Docstoc

Chapter One

Document Sample
Chapter One Powered By Docstoc
					 1   Chapter One
 2   Section One
 3
 4   Executive Statement
 5   In June of 2007 the Okanogan County Board of County Commissioners directed that a
 6   process be initiated to successfully complete a review of the then existing Comprehensive
 7   Plan. The current plan was adopted in 1965 and has been subject to little review or
 8   change since that time. Previous attempts to review and revise the plan on a
 9   comprehensive had not been completed. The Board of County Commissioners believed
10   the existing plan, in conjunction with the zone code and subdivision regulation which
11   implements the plan, was not adequate to insure a high level of local control and
12   defensible local decisions. The existing plan did not provide the policy level guidance,
13   specific land use regulation, or the necessary land use permitting tools to properly
14   preserve the property rights of private property owners while at the same time protecting
15   our land and environmental resources for future generations.
16
17   The Board of County Commissioners also anticipated the day when Okanogan County
18   would be required to plan under RCW 36.70A, the Growth Management Act (GMA).
19   The existing comprehensive plan, created under the authority of RCW 36.70 the Planning
20   Enabling Act, was not consistent in terms of terminology or structure with GMA. The
21   Board of County Commissioners believed it was desirable to review the outdated
22   comprehensive plan and to convert it to GMA compatible terms and structure. By
23   accomplishing this it was believed Okanogan County would be in the best position to
24   defend the local plans should they come under review by the Growth Management
25   Hearings Board at some future date.
26
27   Under the direction of the Okanogan County Board of County Commissioners this
28   Comprehensive Plan along with accompanying maps and enabling regulation has been
29   prepared by the Okanogan County Planning and Community Development Department
30   working in conjunction with other county departments, contracted planning professionals,
31   and most importantly many volunteers from the ranks of the citizens of Okanogan
32   County.
33
34   This comprehensive plan recognizes the rights of our citizens to own and utilize private
35   property. This comprehensive plan, along with implementing regulation, strives to
36   provide the effective land use tools to enable the property owner to realize the full
37   enjoyment of their property while preserving the ability of future generations to enjoy all
38   that the land provides.
39
40   Authority
41   RCW 36.70      Planning Enabling Act
42   RCW 36.70A.170 Counties must designate Agricultural lands, Forest lands, Mineral
43                  lands, and Critical Areas
44   RCW 36.70A.050 Guidelines for classifying Agricultural, Forest, and Mineral lands
45                   and Critical Areas
46   RCW 43.21C     State Environmental Policy Act



                                                                                               1
47   WAC 197-11         SEPA Rules
48   RCW 90.58          Shorelines Master Program
49
50   Chapter One
51   Section Two
52   VISION STATEMENT
53
54   Okanogan County is the largest county in the State of Washington, with borders from
55   Canada to the Methow Valley. There are tremendous extremes in terms of geography and
56   four seasons which have led to great diversity in occupation and lifestyle. What is
57   consistent is the independent spirit of our citizens and the universal belief in our
58   Constitutional Rights. The Citizens of Okanogan County share a love of the rural lifestyle
59   and independence that is established upon the customs and cultures that are the
60   foundation of our values and moral obligations to become the best stewards of our land
61   and communities. We further believe in the multi-use of our natural resources while
62   assuring that the land will provide for future generations.
63
64   Okanogan County was one of the last frontiers to be settled. People came here seeking
65   the wealth that could be obtained from the minerals, timber, grazing, agriculture, and
66   other natural resources. With the farmers and cattleman came a greater stewardship of the
67   land and appreciation of the need to look ahead with a vision to ensure that future
68   generations could prosper and enjoy this economic vitality.
69
70   The residents of Okanogan County understand the accountability that those who use the
71   land today will accept the commitment to insure that renewable resources are replenished
72   and consumable resources are used wisely. As Okanogan County has grown with
73   discovery, abounding with rivers, lakes and wildlife recreation, hunting and fishing has
74   also become an economic generator to our local businesses. The roadway ahead must be
75   paved with the knowledge we have gained from the past.
76
77   Just as the Constitution guarantees our right to own and use the land it requires us to
78   respect the rights and freedoms of others. This Comprehensive Plan was created by
79   people of many backgrounds and viewpoints but is the plan for the County as a whole.
80   This plan is driven by the common belief that to preserve the future we must act wisely
81   today.
82
83   Chapter One
84   Section three
85
86   Description of Process
87
88   Okanogan County used a neighborhood planning process with a mix of technical
89   committees to create the first draft of the revised Comprehensive Plan. The revised
90   neighborhood groups began work in June of 2007 with an official kick-off at Growth
91   Summit I in August of 2007. The groups, supported by County Staff, contracted planning
92   professionals, and citizen volunteers discussed densities, compatible uses, affordable



                                                                                               2
 93   housing, along with additional elements within a geographic boundary they identified as
 94   their area of interest. The information generated informed the first draft of the
 95   Comprehensive Plan. The first draft was officially distributed at Growth Summit II in
 96   June of 2008. The first draft was sent back to the neighborhood groups, technical
 97   committees, and other interested parties for additional review and drafting. The first draft
 98   has been prepared as a tier of options to facilitate a comparative analysis of the pros and
 99   cons of each potential policy decision.
100
101   A revised draft was presented for review under SEPA in January of 2009. It is
102   anticipated that SEPA review will be completed by June of 2009. It is anticipated the
103   highly refined draft emerging from the SEPA process will be scheduled for hearings in
104   front of the Planning Commission in March of 2009 followed by hearings before the
105   Board of County Commissioners in June of 2009. Adoption is anticipated by June 30,
106   2009.
107
108   Information provided by the neighborhood groups and technical committees is being used
109   in a concurrent process to update the zone code and subdivision regulations. These code
110   sections are scheduled to track with the review and adoption process of the
111   Comprehensive Plan. In addition, the Shorelines Master Program, and Critical Areas
112   Ordinance is under review for update and scheduled for completion by December 31,
113   2009. A Wildfire-Urban interface area is in draft form and is scheduled for review and
114   adoption concurrent with the Comprehensive Plan. The Flood Management Plans for the
115   Methow and Okanogan Rivers are completed. The work of the watershed councils is on-
116   going. These plans will be referenced in the Comprehensive Plan to insure review for
117   consistency. They will be adopted by ordinance in concurrent but separate processes.
118
119   Neighborhood Groups
120   The neighborhood groups formed to facilitate this process are:
121   *Middle Methow
122   *Lower Methow
123   *Brewster
124   *Okanogan-Omak
125   *Riverside
126   *Tunk
127   *Wauconda
128   *Loomis
129   *Chesaw
130   *Tonasket
131   *Oroville
132   *Mazama Advisory Committee (already created)
133
134   Technical Committees
135   Resource Lands
136   Urban Growth Area
137   Economic Development (EDC)
138   Affordable Housing (Action Council)



                                                                                                3
139
140   Vision Statements: Goals and Policies (new section added Feb 22, 2009)_
141
142   Where the neighborhood groups created vision statements or goals and policies they
143   appear as presented in appendix A of this plan. Where the neighborhood groups did not
144   adopt statements the planning staff drafted statements based on the critical issues
145   expressed by the groups. When more than one version was created or when the
146   neighborhood groups divided into smaller regions or groups with different issues every
147   effort was made to capture every perspective.
148
149   These statements appear in this plan to provide information regarding the perspective and
150   important issues of the people attending the neighborhood groups meetings. The
151   statements carry no regulatory weight but serve to give input to the body of regulation
152   contained in this comprehensive plan. It is not suggested that these statements capture
153   the perspective and important issues of every person living in a neighborhood group area.
154   These statements represent the vision and important issues of those who participated in
155   the neighborhood planning process.
156
157   Chapter One
158   Section four
159
160   Adoption Process
161
162   The Comprehensive Plan is adopted under the legislative powers of the Board of County
163   Commissioners. The Comprehensive Plan and Comprehensive Land Use Designation
164   Map identify resource areas, compatible land uses, and densities in all unincorporated
165   areas, including public lands. The Okanogan County Comprehensive Plan identifies
166   existing incorporated boundaries of the Cities and Towns but has no authority within
167   those boundaries.
168
169   The Comprehensive Plan, as a land use control, must comply with RCW 43.21C (SEPA)
170   and WAC 197-11 (SEPA Rules). An appeal of the SEPA Final Determination is
171   appealable, under current Okanogan County Code, to the Board of County
172   Commissioners.
173
174   An open record public hearing is required, under current Okanogan County Code, before
175   the Okanogan County Regional Planning Commission. The Planning Commission, after
176   hearing testimony and examining submitted information, adopts a recommendation of
177   approval, approval with recommended amendments, or denial to the Board of County
178   Commissioners. The Planning Commission is required to adopt Findings of Fact and
179   Conclusions of Law to support their recommendation.
180
181   As a land use control, the Comprehensive plan is adopted by ordinance by the Okanogan
182   County Board of County Commissioners. The Board of County Commissioners is
183   required to conduct an open record public hearing. After hearing all testimony and
184   examining submitted information, including the complete record of the Planning



                                                                                               4
185   Commission, the Board of Commissioners may adopt by ordinance, amend and adopt by
186   ordinance, or remand the Comprehensive Plan back to staff for additional review. If
187   amended or remanded, the Board of County Commissioners will determine if a new
188   hearing is required before the Planning Commission. In the event of remand or
189   amendment the Board of County Commissioners, after consulting with the designated
190   SEPA responsible official, will determine if additional review under SEPA is required.
191
192   The Board of County Commissioners will adopt by ordinance the Comprehensive Plan
193   and the Comprehensive Land Use Designation Map. The Final Decision made by the
194   Board of County Commissioners will be considered valid on its face. The final decision
195   made by the Board of County Commissioners is appealable, by those with standing, in
196   accordance with RCW 36.70C (Land Use Petitions Act).
197
198   Chapter one
199   Section five
200
201   Amendment Process
202
203   Amendments to the Comprehensive plan will be considered on an annual basis. Proposed
204   Amendments will be reviewed in accordance to the requirements in this section and all
205   applicable State Law.
206
207   Docketing
208   The period for docketing proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Plan or
209   Comprehensive Land Use Designation map will begin Jan 31 and End on June 1 of each
210   calendar year. The proposed amendments will be submitted on forms provided by
211   Okanogan County Planning. The Director of Okanogan County Planning or others as
212   designated by the Board of County Commissioners shall review each proposal for
213   completeness and for consistency with the County Wide Planning Policies and all
214   applicable State Laws and Okanogan County Code. The determination of complete
215   application will be made by June 30 of each year.
216
217   A list of all complete applications, along with a statement of consistency or non-
218   consistency, will be submitted to the Board of County Commissioners by July 7 of each
219   year. The Board of County Commissioners will determine which proposals to docket for
220   further review by July 31. The proposals selected for docketing will be returned to the
221   Director of Planning for further review and SEPA.
222
223   Proposed amendments to the Urban Growth Area of any City or Town must be docketed
224   with the affected City or Town in accordance with the UGA section of the comprehensive
225   Plan. The Board of County Commissioners will consult with the affected City or Town
226   before determining if an amendment to the UGA will be forwarded review.
227
228   The proposed amendments selected for further review will be scheduled for public
229   hearing in front of the Okanogan County Regional Planning commission no later than
230   October 31 of each year. No later than November 20 of each year, the Regional Planning



                                                                                               5
231   Commission will forward to the Board of County Commissioners a recommendation of
232   approval or denial for each proposal including findings of fact and conclusions of law
233   supporting their decision.
234
235   The Board of County Commissioners shall, before December 31 of each year, conduct an
236   open record public hearing to consider the recommendation of the Regional Planning
237   Commission, testimony, and other information submitted. The Board of County
238   Commissioners shall adopt by ordinance any amendment to be approved or denied. The
239   Board of County Commissioners shall adopt findings of fact and conclusions of law to
240   support their decision.
241
242   The final decision of the Board of County Commissioners shall be considered valid on its
243   face. The final decision of the Board of county Commissioners is appealable, by those
244   with standing, in accordance with RCW 36.70C (Land Use Petitions Act)
245
246
247   5 year review
248   The Board of County Commissioners shall order the review of the Comprehensive Plan
249   and Comprehensive Land Use Designation Map 5 years from date of 1st approval and
250   every 5 years thereafter. The Board of County Commissioners will adopt by Resolution a
251   Scope of Work describing the process for the 5 year review, including a public
252   participation plan.
253
254   Nothing in this section shall be construed to require any future Board of County
255   Commissioners to review and revise every section of the Comprehensive Plan. The level
256   and areas of review will be identified in the scope of work adopted by the Board. The
257   public participation plan shall be consistent with the adopted scope of work.
258
259   Chapter One
260   Section six
261   Countywide Planning Policies
262
263   The process of updating the Comprehensive Plan will be guided by a series of
264   Countywide Planning Policies. The Countywide Planning Policies identify key planning
265   principles and provide a framework for actively involving local residents, business and
266   property owners, the cities and towns, local service providers, and the Colville
267   Confederated Tribes. These policies have been developed and refined through a series of
268   intergovernmental coordination meetings, as well as several opportunities for public
269   review. There will be additional opportunities to review and comment on the following
270   Countywide Planning Policies throughout the comprehensive planning process.


271   County Wide Planning Policy 1
272   The revised Okanogan County Comprehensive Plan will be based on a Vision Statement
273   approved by the Board of County Commissioners




                                                                                               6
274   County Wide Planning Policy 2
275   It is the intent of Okanogan County to promote the coordination of all local planning
276   initiatives and to integrate as appropriate other plans and priorities into the County
277   Comprehensive Plan including, but not limited to: approved Watershed Plans, Economic
278   Development Strategies, approved Salmon Recovery Plans, Trail Plans, Comprehensive
279   Flood Hazard Management Plans, Shoreline Master Programs, Community Wild Fire
280   Protection Plans, and Transportation Plans.


281   County Wide Planning Policy 3
282   Although Okanogan County is not required to fully comply with the provisions of the
283   Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA), it is the intent of the County to be
284   proactive in the use and interpretation of GMA planning principles and practices to guide
285   the process of updating the County Comprehensive Plan.


286   County Wide Planning Policy 4
287   The County will develop and implement a public involvement strategy to ensure the
288   opportunity for early and continuous citizen participation throughout the Comprehensive
289   Plan Update process.


290   County Wide Planning Policy 5
291   The updated Comprehensive Plan will include County-wide Goals and Policies that
292   address land use, natural resource lands, environmentally sensitive areas, natural hazards,
293   community safety, economic development, transportation, housing, parks and recreation,
294   utilities, essential public facilities, and capital facilities needs and priorities.


