has an existing septic system and a small barn/shed. Storrs says in his application that the required buffer has been increased in the county’s Shoreline Master Program to 75 feet, rendering his lot unbuildable.
Storrs’ lot is in the Gold Creek Acres Plat, where all lots but one are less than 1 acre, according to a letter from surveyor Kris Erlandsen submitted with the variance application. All but three or four lots already have residential structures, many closer than 75 feet from Gold Creek, said Erlandsen.
The house would be 30 by 40 feet and be used as a second home. The application doesn’t provide information as to whether the residence would affect wetlands or other water bodies.
Because Storrs’ parcel is bounded by two roads, it is subject to additional setbacks, said Erlandsen, who said the new requirements create a hardship.
Because the lot is already covered with lawn to within a few feet of the creek, no riparian vegetation would be disturbed, said Erlandsen. There are some fir, pine and cottonwood trees immediately adjacent to the creek.
Okanogan County has scheduled a public hearing on the variance where the county’s hearing examiner will take testimony. The hearing is March 14 at 10 a.m. in the commissioners’ hearing room in Okanogan.
Written comments may be submitted at the hearing or in advance to Angie Hubbard at email@example.com. For more information about the application, contact Hubbard.