Twisp Ponds ‘riffle’ proposed
The Twisp Ponds, about 1 mile west of town, have provided rearing habitat in the lower Twisp River for endangered salmon for two decades. The complex includes five ponds and a side channel fed by the Twisp River.
The Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation (MSRF), which manages the site, is proposing to create a riffle in the Twisp River to restore a year-round flow in a side channel that was affected by high flows. The riffle will be designed so that fish can pass and will allow water to flow even when the river is low.
The constructed riffle will be about 55 feet long with a maximum depth of 2 feet, according to the environmental checklist prepared by MSRF. MSRF will add 120 boulders and 80 cubic yards of gravel to the streambed. Work would be done this July. The area will be reseeded when construction is complete.
Okanogan County Planning Director Pete Palmer has determined that the project wouldn’t have a significant impact on the environment.
People can comment on the project through Wednesday (May 26) to Senior Planner Charlene Schumacher at email@example.com. For more information, call (509) 422‑7113.
Twisp Mini Storage seeks permit
Mike Port/Methow LLC has applied to Okanogan County for a conditional-use permit to expand Twisp Mini Storage to a vacant lot on the east side of Highway 20, across from the existing mini-storage facility south of Twisp. The 3.22-acre site is just south of the Okanogan County Public Utility District substation.
Port proposes two buildings, one for mini-storage units and one for RVs. The mini-storage would be 40 feet by 125 feet and 24 feet high at the peak. The RV storage would be 30 feet by 130 feet high, 14 feet at the peak. The RV storage would be at the rear of the property, away from the highway.
Both structures would be conventional wood and metal construction with curtain doors, according to the application. The site would be illuminated by down-facing lights at night.
The plans call for starting construction this year and gradually completing build-out over five years.
The Okanogan County Planning Director has determined that the project wouldn’t have an adverse impact on the environment.
The Okanogan County hearing examiner will hold a public hearing on the proposal on May 27 at 10 a.m. over Zoom. The Zoom link will be at www.okanogancounty.org/government/planning.
People can testify at the hearing or submit written comments in advance. For more information, call (509) 422‑7160.
Setback variance requested
Property owners in the Lost River Airport development have applied for a variance that would allow their residence to be 10 feet from the property line, rather than the wider setback in the site plan they submitted.
The home was supposed to be 35 feet from the boundary line, but it was built just 10 feet from the line. Current zoning requires at least a 25-foot setback, according to Okanogan County Planning.
Okanogan County Planning Director Pete Palmer denied the application for a variance from Charles Hall and Mat McKole because granting the variance would constitute special privileges. No other landowners in the Lost River development have been granted similar variances, she said.
The 1/3-acre lot has other suitable building sites. The lot, while smaller than the 5 acres in the rural residential zone, is a legal nonconforming lot, Palmer said.
People with standing can appeal the county’s decision to the Okanogan County hearing examiner within 20 days of May 12. There is a $300 appeal fee. For more information, contact (509) 422‑7160.
Comment on critical areas ordinance
Okanogan County is still accepting comments on its critical areas ordinance (CAO), which preserves the natural environment, wildlife habitat, and sources of drinking water. The public hearing is set for Monday (May 24).
Washington state requires counties to protect these sensitive resources and fragile environments. Critical areas plans also promote public safety by limiting development in areas prone to natural hazards like floods and landslides.
The plan covers five types of critical areas: wetlands, aquifer-recharge areas, fish and wildlife habitat, frequently flooded areas, and geologically hazardous areas.
All land-use activities must comply with the CAO unless they are in the shoreline area, which is covered by a separate plan. The state Department of Commerce recently completed its review of the county’s CAO.
People can comment on the CAO through Friday (May 21) to Okanogan County Natural Resource Planner Angie Hubbard at firstname.lastname@example.org. Call (509) 422‑7090 for more information.
The CAO and related maps are available at https://okanogancounty.org/government/planning. (The URL has changed because of the county’s new website.)
The Okanogan County planning commission will hold a public hearing on the CAO on Monday (May 24), at 7 p.m. Log-in information will be available on the same website.