295   County Wide Planning Policy 6
296   It is the intent of the County to ensure that the updated County Comprehensive Plan be
297   sensitive to the diversity of unique landscapes and demography within the County. To
298   allow for resident and geographic specific planning, the County will be divided into the
299   following planning areas:
300   ♦ Upper Okanogan Valley

301   ♦ Mid-Okanogan Valley

302   ♦ Tunk

303   ♦ Riverside

304   ♦ Loomis

305   ♦ Methow Valley (Mazama, Middle, Lower)



                                                                                                 7
306   ♦ Brewster Area

307   The planning area boundaries were created to reflect different local conditions and to
308   recognize historical service areas and transportation corridors


309   County Wide Planning Policy 7
310   Each of the identified planning areas will develop Comprehensive Plan Designations that
311   will address unique local circumstances and priorities and be consistent with the County-
312   wide and the Comprehensive plan element Policies.


313   County Wide Planning Policy 8
314   The County will consult with adjacent Counties, the Colville Confederated Tribes, and
315   State and Federal organizations with interests within the County throughout the County
316   Comprehensive Planning Process as appropriate and applicable.


317   County Wide Planning Policy 9
318   It is the expectation of Okanogan County that State, Federal, and Regional Agencies will
319   prepare, implement, and update plans and regulations consistent with the County’s Vision
320   Statement and Comprehensive Plan.


321   County Wide Planning Policy 10
322   It is the intent of Okanogan County to actively involve and coordinate with the
323   incorporated cities and towns throughout the County Comprehensive Planning process.


324   County Wide Planning Policy 11
325   In partnership with the incorporated cities and towns, the County will establish criteria
326   for the allocation of projected population growth in order to identify and map parcel
327   specific Urban Growth Areas (UGA) that will provide adequate land to meet projected
328   population allocations at urban densities. Additionally, the UGA will reflect a realistic
329   assessment of the logical outer boundaries for the cost-effective provision of urban
330   services. These UGAs shall remain interim until adopted by the cities and towns.


331   County Wide Planning Policy 12
332   The County will actively consult with the Colville Confederated Tribes in updating the
333   County Comprehensive Plan and will establish a protocol for integrating the updated plan
334   with the Comprehensive Plan prepared by the Tribes for the Colville Reservation and
335   Trust Lands as appropriate and applicable.




                                                                                                  8
336   County Wide Planning Policy 13
337   Okanogan County will establish criteria to identify and map environmentally sensitive
338   areas and will prepare regulations to preserve and protect these areas utilizing the
339   provisions of Best Available Science.


340   County Wide Planning Policy 14
341   Okanogan County will establish criteria to identify and designate natural resource areas
342   including mining, timber, and agricultural lands and will provide opportunities within
343   County policy to sustain the traditional natural resource industries in the County.


344   County Wide Planning Policy 15
345   Okanogan County, in partnership with incorporated cities and towns, will establish
346   housing goals and policies that encourage a range of housing stock to meet housing
347   demand for all economic segments of the County’s population.


348   County Wide Planning Policy 16
349   Okanogan County will establish diverse and sustainable economic development goals and
350   policies, which support economic prosperity, enhance the quality of life for County
351   residents, and promote employment and economic opportunity for all citizens.


352   County Wide Planning Policy 17
353   Okanogan County will evaluate current and anticipated transportation opportunities to
354   ensure the development of a transportation system that is efficient, safe, environmentally
355   sensitive, serves a diverse population, and improves facilities concurrent with new land
356   development.


357   County Wide Planning Policy 18
358   Okanogan County will identify capital facilities necessary to support planned levels of
359   growth and will identify funding sources and strategies that make effective use of limited
360   County resources.


361   County Wide Planning Policy 19
362   Okanogan County will inventory Essential Public Facilities in the County, and shall
363   establish criteria for the citing of Essential Public Facilities of regional and statewide
364   significance.




                                                                                                   9
365   County Wide Planning Policy 20
366   It is the intent of Okanogan County to establish policies, which address the protection of
367   people and property from wildfires, identifies facilities and services needed for safe and
368   coordinated land management in case of wildfire and guides future development in a
369   direction which is proactive in the attempt to reduce the adverse effects of wildfire.


370   County Wide Planning Policy 21
371   It is the intent of the County to provide a streamlined and predictable planning and
372   permitting process. Okanogan County will define the interrelationships between the
373   multiple policies and regulations as well as develop a mechanism to provide for intra-
374   County and intergovernmental coordination.


375   County Wide Planning Policy 22
376   To the greatest extent possible, Okanogan County will recognize and integrate existing
377   plans during the development of planning area and sub-area plans.


378   County Wide Planning Policy 23
379   It is the intent of Okanogan County to establish protocols to identify and protect cultural
380   resources throughout the county.
381




                                                                                                10
   382   Chapter 2: Land Use Goals & Policies

   383


   384   2.1 General Land Use Goals [Reserved]
    Rural
2.2 385 Land Use Goals [Reserved]


   386   2.3 Resource Lands
   387   The following draft Goals and Policies will provide interim guidance and direction
   388   through the duration of the process to revise the Okanogan County Comprehensive Plan.
   389   It is anticipated that more detailed Goals and Policies will be formulated during the
   390   ensuing sub-area planning process. The County’s Development Regulations will
   391   subsequently be updated to be consistent with the provisions of the approved
   392   Comprehensive Plan.


   393   Natural Resource Goal 1:
   394   Designate and maintain mineral resource lands of long-term commercial significance. In
   395   doing so, the County will develop policies for the integration of mineral extraction
   396   activities with surrounding areas.
   397   Natural Resource Policy 1.1: Okanogan County should, utilizing readily available
   398   information, identify and map active mining sites, current mining activities and lands that
   399   may be suitable for future commercial mining activities.
   400   Natural Resource Policy 1.2: The designation of specific mineral lands of long-term
   401   commercial significance will occur during the sub-area planning process, in consultation
   402   with affected private property owners.
   403   Natural Resource Policy 1.3: Okanogan County will encourage incorporated cities and
   404   towns to exclude current commercial mining operations and lands suitable for future
   405   commercial mining operations from Urban Growth Areas.
   406   Natural Resource Policy 1.4: Mineral resource extraction operations existing at the time
   407   of adoption of the comprehensive plan, that are operating, legally established, within the
   408   provisions of the development permit, and meeting the criteria for mineral resource lands
   409   of long-term commercial significance, should be designated on the land use maps as
   410   mineral resource lands of long-term commercial significance.
   411   Natural Resource Policy 1.5: Okanogan County recognizes and supports the
   412   development, maintenance and retention of mining sites having commercial grade
   413   aggregate which provide necessary materials for new development, roads, structures and
   414   other projects, provided such sites can be located and developed consistent with guiding
   415   policies.
   416   Natural Resource Policy 1.6: Okanogan County should inventory mineral resource lands
   417   periodically to determine the adequacy of available resources. Evaluations should be



                                                                                                 11
418   conducted in consultation with State agencies, mining industries, County representatives
419   and citizens.
420   Natural Resource Policy 1.7: Okanogan County should periodically review and revise the
421   standards for the permitting and operation of commercial mining activities.
422   Natural Resource Policy 1.8: Okanogan County should establish procedures to notify
423   current and future property owners of their proximity to commercial mining activities.
424   Natural Resource Policy 1.9: All mining sites shall be served by roadways, which are
425   adequate to handle industrial traffic and do not endanger public health and safety.
426   Natural Resource Policy 1.10: New development activities should be sited and designed
427   to prevent conflicts with existing or future mining operations. Screening, buffers, the
428   provision of open space, and other mitigation measures should be considered and
429   required where necessary.
430   Natural Resource Policy 1.11: Mining and extraction operations shall be sited and
431   designed to avoid and mitigate conflicts with surrounding land uses. Mineral extraction
432   sites will use existing topography to screen and minimize blasting, noise, dust, vibration,
433   and visual impacts. Where heavy equipment, mines, and pits cannot be effectively
434   screened from residential and/or commercial areas, shorelines of the state and major
435   highways, a combination of existing topography, open space, berms and landscaping may
436   be utilized to screen the site.
437   Natural Resource Policy 1.12: Mining sites will be encouraged to first locate in rural
438   designated areas where impacts can be minimized to critical areas, archaeological sites
439   and agriculturally designated lands.
440   Natural Resource Policy 1.13: Reclamation of mining and extraction sites is an integral
441   part of all mining operations, and will be required and completed in a manner that will
442   encourage future lands uses that are compatible with local comprehensive plans.
443   Natural Resource Policy 1.14: Commercial mining and extraction operations will be sited
444   and designed to have a minimal impact on adjacent land uses, critical areas, natural
445   vistas, cultural resources and the environment. Approval of new mining and extraction
446   operations shall include conditions to guide the reclamation of the site.
447   Natural Resource Policy 1.15: All mining operations shall include provisions for the
448   protection of water quality and prevention of sedimentation through the use of settling
449   ponds, retaining basins, ditches, diking and re-vegetation of slopes and other measures.
450   Natural Resource Policy 1.16: Mining activities must not cause the lowering of the
451   ground water table of surrounding properties in a manner that directly impacts their use.
452   Natural Resource Policy 1.17: Mining sites and associated off-site stockpiles shall be
453   maintained during the life of the operation in regard to the control of noxious weeds and
454   dust.


455   Natural Resource Goal 2:
456   Designate and maintain forest lands of long-term commercial significance. In doing so,
457   the County will develop policies for the integration of forest activities with surrounding
458   areas and the protection of privately owned lands from catastrophic wildfires.
459   Additional policy requested by Marlene Rawley: Natural Resource Policy 3.4: The
460   County fully supports those lands designated as forestlands of long-term commercial
461   significance, however this should not preclude property owners from converting their


                                                                                               12
462   land to non-forest uses in accordance with the provisions of the County Vision Statement,
463   this Comprehensive Plan, and the County Development Regulations. (similar to policy
464   3.4/Ag. Lands)
465   Natural Resource Policy 2.1: Okanogan County will identify and map private forestlands
466   currently used, as well as suitable for future commercial production of timber.
467   Natural Resource Policy 2.2: The designation of forest lands of long-term commercial
468   significance will include parcels assessed by the County as timber lands.
469   Natural Resource Policy 2.3: The designation of specific timber lands of long-term
470   commercial significance should occur during the sub-area planning process, in
471   consultation with affected private property owners.
472   Natural Resource Policy 2.4: Okanogan County supports and encourages the
473   establishment and maintenance of forest lands in timber and current use property tax
474   classification.
475   Natural Resource Policy 2.5: Commercial timber activities should be permitted in all
476   rural areas of the county.
477   Natural Resource Policy 2.6: Okanogan County will encourage the conservation of forest
478   lands for productive economic use by identifying and designating forest resource lands
479   where the principle and preferred land use is commercial timber management.
480   Natural Resource Policy 2.7: Okanogan County will require the implementation of forest
481   management practices on public and private lands to reduce the risks of catastrophic
482   wildfires.
483   Natural Resource Policy 2.8: Land use activities within or adjacent to designated forest
484   resource lands should be sited and designed to avoid and/or mitigate potential conflicts
485   with forest resource management and potential wildfire hazards.
486   Natural Resource Policy 2.9: All residential development plats, binding site plans and
487   planned developments, and commercial and industrial development should be located
488   within fire districts.
489


490   Natural Resource Goal 3:
491   Designate and maintain agricultural lands of long-term commercial significance.
492   Natural Resource Policy 3.1: Okanogan County should identify and map lands used for
493   commercial agricultural production and grazing.
494   Natural Resource Policy 3.2: The designation of agricultural lands of long-term
495   commercial significance should include parcels assessed by the County as agricultural
496   lands.
497   Natural Resource Policy 3.3: The designation of specific agricultural lands of long-term
498   commercial significance should occur during the sub-area planning process in
499   consultation with affected private property owners.
500   Natural Resource Policy 3.4: The County fully supports those lands designated as
501   agricultural lands of long-term commercial significance; however this should not
502   preclude property owners from converting their land to non-agricultural uses in
503   accordance with the provisions of the County Vision Statement, this Comprehensive
504   Plan, and the County Development Regulations.




                                                                                             13
505   Natural Resource Policy 3.5: Agricultural lands considered for acquisition for public,
506   recreational, scenic and/or park purposes, or for wildlife habitat, will first be evaluated
507   for their impact on commercial agricultural and socioeconomic structure of the
508   immediate area, and the County as a whole.
509   Natural Resource Policy 3.6: Okanogan County supports efforts in the public and private
510   sectors, which ensure the viability of the agricultural industry.
511   Natural Resource Policy 3.7: Encourage farm-based businesses as an accessory use in
512   agriculturally designated areas. A farm-based business is an on-farm enterprise devoted
513   to the direct marketing of unprocessed and/or value-added agricultural products that are
514   produced, processed and sold on-site as the primary activity. Farm based businesses are
515   intended to supplement farm income, provide employment for farm family members and
516   may include other limited secondary services and/or retail activity.
517   Natural Resource Policy 3.8: Okanogan County encourages the maintenance of
518   agricultural lands in current use property tax classifications, open space designations,
519   and/or other tax benefits that help retain the economic viability of farming practices.
520   Natural Resource Policy 3.9: Agricultural activities should be permitted in all areas of the
521   County including those areas which are not designated primarily for agricultural
522   purposes.
523   Natural Resource Policy 3.10: Farm practices should be consistent with best management
524   practices for the industry.
525   Natural Resource Policy 3.11: Okanogan County will encourage the retention of
526   agricultural lands of long-term commercial significance and will work to prevent
527   haphazard growth into these areas.
528   Natural Resource Policy 3.12: Okanogan County will encourage continued agricultural
529   activities within areas designated as agricultural and develop right-to-farm policies to
530   minimize disruption to agricultural activity.
531   Natural Resource Policy 3.13: All farmers shall have the right to farm, consistent with
532   appropriate local, state and federal requirements.
533   Natural Resource Policy 3.14: Okanogan County should establish procedures to inform
534   current and future property owners of their proximity to lands used for commercial
535   agricultural activities.
536   Natural Resource Policy 3.15: All plats, planned developments and binding site plans on,
537   within or near to lands designated as agricultural resource lands, shall contain a notice
538   that the subject property is on, within or near designated agricultural resource lands.
539   Natural Resource Policy 3.16: Facilities and services for the maintenance, operation and
540   support of the agricultural industries within the County, should be permitted within
541   agricultural areas, rural service centers and industrial areas, where such facilities are not
542   found to be incompatible with surrounding uses. Potential impacts to surrounding land
543   uses and public facilities and services should be mitigated and addressed.
544   Natural Resource Policy 3.17: New development activities should be sited and designed
545   to avoid conflicts with agricultural lands.
546   Natural Resource Policy 3.18: Land use activities within or adjacent to designated
547   agricultural resource lands should be sited and designed to avoid and mitigate potential
548   conflicts with agricultural practices and productivity.
549   Natural Resource Policy 3.19: Development within, or adjacent to, designated
550   agricultural resource lands, including but not limited to plats, binding site plans and



                                                                                                14
551   planned developments, shall be required to provide for mitigation, such as fencing,
552   planting of trees as buffers, landscaping, dust control, and appropriate spraying for pest
553   control or the removal of fruit bearing trees to address impacts to agricultural operations.
554   Natural Resource Policy 3.20: Non-farm development in rural areas, which is adjacent to
555   an existing orchard operation, shall provide appropriate buffers and/or mitigation
556   measures to minimize potential conflicts.
557   Natural Resource Policy 3.21: Encourage the control of noxious weeds in all affected
558   areas of construction and development projects.
559


560   2.4 Critical Areas
561   The following draft Goals and Policies will provide interim guidance and direction
562   through the duration of the process to revise the Okanogan County Comprehensive Plan.
563   It is anticipated that more detailed Goals and Policies will be formulated during the
564   ensuing planning area process. The County’s Development Regulations will subsequently
565   be updated to be consistent with the provisions of the approved Comprehensive Plan.


