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.
At a hearing in March before the Okanogan County hearing examiner, county planning staff said Storrs needed to provide more documentation to support his application, including a habitat management and mitigation plan for the proposed reduction in setback.
Now that Storrs has submitted those documents, another hearing has been scheduled.
Storrs’ lot is in a plat where all lots but one are less than 1 acre, according to a letter from surveyor Kris Erlandsen submitted with the 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. 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.
The hearing is Thursday, July 11, at 10 a.m. in the commissioners’ auditorium in Okanogan. People can provide verbal testimony or submit written comments at the hearing or in advance to Angela Hubbard at email@example.com. For more information, contact Hubbard at (509) 422-7090.