The Okanogan County commissioners approved the vacation of two roads and two alleys in the town of Methow that had been sketched on paper but never built. The commissioners accepted the petition to eliminate the roads, which were drawn across six small building lots more than a century ago, at a hearing on Tuesday (Oct. 1).
Property owners Joe and Lorianne Kitzman submitted the petition because they hoped to consolidate their six lots into a single parcel.
The county didn’t receive any comments about the proposed vacation during the four-week comment period and no one testified at the hearing, said Jo Ann Stansbury, project coordinator with Okanogan County Public Works.
The Pateros School Board submitted a letter supporting the road vacation in July on behalf of the Pateros School District, which owns an adjoining parcel. “Specifically, the Pateros School Board supports this request based on the potential the request has to provide suitable lots for housing. As you know, housing is in short supply for both our staff and families with school age children,” they said in their comment letter.
The Kitzmans have a house on one of the lots. The other five have been in agriculture, mostly apples and alfalfa, Joe Kitzman said. Consolidating the lots would preserve the farmland and prevent someone from developing the land with small houses, he said.
The parcels are typical of tiny lots drawn on plats for towns throughout the county in the early 1900s, Okanogan County Engineer Josh Thomson said. The plats usually include roads, many of which were never constructed. If someone wants to realign property boundaries, the roads need to be formally vacated, Thomson said.