The Winthrop Town Council has adopted amendments to the town’s zoning code that, among other things, add provisions for mobile food vending and expand the opportunities for accessory dwelling units.
The council action at its Aug. 4 meeting adds a new section to the zoning code that specifies under what conditions mobile food vendors can operate within the town.
Mobile vendors will be allowed in the Business 1 (B1) and Business 2 (B2) zones, which in the downtown core area, and the Business 3 (B3) zone, which is generally along both sides of Highway 20 south of the Methow River Bridge, and along White Avenue.
Vendors will be subject to Westernization code requirements within those business zones. The Westernization code is are more strict within the B1 and B2 zones.
Mobile vendors can also operate in town parks or other town-own properties as part of an approved and permitted special event.
The code amendment requires that vendors obtain a business license and meet all public health standards set by the Okanogan County Public Health Department. Mobile food operations must be self-contained, with no plumbing connections. Adjacent outdoor seating for up to 12 people is allowed; drive-up or drive-through options are not allowed. Signage must comply with the Westernization code.
At a meeting in July, the Town Council approved an “emergency” request to allow a food truck to park at one location, exempt from the town’s Westernization ordinance, through Oct. 31 on the condition that it be moved every night. Taco Bahia food truck owners Dale and Monica Caulfield of Winthrop had requested the emergency action. The Caulfields were in discussions with the owners of the Methow Valley Thriftway to park their truck in the grocery store’s parking lot.
Other zoning code changes include:
• Adding a provision to allow accessory dwelling units (secondary residences on an existing property) in the B1 zone — which is primarily north of Riverside Avenue including Castle Avenue and Bluff Street — in addition to R1 and R2 residential zones. Accessory dwelling units may be attached to or detached from the primarily residence, and may be created through new construction, addition to an existing structure or conversion of an existing residence.
• Defining the zones where electric vehicle charging units are allowed. Level 1 and level 2 charging stations (up to 240 volts) will be allowed in all zones; level 3 stations (more than 240 volts, fast-charging) will be allowed in B3, industrial and public use zones.
• Adding provisions to allow residential uses in industrial districts under certain conditions.