566   Critical Area Goal 1:
567   It is a goal of Okanogan County to classify, designate and protect critical areas in
568   Okanogan County.
569   Critical Area Policy 1.1: In designating and protecting critical areas, the County shall
570   include best available science in developing policies and development regulations to
571   protect the functions and values of critical areas.
572   Critical Area Policy 1.2: Okanogan County should, in partnership with its cities and
573   towns, revise its Shoreline Master Plan and critical areas ordinance.
574   Critical Area Policy 1.3: In circumstances where critical areas are not mapped, Okanogan
575   County will establish performance standards or definitions, so these critical areas are
576   identified during the processing of a permit or development authorization.
577   Critical Area Policy 1.4: Okanogan County should incorporate the recommendations of
578   the Watershed Plans approved by the Board of County Commissioners (authorized under
579   RCW 90.82) into the County Development Codes and permit review procedures.
580   Critical Area Policy 1.5: Allow for open space and recreational use of critical areas
581   where such use does not negatively impact critical areas.
582   Critical Area Policy 1.6: Encourage the restoration and enhancement of critical areas. To
583   the greatest extent possible, this should be consistent with County plans, policies and
584   regulations such as the County’s current Shoreline Master Program.
585   Critical Area Policy 1.7: The goals and policies of the Okanogan County Shoreline
586   Master Program, as amended, should considered an element of the comprehensive plan,
587   and are included by reference as if fully set forth herein.


588   Critical Area Goal 2:
589   Ensure that development activities avoid or have minimal impacts upon significant
590   natural, historic and cultural features and to preserve their integrity.


                                                                                                15
591   Critical Area Policy 2.1: Encourage development that is compatible with the natural
592   environment and minimizes impacts to significant natural and scenic features.
593   Critical Area Policy 2.2: Okanogan County should evaluate the cumulative impacts of
594   development proposals in critical areas.
595   Critical Area Policy 3.2: Appropriate conditions shall be placed on development to
596   ensure that negative impacts to critical areas are avoided or mitigated.
597   Critical Area Policy 2.3: The County should work closely with private organizations and
598   those agencies that manage public lands to ensure that local interests are emphasized and
599   reflected in approved plans.
600   Critical Area Policy 2.4: Okanogan County should continue to identify and map
601   archeological and significant historic sites and structures within the County.
602   Critical Area Policy 2.5: Encourage the preservation of lands, sites and structures that
603   have historical or archaeological significance.


604   Critical Area Goal 3:
605   Protect and maintain water quality and quantity.
606   Critical Area Policy 3.1: Adopt and implement storm water and drainage standards that
607   protect water resources from impacts caused by development, utilizing, where
608   appropriate: source control, on-site detention, and treatment of storm water. Where
609   storm drain systems do not exist, storm water shall be disposed of without increasing the
610   rate of run-off.
611   Critical Area Policy 3.2: Encourage and support future and ongoing water quality
612   monitoring programs.
613   Critical Area Policy 3.3: Support water quality education programs which inform local
614   citizens and visitors about water quality issues and ramifications.
615   Critical Area Policy 3.4: Support the implementation of the Okanogan Watershed Water
616   Quality Implementation Plan, May 2001.
617   Critical Area Policy 3.5: Support ongoing health department efforts to adequately
618   monitor on-site septic systems, and require the repair of failing on-site septic systems.
619   Critical Area Policy 3.6: Encourage existing and future public boat launches to
620   incorporate wash-off stations. Vessel sewage pump-out facilities and fueling provisions
621   shall be sited to implement best management practices for the protection of water quality.
622   Critical Area Policy 3.7: Protect the availability of potable water by minimizing the
623   potential for contamination of ground water sources from residential, commercial and
624   industrial activities.
625   Critical Area Policy 3.8: Encourage the restoration of contaminated ground water sources
626   Critical Area Policy 3.9: Classify, designate and protect areas with a critical recharging
627   effect on aquifers used for potable water. To the greatest extent possible, this effort
628   should be coordinated with active watershed planning units authorized under RCW 90.82
629   Critical Area Policy 3.10: Support ongoing watershed planning efforts authorized under
630   RCW 90.82.
631   Critical Area Policy 3.11: Okanogan County should establish standards so that the use,
632   storage, and disposal of hazardous materials and generation of hazardous wastes do not
633   adversely affect water quality.




                                                                                             16
634   Critical Area Policy 3.12: Grading and construction activities shall implement erosion
635   control best management practices and other development controls as necessary to reduce
636   sedimentation and pollution discharge.
637   Critical Area Policy 3.13: Ensure that dredging and filling activities are conducted in a
638   manner which minimizes the introduction of suspended solids, leaching of contaminants
639   or disturbance to habitats.
640   Critical Area Policy 3.14: Encourage treatment of storm runoff of surface water from
641   developed areas to prevent pollution materials, such as motor oils, paper, sand, salt and
642   other debris, garbage, and foreign materials from being carried directly into natural
643   streams, lakes or other public water.


644   Critical Area Goal 4:
645   Protect and maintain air quality.
646   Critical Area Policy 4.1: Encourage and support air quality monitoring programs.
647   Critical Area Policy 4.2: Recognize the potential benefits of public water, rail, electric,
648   alternative fuels, non-motorized and air transportation in helping maintain local air
649   quality.
650   Critical Area Policy 4.3: Work with local industries to meet air quality standards and to
651   avoid significant impacts on adjacent properties.
652   Critical Area Policy 4.4: Okanogan County should establish standards so that the use,
653   storage, and disposal of hazardous materials and generation of hazardous wastes do not
654   adversely affect air quality.


655   Critical Area Goal 5:
656   Okanogan County’s wetlands, river corridors and floodplains will be protected to the
657   greatest extent reasonable.
658   Critical Area Policy 5.1: The County shall use minimum standards the Washington State
659   Wetlands Identification and Delineation Manual, 1997, or its successor, which is adopted
660   by Okanogan County, and is the scientifically accepted replacement methodology based
661   on better technical criteria and field indicators. Wetlands will be rated consistent with the
662   Washington State Department of Ecology’s (Ecology) Wetlands Rating System for
663   Eastern Washington (Publication Nos. 91-058 and 02-06-019, as amended), or its
664   successor.{Let’s edit this policy}
665   Critical Area Policy 5.2: When classifying and/or assessing a wetland area, historical
666   information on the area in question, as well as the dynamic nature of wetlands, will be
667   recognized and considered.
668   Critical Area Policy 5.3: Wetlands will be protected as much as reasonable from
669   alterations due to land use changes that may create adverse impacts to the wetland.
670   Critical Area Policy 5.4: Whenever feasible, innovative techniques that enhance a
671   wetland and promote it as a useful, functioning part of the development will be
672   encouraged during the development review process.
673   Critical Area Policy 5.6: Coordinate wetland preservation strategies and efforts with
674   appropriate local, state and federal agencies and private conservation organizations to



                                                                                                 17
675   take advantage of both technical and financial assistance, and to avoid duplication of
676   efforts.
677   Critical Area Policy 5.7: Development proposals that encompass wetland areas will have
678   a site-specific review process required to determine the classification.
679   Critical Area Policy 5.8: Sponsors of proposed development activities on sites containing
680   a wetland and/or associated buffers should submit a comprehensive wetland mitigation
681   plan that includes sufficient monitoring and contingencies to ensure natural wetland
682   persistence.
683   Critical Area Policy 5.9: Activities or uses that would strip a shoreline of vegetative
684   cover, cause substantial erosion or sedimentation, or significantly, adversely affect
685   aquatic life will be prohibited or mitigated.
686   Critical Area Policy 5.10: A wetland buffer area of adequate width will be maintained
687   between wetlands and adjacent new development to protect the functions and integrity of
688   the wetland. The ultimate width of the established buffer should be based on the function
689   and sensitivity of the wetland, the characteristics of the existing buffer, the potential
690   impacts associated with the adjacent and proposed land use, as well as other existing
691   regulations which may control the proposed activity.
692   Critical Area Policy 5.11: Classify, designate and protect frequently flooded areas. This
693   effort should be coordinated with County’s development of the County-wide
694   Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plan.
695   Critical Area Policy 5.12: Regulate development activities in floodplains in order to help
696   mitigate the loss of floodplain storage capacity. This effort should be coordinated with
697   the County’s development of the County-wide Comprehensive Flood Hazard
698   Management Plan.
699   Critical Area Policy 5.13: Okanogan County should work with other agencies to provide
700   public access to lakes, rivers, and streams where such access is needed.


701   Critical Area Goal 6:
702   Protect fish and wildlife habitat areas as an important resource for Okanogan County,
703   particularly in regard to economic, aesthetic and quality of life values.
704   Critical Area Policy 6.1: Identify and map critical fish and wildlife habitat conservation
705   areas within the County and maintain a database of independent studies conducted in
706   conjunction with projects, such as development proposals, road construction, watershed
707   plans and habitat conservation plans. Update maps, databases, and plans as new
708   information is received.
709   Critical Area Policy 6.2: Impacts of new development on the quality of land, wildlife and
710   vegetative resources will be considered as part of the environmental review process and
711   require any appropriate mitigating measures. Such mitigation may involve the retention
712   and/or enhancement of habitats.
713   Critical Area Policy 6.3: Vegetation in designated habitat areas should be maintained in
714   its natural state and be disturbed only as minimally necessary for the development.
715   Disturbed areas should be re-vegetated with native vegetation as soon as possible. Re-
716   vegetation will be maintained in good growing conditions, as well as being kept free of
717   noxious weeds.




                                                                                             18
718   Critical Area Policy 6.4: Potential impacts on fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas
719   should be considered during the development review process. Preservation of blocks of
720   habitat and connectivity between them and restoration of damaged habitat should be
721   included as part of the review. Where a development proposal involves more intense
722   uses, such as Master Planned Resorts (MPRs), all or part of the required open space
723   (common and/or private) will be dedicated to fish and wildfire habitat conservation based
724   on the extent and importance of the habitat.
725   Critical Area Policy 6.5: Riparian management activities that maintains existing riparian
726   habitat and is consistent with best agricultural management practices should be
727   encouraged.
728   Critical Area Policy 6.6: Ensure that land uses adjacent to naturally occurring wetlands
729   and other fish and wildlife habitat areas will not negatively impact the habitat areas. If a
730   change in land use occurs, adequate buffers will be provided to the habitat areas.
731   Critical Area Policy 6.7: Activities allowed in fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas
732   and open space will be consistent with the species located there, including all applicable
733   state and federal regulations and/or best management practices for the activity regarding
734   that species.


735   Critical Area Goal 7:
736   Okanogan County will manage groundwater resources and aquifer recharge areas to
737   protect the quantity and quality of potable water.
738   Critical Area Policy 7.1: Okanogan County should consider designating and classifying
739   aquifer recharge areas as set forth in WAC 365-190-080 (2).
740   Critical Area Policy 7.2: Identify and map critical groundwater supply areas, aquifer
741   recharge areas with a high groundwater table and/or unconfined aquifers used for potable
742   water. To the greatest extent possible, this effort should be coordinated with active
743   watershed planning units authorized under RCW 90.82.
744   Critical Area Policy 7.3: If aquifer recharge areas are identified, they will be considered
745   for classification as environmentally sensitive areas, and will be encouraged to be
746   incorporated as Groundwater Management Areas.
747   Critical Area Policy 7.4: Okanogan County encourages the establishment of land use
748   intensity limitations in accordance with state and federal standards. Some types of
749   developments, such as clustered, may be encouraged to utilize community sewage
750   disposal systems instead of dispersed individual septic systems depending on the type and
751   potential impacts to the aquifer.
752   Critical Area Policy 7.5: The County should establish and enforce appropriate standards
753   to manage the disposal of hazardous materials.
754   Critical Area Policy 7.6: Agricultural activities, including commercial and hobby farms,
755   are encouraged to incorporate best management practices concerning animal keeping,
756   animal waste disposal, fertilizer use, pesticide use and stream corridor management.
757   Critical Area Policy 7.7: Fertilizer and pesticide management practices of schools, parks,
758   golf courses and other non-residential facilities that maintain large landscaped areas will
759   be evaluated at the time of development in relation to Best Management Practices
760   (BMPs) as recommended by the Cooperative Extension Service. Existing facilities are
761   strongly encouraged to also incorporate these BMPs.


                                                                                               19
762   Critical Area Policy 7.8: It is the responsibility of the Project Sponsors to prove that their
763   proposal would not adversely affect the recharge of an aquifer. To the greatest extent
764   possible, this effort should be coordinated with active watershed planning units
765   authorized under RCW 90.82
766   Critical Area Policy 7.9: Within aquifer recharge areas, short and long subdivision and
767   other divisions of land will be evaluated for their impact on groundwater quality.
768   Critical Area Policy 7.10: Development which could substantially and negatively impact
769   the quality of an aquifer will not be allowed unless it can be demonstrated conclusively
770   that these negative impacts would be overcome in such a manner as to prevent the
771   adverse impacts. Alternative site designs, phased developed and/or groundwater quality
772   monitoring may be required to reduce contaminant loading where site conditions indicate
773   that the proposed action will measurably degrade groundwater quality.
774   Critical Area Policy 7.11: Reduce danger to health by protecting surface and ground
775   water supplies from the impairment that results from incompatible land uses by providing
776   safe and sanitary drainage.
777   Critical Area Policy 7.12: Community/public sewage disposal and water systems are
778   encouraged and may be required where site conditions indicate a high degree of potential
779   contamination to groundwater resources.
780   Critical Area Policy: 7.13: When wells are required to be abandoned, the applicant shall
781   ensure that they are abandoned according to the Washington State Department of
782   Ecology requirements.


783   Critical Area Goal 8:
784   Protect the frequently flooded areas of Okanogan County that are know to be critical
785   parts of the natural drainage system by limiting and controlling potential alterations
786   and/or obstructions to those areas.
787   Critical Area Policy 8.1: Map flood hazard areas that are currently part of the Federal
788   Emergency Management Act or Flood Insurance Rate Maps or depicted by other
789   historical evidence, as appropriate. Regulate areas of flood hazard by maintaining
790   compliance with FEMA Model Ordinance required by FEMA and the State of
791   Washington to be adopted by Okanogan County. This effort should be in coordinated
792   with the County-wide Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plan.
793   Critical Area Policy 8.2: Continue the development of a County-wide Comprehensive
794   Flood Hazard Management Plan.
795   Critical Area Policy 8.3: Permit and encourage land uses compatible with the
796   preservation of the natural vegetation to promote the maintenance of constant rates of
797   water flow through the year and that sustains many species of wildlife and plant growth.
798   Critical Area Policy 8.4: Priority consideration should be given to develop strategies for
799   acquisition and demolition and relocation of properties in flood-prone areas.


