Topics include comp plan, sign code, nightly rentals
The Twisp Planning Commission will have a busy agenda this year, including some special areas of interest expressed by the Town Council.
At their Jan. 28 meeting, council members endorsed a draft “docket” of issues the Planning Commission wants to take on this year. Specifically, the commission suggested working on the Administrative Procedures Code to update it related to permitting; review of the sign code, which has been discussed but not acted on in recent years; review of relevant elements in the Comprehensive Plan update; and a review of the town’s policies for regulating nightly rentals.
Council member Mark Easton said he would also like the commission to look at code changes the city of Paradise, California, adopted after it was ravaged by wildfire — with the intent of being proactive about preparing Twisp for similar fire threats.
Easton also suggested that the commission review the process for zoning business locations, specifically a requirement for improved public notice of potential changes.
Council member Hans Smith said he would like the commission to review development standards for conformance with the town’s existing codes and ordinances.
The council’s suggestions will be forwarded to the Planning Commission, which is holding a workshop next Wednesday (Feb. 12) to discuss its 2020 agenda (see accompanying story).
The council also received an annual report from Police Chief Paul Budrow, summarizing the police department’s activities in 2019. The response reported noted that thefts including vehicles and car prowls were down from 39 in 2018 to 26 in 2019. Reported assaults were down from 30 in 2018 to 15 in 2019. The department issued slightly fewer citations in 2019 compared to the previous year.
Budrow also noted that the department’s officers — himself and two deputies — maintained all their required training in 2019, including firearms qualification, mental health education, crisis intervention and combat first aid.
In other business, the council:
• Approved, after months of negotiations, the final version of a new lease agreement for tenants at the Twisp Airport.
• Approved a revised Memorandum of Understanding between the town and Methow Arts Alliance related to the establishment of a Creative District.
• Adopted an agreement for building inspection services to be provided by Okanogan County.
• Endorsed the re-appointment of Bill Tackman and Ashley Thrasher to the Methow Watershed Council.
Twisp meetings of interest next week
• At the Tuesday (Feb. 11) Town Council meeting, the architect for the new Twisp civic building and emergency operations center will present a design progress update. The design is about 65% complete, council members learned at their Jan. 28 meeting. The building will be constructed at the site of the existing town hall. In addition to housing town administrative offices and police headquarters, the civic building is also being designed to serve as an emergency operations center for the valley. The cost of the project was earlier estimated at slightly more than $3 million.
• The Planning Commission will hold a workshop at Town Hall on Wednesday (Feb. 12) at 5 p.m. to begin the semi-annual process of reviewing and updating the Twisp Comprehensive Plan and implementing regulations. Commissioners are seeking input on these as well as other issues that may require amendments to the plan and regulations. For information, call Town Hall at 997-4081.
• The Twisp Parks and Recreation Commission has released a draft of the town’s new Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Plan. The draft plan is available to view at Town Hall or at www.townoftwisp.com. The public is invited to provide input to the commission on Wednesday (Feb. 12) at 6 p.m. at Town Hall.
The plan includes goals, objectives and action items that will guide the town with specific steps to maintain existing amenities and build new parks, trails and other facilities, according to a press release. New items in the plan include aspirations for a recreation center and a new swimming pool. The plan continues the objectives to build the sports complex at the airport and increase trail access through town and to outlying public lands.
Written comments can be submitted to Town of Twisp, Parks and Recreation Commission, at 118 S. Glover St. or P.O. Box 278 Twisp, WA 98856. A Town Council public hearing is scheduled for Feb. 25.