It took 51 years for the Okanogan County commissioners to adopt a new comprehensive plan, but that 2014 plan quickly became the subject of lawsuits contending that it fails to protect water quality, doesn’t address wildfire risk, and doesn’t protect wildlife habitat.
Three Devils Road closed after high court declines to hear appeal from challengers
The Washington State Supreme Court has denied a request to review a challenge to the closure of Three Devils Road, ending the lawsuit and allowing 3 miles of the remote road to be gated. The gated section traverses land owned by Gamble Land and Timber, which petitioned Okanogan County in 2015 to vacate the road to protect its adjacent property …
State Supreme Court still considering request on Three Devils Road suit
The Washington Supreme Court is still evaluating an April request from a citizens’ group to hear a lawsuit about whether the Okanogan County commissioners had the right to close a remote road in the Chiliwist.
This week the court agreed to consider …
County reviewing development plan in light of recent court decision
The Okanogan County commissioners are reviewing a revised version of a new ordinance that would consolidate procedures for land use and development, including countywide policies like the comprehensive plan, zoning and subdivisions.
Conservation groups sue county over newly adopted zoning code
Okanogan County’s new zoning code — the first complete update in 38 years — has been challenged in court by two conservation groups who argue that the code fails to protect the county’s natural resources, in particular its water and farmland.
The lawsuit also asserts that the county did not take into account the potential impacts of wildfire in allowing new development.
Judge: wait for county zoning update before ruling in comp plan case
It’s too early to say whether Okanogan County’s comprehensive plan protects water and farmland, since it’s necessary to see how the county’s zoning code handles these and other issues connected with growth, wrote Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Christopher Culp in an order issued March 11.
Judge urges Okanogan County and environmental groups to cooperate on comp plan update
At hearing, Culp suggests putting off action for a year By Marcy Stamper Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Christopher Culp suggested waiting one more year to see if the county and the two environmental groups that challenged the county’s comprehensive plan can work together to revise the plan so that it protects water and agriculture […]
County’s environmental review of comp plan upheld
By Marcy Stamper
Okanogan County’s proposed comprehensive plan will not result in significant environmental impacts, and growth in the county can be expected to remain very slow, said the county’s hearing examiner in a decision on an appeal of the environmental review of the plan. Okanogan County Hearing Examiner Dan Beardslee said other county policies will provide …
Environmental impacts of county’s comprehensive plan challenged
By Marcy Stamper Does Okanogan County have to imagine the future environmental effects of any growth allowed by its comprehensive plan, or only the impact of specific projects that the plan would permit? That distinction — and the county’s responsibility to do a thorough environmental analysis to inform the public and elected officials — was the crux of arguments […]
Tough questions raised about county’s comp plan draft
By Ann McCreary
Concerns about over-allocation of water resources, inadequate protection of groundwater, and impacts of high-density development in rural areas are among …