800   Critical Area Goal 9:
801   Okanogan County will provide appropriate measures to either avoid or mitigate
802   significant risks that are posed by geologic hazard areas to public and private property
803   and to public health and safety.


                                                                                                 20
804   Critical Area Policy 9.1: Develop criteria to explore the opportunity to classify,
805   designate and protect geologically hazardous areas.
806   Critical Area Policy 9.2: Discourage development in areas of natural hazard such as those
807   susceptible to landslide, flood, avalanche, unstable soils and excessive slopes.
808   Critical Area Policy 9.3: Potential impacts and alternative mitigation measures to
809   eliminate or minimize the impacts in identified geologic hazard areas shall be
810   documented during the review of development applications.
811   Critical Area Policy 9.4: Development proposals should be evaluated to determine 1)
812   whether the proposal is located in a geologic hazard area, 2) the project’s potential impact
813   on geologic hazard areas, and 3) the potential impact of geologic hazards on the proposed
814   project.
815   Critical Area Policy 9.5: Where feasible, an adequate buffer of existing vegetation should
816   be maintained around all sides of geologic hazard areas to maintain the natural integrity
817   of the site and to protect the environment, and the public health and safety.
818   Critical Area Policy 9.6: Identify and map all potential geologic hazard areas based on
819   available information from the U.S. Geological Survey, Natural Resource Conservation
820   Service Soil Survey, and other agencies, as appropriate.
821   Critical Area Policy 9.7: Applications for development within, or in close proximity of a
822   geologically hazardous area, shall include preliminary information to assist the County in
823   determining the need for any specialized reports from a geologist or geo-technical
824   engineer. Review criteria will be established to assist county staff in making said
825   determination.
826   Critical Area Policy 9.8: Development activities proposed within a geological hazard
827   area, or that has the potential to adversely affect the stability of one of these areas, may
828   be required to proved studies performed by qualified consultants describing the existing
829   nature of the hazard and necessary safety precautions. The subsequent report from the
830   geo-technical engineer and/or geologist should clearly identify the risk of damage from
831   the project, both on-site and off-site, whether the proposal increases the risk of
832   occurrence of the hazard, and whether the proposal has incorporated measures to
833   eliminate or reduce the risk of damage due to the hazard.
834   Critical Area Policy 9.9: Any new residential subdivision or short plat that is determined
835   to be in a geologically hazardous area shall have a note placed on the face of the plat and
836   on the title report stating that the hazard is present.
837




                                                                                               21
838   Chapter 3: Wild fire Planning Goals and Policies

839
840   As the number of people living in forested and grassland areas continues to grow, so does
841   the potential that these people will experience a wildfire on or near their property. The
842   County has the most fire ignitions and the highest suppression costs of any County in the
843   State. As a result, there is an ongoing need to provide protection of life, property, and
844   cultural and natural resources. The purpose of this fire planning section is to establish
845   goals and policies that will guide the development of land within the WUI consistent with
846   the County’s overall goals and policies.
847
848   The following draft Goals and Policies will provide interim guidance and direction
849   through the duration of the process to revise the Okanogan County Comprehensive Plan.
850   It is anticipated that more detailed Goals and Policies will be formulated during the
851   ensuing planning area process. The County’s Development Regulations will subsequently
852   be updated to be consistent with the provisions of the approved Comprehensive Plan.


853   Fire Goal 1:
854   Protect against potential losses to life, property and natural resources from wildfire.
855   Fire Policy 1.1: Ensure that the land development ordinances and building codes in
856   Okanogan County support the mitigation of wildland urban interface fire danger.
857   Fire Policy 1.2: Develop a countywide road and street system that provides efficient
858   access for fire fighting and clear evacuation routes.
859   Fire Policy 1.3: Monitor the changing conditions of wildfire risk and citizen action over
860   time.
861   Fire Policy 1.4: Advocate responsible practices for land development, recreational
862   activities, and commercial operations to reduce loss from wildland urban interface fire on
863   public and private land in Okanogan County.
864   Fire Policy 1.5: Promote effective fuel treatment programs for homeowners and
865   businesses that are carried out on an ongoing basis in all wildland urban interface areas in
866   Okanogan County.
867   Fire Policy 1.6: Continue working across jurisdictions to lessen the chances of
868   catastrophic wildfires with the wildland urban interface.


869   Fire Goal 2:
870   Identify and prioritize areas for fire protection.
871   Fire Policy 2.1: Continue to refine criteria for determining, delineating, mapping Wildfire
872   Urban Interface (WUI) areas.



                                                                                               22
873   Fire Goal 3:
874   Enhance community education and community land stewardship.
875   Fire Policy 3.1: Promote visible projects and program successes.
876   Fire Policy 3.2: Access and utilize federal and other grant dollars.
877   Fire Policy 3.3: Identify incentives for fire protection and community participation.
878   Fire Policy 3.4: Increase community preparedness.


879   Fire Goal 4:
880   Effectively assist in the coordination of fire related efforts.
881   Fire Policy 4.1: Develop ordinances and/or policies to reduce the occurrence of wildfire.
882   Fire Policy 4.2: Institutionalize fire-related programs and sustain community efforts for
883   fire protection.
884   Fire Policy 4.3: Emphasize prevention of wildland urban interface fires using a proactive,
885   cooperative approach with incentive measures.
886   Fire Policy 4.4: Build and maintain active participation from each Fire Protection
887   District.
888   Fire Policy 4.5: Set realistic expectations for reducing wildfire risk.
889   Fire Policy 4.6: Provide the appropriate resources to maintain an effective emergency
890   response system to wildland urban interface fires in Okanogan County.
891   Fire Policy: 4.7: Sustain a coordinated and cooperative program, with appropriate fire
892   response agencies, of timely information and educational programs for county residents,
893   businesses, and recreation homeowners.
894
895   Chapter 2: EXISTING CONDITIONS
896
897   Section 1: CURRENT LAND USE
898
899   DESCRIPTION OF OKANOGAN COUNTY
900   (From June 15, 2005 Comp Plan Update Draft)
901   Okanogan means “rendezvous” and refers to the place where the Okanogan River joins
902   the Columbia River. The Washington Territorial Legislature created the County on
903   February 2, 1888.
904   The total area of Okanogan County is approximately 3,400,000 acres, of which 953,301
905   acres is privately owned and about 1,574,262 acres is federally owned. Over 95 percent
906   of the federally owned land is encompassed within the jurisdiction of the United States
907   Forest Service, within the Okanogan National Forest and including the Pasayten
908   Wilderness on the western side of the County. Table XX illustrates land ownership in
909   Okanogan County.
910
911
912
913
914
915
916


                                                                                              23
917   Table XX: Acres of Land Ownership in Okanogan County (Source: Okanogan County)
918
      Ownership                  Acres
      Private                    953,301
      City                       1,343
      County                     937
      Public Utility Districts   1,505
      State                      357,721
      Federal                    1,574,262
      Tribal                     485,695
      Water Bodies               36,439
      Total                      3,411,203
919
920   Larger than several states, Okanogan County is bordered on the north by Canada, on the
921   south by the Columbia River, on the east by Ferry County, and on the west by the 8,000
922   foot peaks of the North Cascade Mountains. The County covers 5,281 square miles,
923   making it the largest county in Washington. Only 30% of the land within the County is
924   in private ownership due to the amount of state and federal lands. The Colville Indian
925   Reservation, located in the southeast corner of the county, occupies approximately
926   700,000 acres and is an integral part of the heritage of the County.
927
928   The western half of the county is comprised of dense, rugged, mountainous terrain, much
929   of which is within Okanogan National Forest. Similar topography also can be found in
930   the northeast corner of the county. From the north part of the County, the land descends
931   into rolling hills, grassy ranges, and fertile valleys that extend through the center of the
932   Couny.
933
934   A more detailed description about the physical and natural environment of Okanogan
935   County can be found in the following plans: Methow Basin and Okanogan Basin
936   Watershed Plans; Okanogan Basin Water Quality Implementation Plan, Methow and
937   Okanogan Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plans, and the Methow and
938   Okanogan Subbasin Plans (this is cheap. One might raid one or the other of these plans
939   and use their language to complete the picture, or take out this paragraph altogether).
940
941   The 2,000 census recorded a county population of 39,564 people. Okanogan, with a
942   population of 2,415, is the second largest city in the county, and the county seat. Omak,
943   the largest city in the county, had a population of 4,495 in 2000. Other cities within the
944   county are Brewster (2,055), Conconully (177), Coulee Dam (890), Elmer City (310),
945   Nespelem (235), Oroville (1,615), Pateros (595), Riverside (305), Tonasket (1,025),
946   Twisp (1,000), and Winthrop (375). The county has an unincorporated population of
947   21,764, while the population of incorporated towns totals 15, 136.
948
949   There are 15,027 households and 10,579 families residing in the County. The population
950   density is 8 per square mile, according to the Census. There are 19, 085 housing units at
951   an average density of 4 per square mile (one has to wonder if this calculation is spread
952   over public land acreage as well).


                                                                                                24
953
954   Agriculture and forestry have historically been and continue to be major economic
955   generators for the County, shaping the character of its communities and employing
956   approximately 5,756 people. According to 2000 U.S. Census data, approximately 2,464
957   people in the County worked in natural resource-based industries (agriculture, forestry,
958   mining, hunting and fishing), 222 fewer people than reported in 1990. (This also needs to
959   be checked for accuracy – how can the total be less than two sectors?)
960
961   (the rest is incomplete.. breaks into brief descriptions of each planning area that are no
962   longer relevant)
963
964
965   A. ANALYSIS OF EXISTING LAND USE PATTERNS
966
967   (from Jones/Stokes Resource Lands section)
968   The land use breakdown for all of Okanogan County is shown in Figure 0-1. The land use
969   categories in Figure 0-1 are based on County Assessor Land Use Codes. County
970   Assessor data indicates the predominant land use types in the County include public lands
971   and resource lands. Resource lands include agricultural uses, timberlands, and mines and
972   mining related activities as designated by the County Assessor. Public lands generally
973   include federal and state managed lands, public utility district (PUD) lands, parks and
974   recreation areas.
975




976
977
978
979   b. CURRENT DENSITY (need more info. It can’t be as simple as 8 per sq mi.)
980   c. CURRENT ZONING (describe existing designations? Chart? Map?)
981
982
983
984
985



                                                                                                   25
 986   D. ANALYSIS OF POPULATION AND DEMOGRAPHICS
 987

 988   1. GENERAL INFORMATION

989    Sources: Office of Financial Management (population), U.S. Bureau of the Census (land
990    area), Department of Revenue (assessed value), Economic and Revenue Forecast Council
991    (personal income)


       a. GENERAL COUNTY INFORMATION
                                                   Amount    Rank
       Population - 2007                          39,800     24
         Unincorporated                           23,939     21
         Incorporated                             15,861     24
       Land Area in Square Miles                  5,268.07   1
       Density (Persons per Square Mile) - 2007   7.6        34
       Assessed Value - 2006
         Total $ in Thousands                     $2,271,584 26
         Per Capita $/Person                      $57,075    33
       Personal Income - 2005
         Total $ In Thousands                     $1,028,275 22
         Per Capita $/Person                      $25,850    19
       Taxable Retail Sales - see Table LT01
       County Seat - Okanogan
992
993

994

995

996

997

998    b. COMPONENTS OF POPULATION CHANGE, MARRIAGES, DIVORCES

 999   Sources: Office of Financial Management (population components of change),
1000   Department of Health (marriages, divorces)

1001



                                                                                          26
             COMPONENTS OF POPULATION CHANGE,
                       MARRIAGES, DIVORCES
                              2000 to 2007
       Estimated Births                    3,566
       Estimated Deaths                    2,591
       Natural Increase                    976
       Net Migration                       -740
       Total Change                        236
       Marriages in 2005                   298
         Per 1,000 Population              7.53
       Divorces in 2005                    111
         Per 1,000 Population              2.80

1002   Note: Marriages are tabulated by county where license was issued. Divorces are tabulated
1003   by county of decree. Both are occurrence data, not residence data.

1004

1005   c. CITIES AND TOWNS

1006   Source: Office of Financial Management

           CITY AND TOWN POPULATION AS OF
                        APRIL 1, 2007
                 City/Town              Population
       Brewster                    2,195
       Conconully                  190
       Coulee Dam part             850
       Elmer City                  241*
       Nespelem                    205
       Okanogan                    2,445
       Omak                        4,735
       Oroville                    1,710
       Pateros                     620
       Riverside                   320
       Tonasket                    990
       Twisp                       980
       Winthrop                    380

1007   Note: City population numbers are from either special census (*), informal census (#),
1008   informal count (+), or state estimate (no symbol).


                                                                                                27
1009   d. POPULATION BY RACE AND HISPANIC ORIGIN

1010   Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Office of Financial Management

           APRIL POPULATION BY RACE AND HISPANIC ORIGIN BY CENSUS
                              BUREAU DEFINITIONS
                                                    Two or    Hispanic
        Year Total White Black AIAN Asian NHOPI
                                                   More Races Origin
       2000 39,564 33,806 118   4,635 185   32    788        5,688
       2006 39,800 33,864 134   4,632 211   37    921        6,774

1011   AIAN: American Indian and Alaska Native
1012   NHOPI: Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander.
1013   Note: Persons of Hispanic Origin can be of any race.

1014   e. COUNTY POPULATION BY AGE AND GENDER
1015   Source: Office of Financial Management
         COUNTY POPULATION BY AGE AND GENDER –
                      APRIL 1, 2007
              Age       Total      Male    Female
       0-4           2,395      1,234   1,161
       5-9           2,701      1,331   1,370
       10-14         3,060      1,547   1,514
       15-19         3,100      1,595   1,505
       20-24         1,995      1,049   946
       25-29         2,152      1,127   1,025
       30-34         1,887      936     951
       35-39         2,262      1,109   1,153
       40-44         2,742      1,332   1,410
       45-49         3,181      1,642   1,539
       50-54         3,058      1,512   1,546
       55-59         2,965      1,506   1,459
       60-64         2,596      1,325   1,270
       65-69         1,864      929     935
       70-74         1,337      667     670
       75-79         961        470     491
       80-84         725        291     435
       85 +          819        299     520
       Total         39,800     19,902  19,898
       Median Age    40.64      40.09   41.15


                                                                           28
1016   Note: Data are estimated population by age and gender.

