The Twisp Town Council is continuing to review an informal proposal to annex about 2 acres in an undeveloped area east of Twisp-Winthrop Eastside Road and north of Highway 20, before indicating whether it will accept a formal annexation request.
The request was discussed at an earlier Town Council meeting. Mike Maples, co-owner of RedTail Development LLC of Yakima, appeared at last week’s council meeting to provide more details about the proposal. Maples has also met with the town’s Finance Committee, he said.
Hans Smith, a member of the Finance Committee, said the proposed annexation “seems like a potentially beneficial action.”
In earlier communication with the town, Maples said he and his wife own 146 acres in what is known as the “mill hill” area of town east of the Twisp-Winthrop Eastside Road. That property currently borders the town limits. Maples said he is also a partner in Lloyd Holdco, which owns a significant amount of adjacent property within the town limits.
Maples said a small “corner” of the RedTail property bisects a “bench” of land on the Lloyd Holdco property that could be desirable for residential development. The 2-acre corner that is now outside of town limits “would obstruct effective and efficient residential development,” Maples said in the letter.
Maples said he earlier sought a boundary line adjustment so the 2 acres could become part of the Lloyd Holdco property, but then learned that annexation was required. He said he is seeking annexation now because the RedTail property may be sold in the near future, and because another annexation request by Hank and Judy Konrad — who are proposing a housing development on adjacent land if it is annexed — is currently under consideration by the town.
Maples said potential buyers including the Methow Conservancy have expressed interest in the larger property. He said that while there are no current development plans, he has “a vision that something could happen there.”
Public Works Director Andrew Denham said there are no “adverse” public works issues related to development in the area.
Mayor Soo Ing-Moody said the council will deliberate some more before indicating that the annexation request should go forward.
Twisp police chief search continues
The Town of Twisp is experiencing the same challenge facing both rural and urban areas: attracting law enforcement officers.
So far, despite extensive advertising the town has had no applicants to fill the position of police chief, which was vacated when former Chief Paul Budrow was elected as Okanogan County sheriff. Twisp began its search last November to replace Budrow, who had been chief for more than a decade.
At last week’s Town Council meeting, council member Hans Smith said the town’s public safety committee is considering how to expand and enhance the search, including offering a hiring bonus.
“It’s a problem for all communities right now, not just towns our size,” Mayor Soo Ing-Moody said in an interview.
The town’s police force currently has two other full-time officers: Ty Sheehan and Stephen Purtell.