The Winthrop Planning Commission will host a public workshop on the status of that community’s Housing Action Plan on Thursday, May 25, at 6 p.m. at the Winthrop Barn.
La Conner-based Beckwith Consulting Group has been hired to come up with Housing Action Plans for Winthrop and Twisp, within the context of the greater Methow Valley’s housing market conditions. The studies are funded by a $50,000 state grant that is being shared by the two towns.
Beckwith has been conducting information-gathering sessions with local stakeholders including nonprofits, architects, builders, contractors and others with a stake in housing solutions for the valley, and collecting relevant data. The firm’s Tom Beckwith connected earlier online with the Winthrop Town Council and with the Twisp Town Councils, separately, to review the firm’s findings to date for each community. Work on the plans began in September of 2022.
“The plan is focused on finding workable solutions to urgent housing needs in support of a vibrant community and economy,” Winthrop Town Planner Rocklynn Culp said in a press release.
Culp said the public workshop is the next step in a process that has involved:
• Adoption of a Comprehensive Plan in 2015 that contains goals and policies for addressing local housing needs.
• Adoption of a resolution by the Winthrop Town Council declaring a housing crisis.
• Drafting of a Housing Crisis Report in December 2022, reflecting a year-long review by the Planning Commission to understand how local codes affect housing affordability.
• On-going participation with the Housing Solutions Network to identify valley-wide needs and solutions.
“The Planning Commission is eager to share the findings of the planning process with the community and to solicit input on the solutions that are the best fit for Winthrop,” Culp said in the release. “A survey will be made available concurrently with the workshop to better understand how people in Winthrop and the broader Methow Valley community are meeting their housing needs and what types of housing could best meet our needs in the future.”
Culp said the workshop is open to anyone in the valley. In-person attendance is recommended because the meeting format is interactive through circulation to topic-oriented tables; however, remote attendance through Zoom will be an option. For more information, email email@example.com.
Twisp is expected to schedule a public workshop on its Housing Action Plan progress in the near future.