1017   2. POPULATION PROJECTIONS

1018   (from OFM “Growth Management Act (GMA) Population Projections
1019   Final 2007 County Projection Update”)
1020
1021   Development of population projections for GMA is a shared responsibility.
1022         • As directed by statute RCW 43.62.035, the Office of Financial Management
1023         (OFM) prepares a range of possible population growth for Washington’s counties
1024         to use as they plan for future growth under GMA. These population projections go
1025         to 2030, and are presented by age and gender in five-year increments.
1026
1027          • As indicated in RCW 36.70A.110 and RCW 36.70A.115, local officials are
1028          responsible for selecting a 20-year GMA planning target that is within the high
1029          and low growth projections prepared by OFM. County officials select the county
1030          planning target.
1031
1032          • Within each county, population planning targets for cities, towns, and
1033          unincorporated areas are developed among all affected local jurisdictions as part
1034          of the city and county planning process.
1035
1036   The population that needs to be accommodated by a given area for GMA depends on 1)
1037   the county growth range projected by OFM, 2) the county planning target selected by
1038   county officials, and 3) the city and sub-county population planning targets developed
1039   cooperatively by all local governments.
1040
1041   GMA county projections are developed within the framework of expected state
1042   population growth through 2030. The state forecast starts with the 2000 census count by
1043   single year of age and gender. The census population is “aged” forward using specific
1044   assumptions about births, deaths, and migration.
1045   At the state level, birth and death rates are relatively stable and predictable. Average
1046   lifetime births per woman have been at about 2.0 since the mid-1980s and are expected to
1047   remain at this level through 2030. Modest increases in life expectancy are anticipated
1048   through the 30-year forecast horizon. Migration is the most variable and difficult
1049   component of change to predict. Annual migration from OFM’s long-standing April 1
1050   population estimates program provides a considerable advantage in forecasting and
1051   tracking near-term migration at the state level.

1052   (Original text): The Office of Financial Management released population projections
1053   in November of 2007. These projections provided three alternative growth scenarios for
1054   Okanogan County and the incorporated cities to consider; a high, medium, and a low
1055   projection. These projections are shown in Table XX. Has Okanogan County chosen
1056   which projection to plan under?

1057


                                                                                              29
1058   Table XX: Final Projections of the Total Resident Population in Okanogan County

       Scenario    Census    Estimate                      Projections
                    2000       2005      2010      2015       2020        2025     2030
         High      39,564     39,600    46,414    50,000     53,040      56,034   58,790
        Medium     39,564     39,600    42,739    44,923     46,526      48,016   49,239
         Low       39,564     39,600    39,064    39,846     40,012      39,998   39,688

1059

1060   Chapter Three
1061   Resource Lands
1062
1063   History
1064   Okanogan County was one of the last areas in the Washington Territory that was settled.
1065   These settlers were Miners, Ranchers and Farmers, Trappers, Hunters and Fisherman,
1066   and Loggers. The fierce independence and courage that allowed the first residents to
1067   succeed is an integral part of the heritage of Okanogan County today. As of (date) the
1068   following facts support the importance of resource based activities in Okanogan County.
1069
1070   Minerals
1071   (number of people employed in mineral extraction)
1072   (volume of minerals extracted)
1073   (value of minerals extracted)
1074
1075   Agriculture
1076   (number of people employed in agriculture)
1077   (volume of agricultural products produced)
1078   (value of agricultural products produced)
1079
1080   Forestry
1081   (number of people employed in forest activities)
1082   (volume of forest products produced)
1083   (value of forest products produced)
1084
1085   Purpose
1086   The residents of Okanogan County recognize the land as a valuable and irreplaceable
1087   resource. The purpose of the Resource Land Designation is to recognize the value of
1088   these lands to the economic and cultural well being of the residents of Okanogan County.
1089   Through the use of innovative planning tools the critical mass of land necessary to
1090   achieve sustainability for the future can be preserved without dismissing the immediate
1091   needs of both the individual landowner and the residents as a whole.
1092
1093   Through the use of a wide variety of incentive based and regulatory approaches it is the
1094   purpose of this plan to achieve the preservation of the amount of land necessary to allow
1095   sustainable levels of resource based activities. The land is the basis for most human



                                                                                               30
1096   activities. It is understood that a balance amongst all the necessary land use objectives
1097   must be realized. In addition to resource based activities the land must provide housing,
1098   wildlife habitat, water storage and purification, transportation corridors, recreation, and
1099   many other critical necessities. Recognizing these needs, this plan attempts to designate
1100   the lands best suited for resource based activities as Resource Lands.
1101
1102   Authority
1103   Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 36.70 Planning Enabling Act
1104   RCW 36.70A.170 Resource Lands
1105   RCW 36.70A.050 Guidelines for classifying Agricultural, Forest, and Mineral Lands
1106   RCW 36.70A.177 Innovative Zoning Tools and Accessory Uses
1107   RCW 36.70A.370 Protection of Private Property
1108   Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 365-190 Minimum Guidelines to Classify
1109   Agricultural, Forest, and Mineral Lands
1110
1111   Classifications
1112   Agricultural Lands of Long Term Commercial Significance
1113   Mineral Lands of Long Term Commercial Significance
1114   Forest Lands of Long Term Commercial Significance
1115   Urban Resource
1116
1117   Criteria
1118   In considering whether to designate lands as Resource Lands the following criteria shall
1119   be used. Okanogan County, as the largest county in the State of Washington, offers
1120   challenges in the review of these lands created by the unique characteristics of each area.
1121   The criteria shall be afforded different weight as they are considered in light of the
1122   unique conditions each area presents.
1123
1124   Agricultural Lands of Long Term Commercial Significance
1125   a) Availability of public facilities
1126   b) Tax status
1127   c) Availability of public services
1128   d) Relationship or proximity to Urban Growth Areas
1129   e) Parcel size
1130   f) Land use settlement patterns and their compatibility with agricultural practices
1131   g) Intensity of nearby land uses
1132   h) History of land development permits issued nearby
1133   i) Land values under alternative uses
1134   j) Proximity of markets
1135   k) Soil types
1136   l) Climate of area
1137   m) Topography and altitude
1138   n) Changing markets influence on possible crop types
1139
1140
1141



                                                                                                 31
1142   Mineral Lands of Long Term Commercial Significance
1143   a) Presence of known and potential deposits of sand, gravel, and valuable metallic
1144   substances and other minerals as appropriate.
1145   b) Geologic Factors
1146   c) Environmental Factors
1147   d) Economic Factors
1148   e) Depth of the resource
1149   f) Depth of the overburden
1150   g) Physical properties of the resource including quality and type
1151   h) Life of the resource
1152   i) Resource availability in the region
1153   j) Accessibility and proximity to the point of use or market
1154   k) In classifying mineral lands the County shall consider the effects of proximity to
1155   population areas and the possibility of more intense uses of the land as indicated by:
1156       *General land use patterns in the area
1157       * Availability of utilities
1158       * Availability and adequacy of water supply
1159       * Surrounding parcel size and surrounding uses
1160       * Subdivision or zoning for urban or small lots
1161       * Availability of public roads and other public services
1162
1163   Forest Lands of Long Term Commercial Significance
1164   a) Availability of public facilities
1165   b) Tax status
1166   c) Availability of public services
1167   d) Relationship or proximity to Urban Growth Areas
1168   e) Parcel size
1169   f) Land use settlement patterns and their compatibility with forest practices
1170   g) Intensity of nearby land uses
1171   h) History of land development permits issued nearby
1172   i) Land values under alternative uses
1173   j) Proximity of markets
1174   k) Soil types
1175   l) Climate of area
1176   m) Topography and altitude
1177
1178   Urban Resource
1179   The Urban Resource Designation is used to designate lands currently in active
1180   agricultural production within Urban Growth Areas or in Proximity to Urban Centers.
1181
1182   (Following is new language added to urban resource 11-20-08)
1183   As stated previously Okanogan County protects and promotes agriculture as not only an
1184   important foundation block of our local economy but as an integral part of our heritage.
1185   Okanogan County further recognizes that many of our agricultural operations fall in or
1186   near urban centers. As more pressure mounts on the transportation grid and the cost of
1187   transporting food and materials grows it is important that local policies recognize a need



                                                                                                32
1188   to preserve the capacity to provide a local independent food supply. For future
1189   generations to thrive it is imperative a local dependable food supply is possible.
1190
1191   The urban resource designation recognizes the existence of viable agricultural lands
1192   within or adjacent to urban growth centers. Because these lands are proximate to urban
1193   densities the potential for conflict from incompatible uses is increased. Development
1194   adjacent or within urban resource areas must be reviewed for suitable buffers and plat
1195   notes must disclose to the potential buyer of land within these developments the potential
1196   for inconvenience brought about by the proximity of agricultural operations.
1197
1198   Lands bearing the urban resource designation are so designated to recognize the critical
1199   contribution they make to the food supply and agricultural economy. As population
1200   centers grow eventually this land might be utilized in a different manner to provide the
1201   greatest public benefit. Lands designated as urban resource are located in such a manner
1202   that they are automatically planned as transition areas as well. The de-designation of
1203   these lands will be part of an annual review process of the comprehensive plan and such
1204   proposals must be reviewed in coordination with the adjacent city where appropriate.
1205   The de-designation of Urban Resource Lands located in or adjacent to LAMIRD’s must
1206   be reviewed in conjunction with the sub-area plan, if any, for the LAMIRD.
1207
1208   Density in urban resource lands
1209
1210   Lands currently in use for agriculture that are in or adjacent to designated urban growth
1211   areas are eligible for designation as urban resource lands. The proposed density for urban
1212   resource lands is 2 acres. Lands adjacent to urban resource lands may develop to higher
1213   densities but only through the long plat or cluster platting processes. Lands developed to
1214   higher densities bear the burden of providing buffers from adjacent agricultural
1215   operations and the plat will bear a note disclosing the potential for inconvenience as a
1216   result of residing adjacent to these lands.
1217
1218   Mapping
1219   The Okanogan County Comprehensive Land Use Map will identify those areas
1220   designated as Resource Lands. The map designations will be directed by the chosen
1221   criteria but will be reconciled to parcel boundary lines.
1222
1223   Agriculture lands map
1224   Rename current intensive agriculture designation to resource lands. Review all areas
1225   currently in resource tax classification for resource lands designation. Use existing USDA
1226   agricultural activities map to consider designation of areas not in current use tax
1227   classification.
1228
1229   Mineral Lands map
1230   Rename existing mineral extraction sites as resource lands. Map geologic features that
1231   identify the potential presence of minerals and designate them as resource lands. Mineral
1232   extraction with a commercial nexus will be regulated through zoning.
1233



                                                                                               33
1234   Forest Lands map
1235   Lands currently in resource tax classification designated as resource lands. Use of USDA
1236   forest maps to identify lands with timber stands in excess of 20 acres for designation as
1237   resource lands.
1238
1239   RESOURCE LANDS-Agricultural Land of Long Term Commercial Significance
1240
1241   History:
1242   Okanogan County has a rich history of agriculture ranging from family truck farms,
1243   orchards, and cattle raising operations to large enterprises situated on thousands of acres.
1244   This mix of agricultural activities has contributed much to not only the economics of
1245   Okanogan County but forms an important part of our identity as well. Agriculture,
1246   whether as a first time venture or family operation that has spanned generations, has been
1247   an integral part of life for thousands of Okanogan residents. The stewardship of the land
1248   that has been a cornerstone for this lifestyle is a cornerstone of this comprehensive plan.
1249
1250   Purpose
1251   Okanogan County currently has (acres?) in agriculture according to (?). The total value
1252   of all farm products is estimated at (?) according to (?) figures. Agriculture creates in
1253   excess of (?) jobs. The purpose of the Resource Lands Designation is to recognize the
1254   importance of these lands to the future well-being of Okanogan County residents. Those
1255   charged with preparing this plan are mindful of the tremendous investment many have
1256   placed in their land with an eye towards creating the financial security necessary as one
1257   approaches retirement or, through ever changing circumstances, find they can no longer
1258   live the life they have known. Through a variety of innovative planning tools Okanogan
1259   County strives to realize the balance necessary to avoid stripping a generation of their
1260   wealth yet at the same time preserving the critical mass of land necessary to have a viable
1261   economic base for agricultural. These tools include, but are not limited to, cluster
1262   development, transfer of development rights, and conservation easements. By utilizing
1263   these tools and others we hope to leave intact the possibility of building future
1264   generations of residents who derive their livelihood from agriculture and identify
1265   themselves as agriculturalists.
1266
1267   Compatible Uses
1268
1269   The history of the economics of agriculture is a series of highs and lows. To avoid the
1270   necessity of converting the land to other uses during low points it is important a wide
1271   variety of planning tools be available. Many of these tools are listed previously. In
1272   addition to these tools a wide variety of activities should be considered compatible or
1273   capable of being made compatible with agriculture. These activities are listed as follows:
1274
1275   *All agricultural operations including raising food or fiber, livestock, feedlots, or the
1276   processing of same. (Conditional use reviews for slaughterhouse, other higher impact
1277   processing or activities)
1278   *Sale of agricultural products.
1279   *Tourism Activities with a nexus to agriculture or compatible with off-season periods.



