Stop work order posted earlier
Officials from the Washington Department of Ecology and Okanogan County visited a riverfront property on Twisp River Road last month to look into potential violations of shoreline and floodplain regulations.
Activity on the property at 593A Twisp River Road had generated numerous complaints to the Okanogan County planning department in recent months from Twisp River Road residents. Several residents said it appeared that vegetation along the Twisp River had been cleared and a sawmill operation was underway.
The county planning department posted a “stop work/possible violation” notice on the property on July 28.
State Ecology and county planning officials visited the property on Aug. 18, said Stephanie May, a spokesperson for Ecology. “Potential violations are currently being investigated and we are actively working with Okanogan County. We expect to have this completed before the end of the year,” May said last week.
“Ecology provides technical assistance to local governments administering the Shoreline Master Program (RCW.90.58). This means that regulations are jointly administered but the county is the local expression of the state act,” May said.
The stop work/possible violation notice issued by the county stated that “clearing of the vegetation conservation, floodplain and shoreline environment may have been done on your parcel without the proper environmental and permit review. Per Okanogan County Code 14.15.120 Shoreline Master Program, vegetation removal is only allowed in narrow circumstances and would require a permit application.”
A county planning official said last month that no permits had been issued for activities on the property. The property, which is 9.9 acres according to county tax records, is in the Methow Review District Valley Floor 5 (MRD VF5), the planning official said. Industrial activities are not allowed in the MRD VF5 zone.
Sawmills are allowed with a conditional use permit. However, the Conservancy Shoreline Jurisdiction does not allow any non-water oriented commercial activity, according to the planning department official.