Miller agrees to pursue permits for site restoration Mark Miller, who’s been working on a peninsula of land on the Methow River, told Okanogan County’s hearing examiner that he didn’t think he needed permits to simply restore roads and rebuild a structure that burned in the 2014 Carlton Complex Fire. Miller was appealing a May […]
Zoning change in lower valley stays put
A zoning change that increases the minimum lot size in the lower Methow Valley five-fold – from 1 to 5 acres – will remain in place until the Okanogan County commissioners adopt a new zoning code. The change was enacted on an interim basis in June because the commissioners were concerned the small lots would […]
Final approval of minimum home sizes delayed in Twisp
Machine shop owner claims inconsistencies Twisp residents anticipating the long-awaited new rules establishing minimum house sizes will need to keep waiting. Town leaders have been working for the past year to set lower limits on house sizes and change minimum lot sizes, in order to accommodate more affordable housing in ways that aren’t too displeasing […]
County considers water-resources zoning change
Okanogan County is considering authorizing the county commissioners to create special areas where certain land uses that would rely on new wells for drinking water would be curtailed, so the county can study overall water availability. The change to the county’s zoning code is being proposed to address the 2016 state Supreme Court “Hirst” decision […]
County imposing stricter rules for nightly rentals
People who want to rent their homes to tourists are facing stricter county regulations and, at the same time, more competition from a glut of rentals — both legal and illegal — through online sites websites like Airbnb.
Nightly rentals have always had to obtain water and safety permits…
Commenting period open on proposed nightly rental zoning
A property owner on the Twisp-Winthrop Eastside Road is applying to Okanogan County for a zoning change to allow an existing single-family residence to be used as a nightly rental. The 10-acre parcel is about 2-1/2 miles south of Winthrop, on the east side of Twisp-Winthrop Eastside Road. If approved, the property would maintain 9-1/2 […]
County adopts emergency rule to deal with development restrictions
High court ruling shifts water adequacy burden to county By Marcy Stamper The Okanogan County commissioners have adopted an emergency ordinance to address a state Supreme Court ruling that halts new development without proof of water. The emergency ordinance establishes a new process for reviewing building applications following the October high court decision, which requires […]
Okanogan County proposes new ordinance to guide land-use process
Okanogan County is proposing a new ordinance that would consolidate application, review and approval procedures for land-use and development projects.
The ordinance would cover projects such as subdivisions, development near shorelines, and polices like the comprehensive…
Yakama Nation joins others in suing Okanogan County over zoning code
The Yakama Nation has filed a lawsuit against Okanogan County, claiming that the county’s new zoning code threatens the tribe’s fishing rights because it fails to protect the quality and quantity of groundwater.
The lawsuit also asserts that the environmental review the county conducted on the zoning…
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.