                                                                                                   34
1280   * Residential Activities including all single family, extended family, and farm worker
1281   housing. (Residential Development will be required to buffer and protect itself from
1282   legitimate agriculture operations. The Farming Operations Disclosure will be required on
1283   plats creating new lots and site evaluations for existing lots.)
1284    *Manufacturing Activities that are resource based or require proximity to agricultural
1285   operations or are compatible with agricultural operations.
1286   *Mineral extraction
1287    *Timber management and harvest.
1288   *Home Occupations
1289   *Neighborhood Commercial Centers (encouraged in existing Limited Areas of More
1290   Intense Rural Development)
1291
1292
1293   Density
1294   This option would increase the underlying density to in most Resource Designated areas
1295   to 20 acres. Densities could be increased by using a cluster subdivision process which
1296   gives bonuses consistent with a Public Benefit Rating System (PBRS). The PBRS would
1297   emphasize the voluntary assignment of future development restrictions in exchange for
1298   density bonuses. Conservation easements, both public and privately financed and a
1299   program supporting the Transfer of Development Rights would be encouraged in
1300   Resource Designated Areas. Minimum lot sizes created through the cluster process
1301   would be determined by public health requirements.
1302
1303
1304   General Planning Objectives (new addition 12/02/08) (cited as GPO #)
1305
1306   GPO-
1307   Okanogan County supports agricultural activity as a vital component of our economic
1308   base, as the foundation of a local food supply, and an integral part of our heritage.
1309   Okanogan County will protect agriculture from the impact of incompatible uses by
1310   utilizing appropriate land use designations and effective review processes.
1311
1312   GPO-
1313   Okanogan County recognizes the constitutional protection of private property rights and
1314   the role the value of land plays in the retirement security for a generation of residents.
1315   Okanogan County will not take land for the public use without compensation to the
1316   landowner. Okanogan County will implement an effective array of land use tools, to
1317   include but not be limited to, cluster subdivisions, transfer of development rights,
1318   conservation easements, and effective buffering to provide value to the landowner from
1319   reasonable development opportunities without creating incompatible uses that creates
1320   legal or physical challenges to on-going agricultural operations.
1321
1322   GPO
1323   Okanogan County recognizes the importance of an effective transportation system to
1324   agricultural operations in the movement of equipment, materiel, stock, and agricultural
1325   products. Okanogan County will always consider the needs of agriculture in all future



                                                                                                 35
1326   transportation planning efforts. Traffic Control Regulation allowing for the safe and
1327   effective use of the county road system by agriculture in areas bearing a resource
1328   designation will be implemented. Areas designated as Agricultural Lands of Long Term
1329   Commercial Significance will also be considered for open range designation where
1330   livestock operations are prevalent.
1331
1332   Resource Lands-Mineral Lands of Long Term Commercial Significance.
1333
1334   History
1335   Okanogan County has a history of mining activity. The extraction of precious metals,
1336   stone, sand, and gravel generate $xxx annually in Okanogan County and employs xx
1337   people according to figure generated by Washington State University. There are
1338   currently xx permitted mines with many more used on a personal or otherwise limited
1339   basis. Mining is an important part of our cultural heritage and economic base.
1340
1341   Purpose
1342   Mineral extraction is an important component of many other activities in Okanogan
1343   County. Precious metal extraction provides employment. Rock, sand, and gravel
1344   extraction provide employment but in addition provide material for road building and
1345   other construction activity. Winter time road maintenance is a critical element in
1346   enhancing public safety.
1347
1348
1349   Compatible Uses
1350   The mineral lands designation appears as an overlay to the underlying zone. The overlay
1351   is created based on the criteria listed earlier. Proposals for mining operations are
1352   reviewed in these areas as conditional uses in all zones in the overlay to identify and
1353   mitigate impacts to surrounding uses. Small scale operations for personal use are
1354   permitted in all zones in the designation.
1355
1356   Density
1357   The mineral lands designation does not alter the densities in underlying zones. To ensure
1358   compatibility between the underlying zones and the mineral lands designation the criteria
1359   listed earlier must be applied and an analysis of the best land use made. Consideration
1360   should be given to the zoning of lands that lend themselves to mineral extraction to
1361   prevent zoning that would allow incompatibility uses in those areas.
1362
1363   Resource Lands-Forest Lands of Long Term Commercial Significance
1364
1365   History
1366   Okanogan County has a long history of resource based forest activities. Logging,
1367   grazing, hunting, fishing, and a variety of recreational activities employs xx people in
1368   Okanogan County and is an important part of our history. Value of forest products
1369   produced in Okanogan County exceeds $xxx. The contribution of forest land to the
1370   quality of life in Okanogan County is immeasurable.
1371



                                                                                                  36
1372   Purpose
1373   The Resource Lands Designation for Forest Lands of Long Term Commercial
1374   Significance achieves the same goals as the agricultural land designation. Preserving the
1375   ability of these lands to provide the timber resources necessary to sustain the responsible
1376   harvest and processing of timber products is critical to the economic base and culture of
1377   Okanogan County. Timber products, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities,
1378   watershed protection and storage, and livestock grazing are but a few of the critical
1379   functions of our forest land. Forest Land also provides opportunities for housing that
1380   serves a lifestyle embraced by many. All of these critical functions must be balanced to
1381   ensure a sustained ability of the forests to provide them and to enable them to exist as
1382   compatible activities.
1383
1384   Compatible Uses
1385   Because of the period of time necessary to bring a forest from seedling to harvest it is
1386   important that the ebb and flow of market trends are weighed against the decades needed
1387   for the forest to mature. Land use tools, such as conservation easements, transfer of
1388   development rights, and clustering should be used to create legitimate levels of
1389   development opportunity without eroding the critical mass of forest lands necessary to
1390   maintain the forest based activities previously listed. As well, the permitted and
1391   conditional uses allowed in the forest designation creates the ability to ensure economic
1392   sustainability for the landowner by giving them the ability to respond to market trends
1393   without taking the critical mass of land out of forest production.
1394   The following shall be permitted uses:
1395   *Harvest and processing of forest products
1396   *Agricultural activities including raising and processing of food and fiber as well as
1397     livestock grazing.
1398   *Single Family Residential uses (residential development is responsible for buffering
1399    from the impacts of surrounding permitted resource based activities)
1400   *Commercial tourism (hunting, fishing, trail systems, lodges, transient accommodations,
1401    (retreat centers, etc.)
1402   *Mineral extraction
1403   *Manufacturing that requires proximity to forest products
1404   *Home Occupations
1405
1406   Density
1407
1408   Option 2 (medium density)
1409   This option would increase the underlying density in most Resource Designated areas to
1410   20 acres. Densities could be increased by using a cluster subdivision process which gives
1411   bonuses consistent with a Public Benefit Rating System (PBRS). The PBRS would
1412   emphasize the voluntary assignment of future development restrictions in exchange for
1413   density bonuses. Conservation easements, both public and privately financed and a
1414   program supporting the Transfer of Development Rights would be encouraged in
1415   Resource Designated Areas. Minimum lot sizes created through the cluster process
1416   would be determined by the requirements of public health.
1417



                                                                                                37
1418   General Planning Objectives (new addition 12/02/08) (Cite as GPO#)
1419
1420
1421
1422   GPO
1423   Okanogan County recognizes the important role forest land plays in our economy,
1424   recreational pursuits, and cultural heritage. Okanogan County will promote the
1425   responsible harvest of forest products and the protection of these lands from incompatible
1426   uses. Okanogan County will coordinate with the public land managers (USFS, BLM,
1427   DNR, etc) to create appropriate land use designations and effective management practices
1428   to further these goals.
1429
1430
1431   Urban Resource Designation
1432
1433   History
1434   The Urban resource Designation is created to recognize the historical practice in
1435   Okanogan County of working orchards and other farming activities near or even in urban
1436   areas. The citizens of Okanogan County recognize that these agricultural operations
1437   contribute measurable to the production of food and fiber and are a part of the base of the
1438   agricultural economy. The designation also takes into account that as populations grow
1439   the proximity of food production to the people it feeds becomes more critical. This
1440   designation also anticipates the time ahead when the land may be needed for housing,
1441   commercial activity, and other uses that are best located in urban centers.
1442
1443   Purpose
1444   The Urban Resource designation acts as a transition designation that preserves the
1445   agricultural activity currently in place but recognizes the land might be needed for more
1446   intense uses as population grows and is encouraged in the urban centers. The Urban
1447   Resource designation serves to generate the need for the farm activities disclosure as well
1448   as placing the responsibility for buffering from the impacts of legitimate agricultural
1449   activities on the surrounding residential or commercial development.
1450
1451   Compatible Uses
1452   Permitted Uses on Lands in the Urban Resource Designation shall be consistent with
1453   those enumerated for the surrounding urban growth areas or lands in the Rural-High
1454   Density designation.
1455
1456   Density
1457   Underlying densities on land in the Urban Resource Designation will be 2 acres.
1458
1459
1460
1461
1462
1463



                                                                                                38
1464   Chapter Four
1465   Rural Designation
1466
1467
1468
1469   Purpose
1470
1471   Through the course of comprehensive planning the County actively identifies and
1472   designates Urban Growth Areas and Resource Lands. Incorporated City Limits are
1473   established by law and are under the jurisdiction of the legislative bodies of those Cities
1474   and Towns. All other lands are designated as Rural.
1475
1476   The Rural designation has the potential for the greatest variety of residential densities and
1477   permitted and conditional uses. Okanogan County is large in size and varied in
1478   topography and climate so that lands in the Rural Designation have the potential to
1479   exhibit great differences in terms of capacity for settlement patterns and different uses
1480   and activities. It is important that Rural Lands are used effectively to generate home sites,
1481   smaller scale agriculture activities, home occupations, neighborhood service areas,
1482   recreational activities and a variety of other potential uses necessary to preserve our
1483   culture and lifestyle. At the same time lands in the Rural Designation often contain areas
1484   of critical habitat and migration routes, aquifer recharge areas, shorelines of state and
1485   local importance, wetlands, and other important features of the land and environment. It
1486   is critical that the Comprehensive Plan and the Zone Code and the Permitting Processes it
1487   generates achieve a successful balance of these important considerations.
1488
1489   General Planning Objectives
1490
1491   GPO
1492   Land Use Proposals must be effectively reviewed to insure residential and other uses do
1493   not create an incompatible mix of densities and activities.
1494
1495   GPO
1496   Land use designations within the rural lands must provide sufficient land for housing and
1497   business activities suited to the rural areas. These designations and the projects they
1498   anticipate must be compatible with available water supplies, capacity of the area for on-
1499   site septic, and the ability to provide adequate levels of public services.
1500
1501   GPO
1502   Okanogan County shall provide innovative land use tools, such as clustering and focused
1503   transfer of development rights and conservation easement programs, to enable property
1504   owners the opportunity to preserve open space and other critical environmental features
1505   such as habitat, wetlands, and migration corridors concurrent with development
1506   proposals.
1507
1508   GPO




                                                                                                 39
1509   Okanogan County shall periodically review this comprehensive plan to insure the
1510   designations contained herein are consistent with designations found in the critical areas
1511   ordinance, shorelines master program, flood management programs, and hazard
1512   mitigation plan.
1513
1514
1515   GPO
1516   Agricultural activities shall be recognized and promoted in the rural designation to insure
1517   the opportunity for small scale operations. Development proposals shall be reviewed for
1518   impacts to existing agricultural operations.
1519
1520   GPO
1521   Development proposals shall be reviewed for impacts to the transportation system and
1522   conditions of approval will be identified to mitigate adverse impacts to current and future
1523   levels of service. Improvements will be required based on a proportionate share nexus to
1524   prevent onerous requirements on new development while at the same time avoiding
1525   unreasonable impacts to the existing tax base.
1526
1527   Designations
1528   To recognize and effectively manage the great diversity of the landscape in Okanogan
1529   County the Rural Designation is divided into three sub-designations. These designations
1530   are Rural-High Density, Rural-Medium Density, and Rural-Low Density.
1531
1532   Rural High Density
1533
1534   Rural-High Density designations will be located adjacent to urban areas and areas that
1535   demonstrate an enhanced ability to provide services. Rural-High Density will allow lot
1536   sizes of 1 acre or larger. Smaller lots may be obtained through a cluster subdivision or
1537   planned development in accordance with an adopted public benefits rating system. An
1538   areas ability to sustain higher levels of density and a greater array of permitted uses will
1539   be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:
1540
1541   Review Elements:
1542   Proximity to urban areas
1543   Proximity to major transportation routes
1544   Availability of potable water and/or water service providers
1545   Proximity to already existing higher density areas
1546   Availability of fire protection, emergency services, and other vital services
1547
1548   Rural Medium Density
1549
1550   Areas currently designated for minimum lot sizes in excess of 3 acre but less than 20 will
1551   be designated Rural Medium Density. Other areas will be designated Rural Medium
1552   Density moving away from urban areas but still having proximity to transportation
1553   corridors, potable water supply, and ability to deliver vital services. Smaller lot sizes
1554   may be obtained through a cluster subdivision or planned development in accordance



                                                                                                  40
1555   with a public benefit rating system. The minimum lot size created through the cluster
1556   process will be determined by public health requirements.
1557
1558
1559
1560
1561   Rural Low Density
1562
1563   Those areas currently designated for lot size in excess of 20 acres shall be designated as
1564   Rural-Low density. Other areas will be designated Rural-Low density moving away
1565   from transportation corridors or in areas where ingress/egress or the location of safe
1566   building sites is restricted due to topography. Areas with a demonstrated inability to
1567   provide adequate water resources or in those areas that are designated as critical habitat
1568   for threatened or endangered species shall be designated Rural Low-density. Smaller lot
1569   sizes may be obtained through a cluster subdivision or planned development in
1570   accordance with a public benefit rating system.
1571
1572   Compatible Uses
1573
1574   History
1575   Lands in the Rural Designation will contain the greatest mix of existing and proposed
1576   uses because of the tremendous diversity of these lands. A wide range of compatible uses
1577   should be identified with reliance on the permitting processes to ensure compatibility
1578   with the surrounding uses and the historical characteristics of the neighboring area.
1579   Comprehensive review of land use proposals for generated impacts and to insure
1580   compatibility will be necessary to prevent conflicts. It is the objective of zoning in the
1581   Rural Designation to provide an effective mix of residential, commercial, tourist, and
1582   recreational opportunities.
1583
1584   Purpose
1585   The objective of the Rural Designation and its sub-designations is to provide an effective
1586   inventory of land for residential and other uses without creating unnecessary conflicts.
1587   Neighborhood Commercial/Service centers will become more necessary and must be
1588   appropriately sited. The existing mix of agriculture, resource based activities, recreation,
1589   and tourist should be maintained to provide diversity to our economic base. These
1590   activities must be sited only when the review processes have identified adequate water
1591   supplies and the proximity of essential services. A mix of densities should be maintained
1592   to provide an adequate inventory of housing stock and to create an efficient settlement
1593   pattern while recognizing the demand for a variety of lifestyles.
1594
1595
1596   Permitted Uses
1597   *Residential Uses
1598   *Agricultural Activities
1599   *Home Occupations
1600   * Recreational Activities and Infrastructure



                                                                                                41
1601
1602   Conditional Uses
1603   Processing of agricultural products
1604   Sale of agricultural products
1605   Neighborhood commercial/service centers
1606   Light manufacturing
1607   Resource based heavy manufacturing
1608   Commercial Tourism
1609
1610   Chapter Five
1611   Section two
1612
1613   Urban Growth Areas
1614
1615   History
1616   The GMA requires an Urban Growth Area element for all Counties planning under RCW
1617   36.70A. While not a required element, Okanogan County and the Cities and Towns
1618   therein, recognize that a cooperative effort between local governments is needed to
1619   effectively and efficiently serve the needs of the citizens. The Urban Growth Area
1620   Designation is used to identify those lands into which the City or town intends to grow
1621   through a 20 year planning window. The policies and procedures contained in this
1622   Comprehensive Plan, supplemented by Intergovernmental Agreements as needed, are
1623   designed to give clear direction for the process to designate, review, and amend Urban
1624   Growth Areas. Subsequent project review and land use decisions, while under the sole
1625   authority of the County until such times as the lands annex, are carried out in accordance
1626   with the agreed upon processes.
1627
1628   Purpose
1629   As stated above, a clear and cooperative approach to land use planning and decision
1630   making between the County and its Cities and Towns, is necessary to successfully
1631   conduct the business of the people. The adoption of agreed upon Urban Growth Areas
1632   into the County Comprehensive Plan accomplishes 2 specific goals. Cities and Towns
1633   have the ability to plan infrastructure and service requirements for a specific growth area.
1634   The City or Town can propose Sub-UGA designations to promote a predictable growth
1635   pattern and efficient extension of infrastructure and to insure sufficient inventory of land
1636   for residential, commercial, and other development. The County in turn can incorporate
1637   into their plan the City or Towns proposed use of the UGA. This allows the County to
1638   accurately analyze the inventory of land available for uses best suited to urban areas and
1639   to coordinate uses in the rural areas accordingly.
1640
1641   Designation
1642   The process for designation of Urban Growth Areas begins with a proposal from the
1643   municipality. Only the Municipalities shall propose UGA boundaries. In reviewing
1644   proposals for UGA designation the municipality should consider the following factors:
1645   *Current inventory of developable land in the incorporated boundaries
1646   *Inventory of land necessary to provide for projected growth including affordable



                                                                                                 42
1647    housing
1648   *Inventory of land necessary to implement an economic development strategy
1649   *Inventory of land necessary to implement a capital facilities plan
1650   *Inventory of land necessary to implement a parks and recreation plan
1651   *Analysis of ability to provide services to designated UGA
1652
1653   The County shall review and adopt Urban Growth Areas. In the event of dispute over a
1654   proposed UGA boundary the County shall remand the proposal to the affected
1655   Municipality with specific suggestions for change. The Municipality shall consider the
1656   suggested changes and return the proposal for further consideration. In the event the
1657   dispute is not resolved the County shall stipulate to standing for the Municipality to bring
1658   an appeal of the final decision in accordance with RCW 36.70A.
1659
1660   Amendment
1661   The designated Urban Growth Areas are eligible for review on an annual basis in keeping
1662   with the amendment process for the County Comprehensive Plan. Only the affected
1663   Municipality may propose amendments to the designated Urban Growth Area. Land
1664   owners in or adjoining the Urban Growth Area must petition the affected Municipality to
1665   present their request for amendment. Review of proposed amendments shall consider the
1666   criteria used in designating Urban Growth Areas.
1667
1668   5 year review
1669   Urban Growth Areas shall be reviewed, along with all other elements of the County
1670   Comprehensive Plan, after 5 years from the date of adoption but within 6 years and every
1671   5 years thereafter. The review shall consist of any docketed amendments and an internal
1672   review for consistency of the Comprehensive Plan, Zone Code, Subdivision Regulation
1673   and in the case of UGA’s any adopted intergovernmental agreements. Any proposed
1674   amendments or identified inconsistencies must be reviewed by the affected Municipality
1675   and endorsed for consideration by the County.
1676
1677   Zoning and Project Review
1678   The County has the sole authority for land use and project review on lands within the
1679   UGA but outside the incorporated boundary. The County, in considering an application
1680   for land use/project in the UGA, shall consider the following:
1681   *Compatibility with any sub-designations by the Municipality within the UGA
1682   *Impact of the project or proposal on Municipal Services
1683   *Compatibility with surrounding uses
1684   *Impact of the project or proposal on the Municipal transportation structure
1685
1686   The County and affected Municipality shall consider a co-lead status on projects or
1687   proposals requiring SEPA review. To insure that County Zones provide sufficient
1688   control over projects or proposals to insure compatibility with sub-designations within a
1689   UGA; to create continuity in terms of implementing conditions of approval; and to create
1690   certainty in terms of conditions of approval and vesting for the project or proposal a
1691   development agreement will be required between the County, the proponent, and the
1692   affected Municipality for all projects or proposals within the UGA.



                                                                                                43
1693
1694   Chapter 6- LAMIRDS (Limited Areas of More Intense Rural Development)
1695
1696   RCW 36.70A.070 5(d) of the Growth Management Act recognizes the existence of areas
1697   outside of incorporated towns and cities and their urban growth areas that exhibit the
1698   characteristics of urban areas. The RCW authorizes the designations of these limited
1699   areas of more intense rural development in the rural element of a comprehensive plan and
1700   provides planning and future development within those areas.
1701
1702   The comprehensive plan for Okanogan County designates the following Lamird’s and
1703   establishes these policies for planning and development within these designated areas.
1704
1705   Methow
1706   Carlton
1707   Malott
1708   Loomis
1709   Wauconda
1710   Chesaw
1711   Molson
1712   Ellesforde
1713   Mazama
1714   Monse
1715   Nighthawk
1716   Havillah
1717
1718   Designation Criteria
1719   Lamird’s will be designated based on the following criteria.
1720   a. Existence of services such as neighborhood retail, tourist retail and services,
1721   government services.
1722   b. Existence of urban density.
1723   c. Historical value as past settlement with existing tourist activities.
1724   d. Ability to support more intense development.
1725
1726   GPO
1727   Existing Lamird’s act as neighborhood service centers that contribute positively to the
1728   social and economic well being of the citizens of the County. Effective planning within
1729   the existing boundaries of the Lamird’s and logical expansion areas provides benefit to
1730   the public by increasing the proximity of our citizens to necessary supplies and services.
1731
1732   GPO
1733   Existing Lamird’s should not develop in such a manner that regional retail opportunities
1734   are drawn away from the incorporated towns and cities and their UGA’S.
1735
1736   GPO




                                                                                                44
1737   Existing Lamird’s should develop in such a manner that adequate water supplies are
1738   available and on-site septic systems sufficient to provide for the users of the array of
1739   services provided within them.
1740
1741   GPO
1742   Existing Lamird’s should develop in such a manner that the impacts to the transportation
1743   system brought about by the increased users of the services provided are avoided or
1744   mitigated to avoid an erosion of the level of service provided.
1745   GPO
1746   Underlying zoning within Lamird’s or their logical expansion areas must provide an
1747   effective mix of permitted and conditional uses that provide the services appropriate to a
1748   neighborhood service center without impacting the ability of the towns and cities to
1749   develop regional services within their existing boundaries or urban growth areas.
1750
1751   GPO
1752   Designated Lamird’s shall retain their existing zoning. Rezoning to compatible zones
1753   will be on an elective basis by the landowners.
1754
1755   Chapter Seven: Overlays
1756
1757   Overlays
1758
1759   Purpose:
1760   Overlays are used to create land use designations on the Comprehensive Plan Land Use
1761   Map for areas that require special considerations that do not change the underlying zone.
1762   A common example of the use of overlays is an airport protection area. The overlay
1763   identifies special review processes or regulations that work in concert with the underlying
1764   zone. In the event there is conflict between the regulations in an underlying zone and an
1765   overlay designation the requirements of the overlay will over-ride the zone.
1766
1767
1768   Dark Sky Overlay
1769
1770   Purpose:
1771   The purpose of the Dark Sky designation is to identify areas where light pollution from
1772   over-bright or improperly screened lighting degrades the view of the night sky. By
1773   regulating outdoor lighting the amount of light directed skyward or onto neighboring
1774   properties can be reduced or eliminated.
1775
1776   Education and incentive programs will be created to reduce the use of unnecessary or
1777   unscreened outdoor or visible residential lighting.
1778
1779   Ridgeline Protection Overlay
1780
1781   Purpose




                                                                                                  45
1782   The purpose of the ridgeline protection overlay is to identify areas where the construction
1783   of residential and other structures negatively impacts the view of the ridges by creating
1784   obtrusive colors and shapes or reflective surfaces.
1785
1786   Education and incentive programs will be created to encourage the use of color neutral
1787   materials and non-reflective surfaces above identified contour lines.
1788
1789   Wildfire Protection Overlay
1790
1791   Purpose
1792   The purpose of the wildfire protection overlay is to identify those areas prone to a higher
1793   risk of wildfire. The wildfire protection overlay can impose restrictions on types of
1794   building materials, creation and maintenance of open space, installation of sprinkler
1795   systems, and increase water storage/delivery requirements at time of new construction or
1796   remodel. The wildfire protection overlay can impose greater requirements for road
1797   surface for ingress/egress to buildable lots as well as design requirements for turning
1798   radius, grade, and turn-a-rounds. The intent of the overlay is to reduce the risk of fire
1799   and, in the event of fire, minimize the threat to people, property, and the natural
1800   environment.
1801
1802   The Wildfire committee has created criteria for the designation of high risk areas. The
1803   wildfire protection is adopted into the comprehensive plan by reference.
1804
1805   Education and incentive programs will be created to encourage the use of construction
1806   techniques and fire prevention measures and to increase the capacity for fire suppression
1807   on an individual landowner and developer basis. The education and incentive programs
1808   will be county wide in their approach.
1809
1810   Airport protection overlay
1811
1812   Purpose
1813   The airport protection overlay imposes safety regulations required by the FAA without
1814   replacing underlying zones. The additional regulations include but are not limited to
1815   height of structures, flammable liquid and material storage, meeting halls, multi-family or
1816   transient accommodations, density, lighting, and open water areas. The overlay areas
1817   will be specific to each airport and will be configured in accordance with FAA
1818   requirements.
1819
1820   While the airport protection overlay does not rezone lands within it’s boundaries it does
1821   impose additional restrictions. Lands within airport overlays should be zoned to take into
1822   account the impacts of airport operations on the permitted uses within the zones.
1823   Disclosure of the possibility of noise and other impacts caused by airport operations to
1824   permitted uses in these zones should be recorded against the titles of parcels in the airport
1825   protection overlays.
1826
1827



                                                                                                 46
1828   Chapter Eight
1829   Transportation
1830
1831   Section one: Adoption by reference
1832
1833   The Comprehensive Transportation plan for Okanogan County adopted on May 7, 1996
1834   is adopted by reference, with all attachments, into this comprehensive plan.
1835
1836   Section two: Future study and review
1837
1838   Okanogan County intends to review and update the transportation plan in 2009-2010 if
1839   resources can be obtained to do so.
1840
1841   GPO:
1842   Okanogan County finds that a reliable road system contributes to the economic well
1843   being of the county. Future development should be reviewed for impacts to the
1844   transportation grid and reasonable mitigations should be required to maintain an
1845   acceptable level of service.
1846
1847   Chapter Nine: Affordable Housing
1848
1849   HOUSING CHAPTER          DRAFT
1850
1851
1852   INTRODUCTION
1853
1854   The Housing Chapter describes existing housing conditions and needs in Okanogan
1855   County, and projected housing needs for the period 2008-_______. To the extent
1856   possible, information is included for plans, goals, and specified housing needs of the
1857   incorporated cities, towns and sub area plans within the county. The purpose of this is to
1858   identify County goals, policies, and strategies for the preservation, improvement, and
1859   development of housing and the systems that will lead to affordable housing choices for
1860   all economic segments of the population.
1861
1862   This chapter is divided into 4 main sections Housing Conditions and Needs, Local
1863   Assessments, Goals Policies and Objectives, and Housing Strategies.
1864
1865   Housing Conditions and Needs includes data derived from a recent county-wide Housing
1866   Needs Assessment conducted on behalf of the Okanogan Housing Coalition as well as
1867   data from the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at WSU. Local Assessments
1868   serves as a place holder for local comment and further development of goals and policies
1869   in the incorporated communities of Okanogan County. Goals Policies and Objectives
1870   presents a general set of comprehensive goals and policies to guide the implementation of
1871   the comprehensive plan. The final section Housing Strategies consists of a set of



                                                                                               47
1872     strategies related to implementation of the Housing Element, and to address any future
1873     issue that may arise.
1874
1875     HOUSING CONDITIONS AND NEEDS
1876
1877     Basic background on the current conditions in Okanogan county as well as educated
1878     projections of need are necessary in order to effectively plan for the housing
1879     infrastructure that will be needed as well as factors such as location, density, and
1880     affordability.
1881
1882     Much of the information in this section has been gleaned from the Housing Needs
1883     Assessment developed in 2005 by the Okanogan Housing Coalition under a grant from
1884     Washington State Community Trade and Economic Development Community
1885     Development Block Grant program. Additionally, Washington Center for Real Estate
1886     Research (WCRER) at WSU, Census data and Washington State Housing Finance
1887     commission data is cited.
1888
1889     The 2000 Census indicates there are 19,085 units of housing. Of this number, 12,973
1890     were detached single family homes. Mobile homes constituted 3,949 units. Of the total,
1891     883 did not have telephone service, 322 did not have kitchen facilities, and 415 did not
1892     have complete plumbing facilities. In 2000 only 22.5% of homes ranged between
1893     $100,000 and $150,000 in value. The WCRER indicates median resale values in 2007 at
1894     $159,900 and in 2008 at $170,000 – a 21.4% increase in median sales price since 2007.
1895
1896     The housing unit breakdown per sub planning area found in the Housing Needs
1897     Assessment follows:
1898
   INDICATOR/PLANNING SUBAREA     COUNTY        METHOW      OROVILLE    TONASKET    OMAK         BREWSTER    COLVILLE
                                  TOTAL         VALLEY                              OKANOGAN     PATEROS     NESPELEM


   Total households, all ages,    14978/14902   2218/2327   1702/1697   2391/2360   4953/4911    1405/1350   1,991/1,944
   2005/2010




1899
1900     This chart shows 2005 households and projected households by 2010. It should be noted
1901     that the term households may include families who are doubled up as indicated by the
1902     Homelessness Point in Time count conducted annually. These projections indicate a
1903     down turn in most communities. New building permits and construction however, would
1904     indicate that housing units will most likely grow rather than decrease. Based upon the
1905     experience of low income housing rehabilitation needs, it is reasonable to project that
1906     housing units will be lost in low income units – particularly mobile homes and units
1907     which have degraded beyond the point of cost effective repair. New units which would
1908     balance the count would come from new construction. Although units of permanent
1909     supportive housing and assisted living are currently in the planning stage, it is reasonable



                                                                                                   48
1910   to project that single family unit growth will not be in affordable housing if current trends
1911   continue.
1912
1913   TENURE AND OCCUPANCY
1914
1915   Of the 19,085 units found county-wide in the census, only 15, 027 were occupied. This is
1916   most likely a reflection of second home owner/vacation home impact as well a vacant
1917   farm worker housing during winter months.
1918
1919   Tenure in units was expressed in a range of move in dates. The highest percentage of
1920   households (28.6 - 4299) had moved in between 1995 and 1998. most recent move in
1921   dates 1999-2000 accounted for 18.8% or 2,820 households. Only 7.6% or 1143, had
1922   moved in during 1969 or before.
1923
1924   Of the 15,027 occupied units, 5,745 were owner occupied and 4,292 were “specified”
1925   renter occupied. The differential would be accounted for in those individuals who did not
1926   indicate either owner or renter status. Of the 4292 self identified renters, 27% (1,158)
1927   were spending 35% of more of their income on the gross rent. The data above indicates a
1928   homeownership rate of close to 30% as of 2000. HUD Fair market rents have increased
1929   10% for a two bedroom unit between 2007 and 2008 to $525 per month.
1930
1931   In addition to classification of owner and renter, persons living in assisted living, group
1932   homes (for developmental and other disability), or rest home/ care facilities constitute
1933   segments of the population which are not currently represented in census housing
1934   figures. More data needs to be gathered to assess the county wide need in these
1935   populations. Although groups such as the Housing Authority of Okanogan County are
1936   currently developing assisted living facilities, growth of this segment of the population
1937   points to more need over the next 20 years.
1938
1939   Permanent Housing Infrastructure for the Homeless does not currently exist with the
1940   exception of the domestic violence emergency shelter.
1941
1942   COST OF HOUSING
1943
1944   Housing costs in most urban markets are impacted by three basic factors, replacement
1945   cost, comparable sales, and demand vs. supply.
1946
1947   In Okanogan County several other factors have impacted the market values. For many
1948   years, land costs were a small fraction of the prices paid outside the county even in
1949   neighboring Chelan County. Additionally, the economy was depressed and subsequently,
1950   the housing market was depressed by lack of qualified buyers and a large inventory of
1951   homes for sale.
1952
1953   In the early 90’s second home owners began discovering, buying in, and building in the
1954   Methow Valley. Land and home prices escalated out of reach of people earning the
1955   median wage. In early 2003 the development of Lake Osoyoos began and interest in



                                                                                                     49
1956   investment in the North county put pressure on real estate availability and prices again
1957   escalated in the north end of the county. At the same time, real estate speculation was at
1958   an all time high and Okanogan county was seen as one of the remaining areas where
1959   “bargains” could still be had. This fueled sales to investors as well as second home
1960   owners and retirees.
1961
1962   Investors knew that home prices were comparative bargains, but did not recognize the
1963   demographic of most renters within the county. Rents escalated and many more
1964   individuals either became homeless or were forced to double up in order to maintain
1965   housing even though doubling up created danger of eviction for the lessee if the landlord
1966   discovered how many people were actually residing in the home. Gentrification began
1967   to occur throughout the county and more and more low income individuals were either
1968   without housing or forced to live further from work in order to find affordable housing.
1969
1970   From 2003 to 2007 the increase in median home sales price was over 200% according to
1971   WCRER. The county assessor’s record of sales, from January 2007 to May 2008 shows
1972   that there were 1396 residential sale transactions. Over 24 of these transactions involved
1973   new homes ranging in value from a low of $116,000(1) to a high of $495,000. With
1974   median sale prices of $170,000 affordable housing for median income earners is
1975   generally out of reach.
1976
1977   Increased cost of housing is a larger pressure on affordability than population growth.
1978   Over the last ten years, population has varied within a 10% increase /decrease, generally
1979   hovering close to 40,000. The largest pressure comes from the decrease in housing
1980   available to families earning a living from service industries.
1981
1982   Even with 2 minimum wage earners in a household, the possibility of having disposable
1983   income to save toward eventual homeownership is extremely unlikely. A few
1984   homeownership programs offered through USDA and the Housing Finance Commission
1985   can provide subsidy in interest payments and closing costs. Maintenance and repairs that
1986   are deferred due to lack of funds however, can lead to loss of equity for low income
1987   homeowners who may have purchased a home that was affordable in payment terms but
1988   not in terms of condition(needed repairs or deferred maintenance). For at least the last
1989   five years Community Action has been repairing and rehabilitating low income housing
1990   stock with no reduction in demand and a waiting list of 200 units at any one time. Pilot
1991   programs offering replacement of mobile homes rather than repair offer promise to solve
1992   construction issues common in older mobile homes and thus extend the life expectancy of
1993   mobile home housing units.
1994
1995   Truly affordable housing includes conservation features such as sufficient insulation in
1996   ceilings and walls, sources of heat which are adequate and within Energy Star guidelines,
1997   and construction materials with life expectancy and maintenance requirements that meet
1998   current efficiency standards.
1999
2000   ALTERNATIVE HOUSING
2001



                                                                                               50
2002   Since the 1970’s Alternative construction methodology including the Buckminster Fuller
2003   Geodesic Dome, Straw Bale, Super Adobe, Rammed Earth, and underground homes
2004   have appeared on the county landscape. While purporting to “cost less” than traditional
2005   stick built homes, most of the savings appears to come from donated and owner/builder
2006   labor during the construction phase and in energy savings over the life of the home.
2007   Many architecturally reviewed plans and buildings have been constructed in the county,
2008   while others have been do-it yourself/permit and utility deficient projects begun by
2009   individuals simply needing basic shelter who believed they could achieve affordability
2010   without possessing the construction skills necessary. This has led to homes that in some
2011   cases pose health and safety concerns for the occupants.
2012
2013   Alternative construction which addresses energy conservation and utilizes recycling as
2014   well as other “green” methodology offers great promise for dwellings that are appropriate
2015   to the countryside as well as the neighborhoods found in towns. The primary promise is
2016   livability from less toxic building materials, affordability over the long term in reduced
2017   maintenance costs, and reduction of energy consumption during extreme temperatures
2018   typical in winter and summer.
2019
2020   WORKER HOUSING
2021
2022   Projections for worker housing break into two primary groups in Okanogan County –
2023   farm worker and service workers. Farm worker housing further breaks into the needs of
2024   year round workers employed in agriculture who are members of the community and
2025   Migrant workers who typically reside in county between may and mid October. Service
2026   workers include those provided with employment during the height of tourism activity
2027   such as those employed by Methow valley resorts, and other workers who typically earn
2028   the minimum wage. While some employers provide overnight lodging for remote resort
2029   employees, the typical employee does not receive housing for a family nor can they
2030   support family housing with minimum wages.
2031
2032   Assistance is available to orchardists and farmers for construction and improvement of
2033   agricultural housing through state CTED programs and for workers who qualify through
2034   the Housing Authority of Okanogan County Section 8 program which typically has a year
2035   long wait list. In the last 12 months homes that pass Housing Quality Standards required
2036   by HUD and meet Fair Market Rents criteria have become very difficult to find for
2037   persons who have a Section 8 voucher. This affordable housing shortage has increased
2038   the number of homeless families.
2039
2040   Potential solutions have been proposed in the form of community supported permanently
2041   affordable rental projects, Land Trust developments and self help housing. These
2042   solutions also require community wide support and investment.
2043
2044
2045   LOCAL ASSESSMENTS
2046   This section will be completed separately through local municipality meetings
2047   between officials, planners, and stakeholders



                                                                                              51
2048
2049   GOALS, POLICIES, AND OBJECTIVES
2050   Okanogan County has historically supported many of the goals and policies found below.
2051   Utilizing best practices and goals from other rural communities and housing
2052   professionals, the following goals policies and objectives have been developed.
2053
2054   1.      Provide sufficient number of housing units for future populations in developing
2055   municipalities as well as rural areas of Okanogan County.
2056   2.      Encourage higher density residential land use in municipal areas.
2057   3.      Encourage homeownership county wide.
2058   4.      Encourage housing development that preserves the local character and
2059   environment
2060   5.      Encourage development of housing that utilizes technology as well as Green,
2061   Evergreen, and LEED standards
2062   6.      Encourage residential development close to employment opportunities and needed
2063   services to reduce impacts of traffic and costs of transportation.
2064   7.      Respect individual property rights while planning and providing for future
2065   populations
2066   8.      Encourage mixed use development in retail areas to encourage dynamic
2067   downtown economies.
2068   9.      Encourage mixed income developments to prevent segregation and promote
2069   inclusive community participation
2070   10.     Encourage adequate development of temporary housing for migrant farm workers
2071   11.     Provide housing which compliments and supports economic development
2072   opportunities
2073   12.     Provide basic infrastructure to end homelessness such as permanent supportive
2074   housing and transitional housing.
2075   13.     Provide special needs housing for persons living with disabilities.
2076   14.     Provide for a wide range of building styles.
2077   15.     Encourage development of affordable housing through Land Trust organizations
2078   to insure affordability of housing for low income individuals over time.
2079   16.     Encourage housing development for all income levels in all areas of the county.
2080   17.     Allow for development of additional housing units on existing properties (such as
2081   mother in law apartments) in order to provide immediate relief to affordable housing
2082   needs.
2083   18.     Okanogan County will continue to support policies that increase and maintain the
2084   availability of affordable housing throughout the county. Affordable housing definitions
2085   shall be consistent with the definition in state law
2086   19.     Okanogan County shall employ a variety of strategies to increase and maintain the
2087   availability of affordable housing.
2088   20.     Okanogan County will explore additional taxation of single family homes owned
2089   by out of area (second home) owners with charges helping to support affordable housing
2090   development.
2091
2092
2093   HOUSING STRATEGIES



                                                                                             52
2094
2095   The following strategies are numbered in response to the Goals, Policies and Objectives
2096   of this chapter.
2097
2098   Strategy 1.1 Work with county wide municipalities and public advocacy groups to
2099   identify lands with existing infrastructure such as sewer, power, and water which are
2100   suitable for multi family and/or single family development and designate these areas for
2101   higher density residential use including planned unit developments and clustered housing.
2102
2103   Strategy 1.2 Work with county wide municipalities and public advocacy groups to
2104   identify lands without existing infrastructure( water, sewer, fire protection, parks, and
2105   streets) which would otherwise be suitable for higher density development and provide
2106   official encouragement for and investment in development of infrastructure through
2107   collaboration with developers as well as affordable housing entities.
2108
2109   Strategy 1.3 mitigate the impacts of expensive developments ( homes priced 20%
2110   above the median sales price in the county) by requiring developer contribution to the
2111   Affordable Housing for All Fund at the time of permitting or identification of units with
2112   permanently affordable character dedicated or deeded to a member of the Housing
2113   Coalition.
2114
2115   Strategy 2.1 Review the siting of all proposed development (economic, community,
2116   public, and housing) to insure compatibility with future higher density land use
2117   designations,
2118
2119   Strategy 3.1 Provide access to information on homeownership education opportunities
2120   through county website and planning office information.
2121
2122   Strategy 4.1 Engage developers in crafting home designs that are in keeping with
2123   historical traditions and are environmentally appropriate. Just as Western Washington has
2124   “Northwest Contemporary” The Okanogan may have Highlands Traditional, or Omak
2125   Classic or Tonasket Alternative. The goal of these styles would be emphasis on quality,
2126   affordability, and sustainability.
2127   Strategy 4.2 Use development regulations to assure quality in housing development
2128   and maintenance
2129
2130   Strategy 5.1 Provide permitting credits for homes and developments that achieve
2131   Evergreen or LEED certification. Allow credits for development of water conservation,
2132   rain & storm water recycling as well as retention systems
2133   Strategy 5.2 Eliminate requirements which discourage use of innovative technology in
2134   residential development.
2135
2136   Strategy 6.1 Work with employers to assure adequate housing stock investment when
2137   capital investment is made in centers of employment.




                                                                                                   53
2138   Strategy 6.2 Provide access to walking and bike trails that provide alternative
2139   transportation to centers of employment. Provide park and ride lots to encourage
2140   affordable transportation between employers and housing developments
2141   Strategy 6.3 Include Multi Family units in Commercial Zones
2142
2143   Strategy 7.1 Provide adequate publication, outreach, and input regarding changes in
2144   zoning and development
2145   Strategy 7.2 Provide access to Owner /Builder construction education opportunities
2146   Strategy 7.3 Enforce Building and Zoning codes in residential neighborhoods
2147
2148
2149   Strategy 8.1 Research and formulate regulations based on best practices in Community
2150   Development as it relates to Mixed Use in redevelopment.
2151
2152   Strategy 9.1 Support small development siting of low income units in established
2153   neighborhoods as well as new development of mixed values of units. Eliminate zoning
2154   barriers to this type of infill which might be pre-existing.
2155
2156   Strategy 10.1 Support development efforts by the agricultural community to provide
2157   temporary housing for migrant farm workers.
2158
2159   Strategy 11.1 Support increased development of a wide range of home values in order
2160   to support economic development strategies. In addition to low income worker housing,
2161   the availability of acceptable higher end housing for managers and owners is minimal
2162   and can restrict a company’s ability to rapidly transition upper management for a smooth
2163   relocation of business., This problem also applies when recruiting professionals such as
2164   doctors and attorneys into the community.
2165
2166   Strategy 12.1 Utilize county funding to end homelessness to leverage investment in
2167   basic infrastructure to end homelessness such as permanent supportive housing for
2168   families and transitional housing for people who are homeless and suffering from co
2169   occurring disorders. Utilize count funding to continue data collection, point in time
2170   count, and fund development in support of these efforts.
2171
2172   Strategy 13.1 Support the efforts and applications of agencies working to develop
2173   special needs housing.
2174
2175   Strategy 14.1 As a part of achieving best practices in community development and
2176   revitalization recognize the value of unique architecture as long as it meets health and
2177   safety standards.
2178   Strategy 14.2 Permit historic structure applications for federal and state funds to
2179   preserve them
2180
2181   Strategy 15.1 Assure classification of taxation for Land Trusts under non profit status
2182   whether single or scattered sites.
2183



                                                                                                  54
2184   Strategy 17-19.1 Encourage the development of new and maintenance of existing
2185   affordable housing stock dispersed through the county by a variety of strategies including
2186   but not limited to:
2187            .1a    Approval of accessory dwelling units, cooperative housing, Boarding
2188   houses, and mixed use developments
2189            .1b    Support the use of density Bonuses for housing development and re-
2190   development that includes at least 20% affordable housing units.
2191            .1c     Support the use of subsidies and grants such as Block Grants form HUD’s
2192   Community Development Block Grant Program, HOPEVI (promoting development of
2193   run down structures as mixed income developments, Home buyer and renter assistance
2194   and Home buyer counseling, Housing Trust fund, HGAP, and low income housing tax
2195   credits.
2196            .1d    Support the use of non profit community housing land trusts that will own
2197   and lese land and or structures to homeowners and guarantee permanent affordability of
2198   the homes in the event of resale.
2199            .1e    Support the use of non profit community development efforts to
2200   rehabilitate existing affordable housing stock through the use of grants, block grants, and
2201   community supported housing funds.
2202
2203   Strategy 20.1 Seek legislative solutions if necessary to allow a surcharge for 2nd home
2204   owner properties that is deposited into the Affordable Housing for All Fund and follows
2205   the mandates of SB 1359.
2206
2207
2208   Chapter ten: Capital Facilities
2209   Section one: Adoption by reference
2210
2211   The Capital Facilities plan adopted by Okanogan County on May 10, 2004, including all
2212   attachments, is adopted by reference in this comprehensive plan.
2213
2214   The Okanogan County capital Facilities Plan serves to identify new capital facilities
2215   projects and major enhancements to existing facilities through a twenty year planning
2216   window. Focus on funding proposals and critical timelines are focused on the first 6
2217   years of the plan. The Capital Facilities Plan is reviewed on an annual basis and is
2218   adopted by reference into the Comprehensive Plan. The Capital Facilities Plan will be
2219   adopted by Resolution of the Board of County Commissioners following a comment
2220   period of not less than 30 days and a public hearing, notice of which is published in the
2221   official county newspaper.
2222
2223   Amendments
2224   Amendments to the Capital Facilities Plan will be docketed, concurrent with proposed
2225   amendments to the Comprehensive Plan from Jan 31 to June 1 of each year. Proposed
2226   amendments to the Capital Facilities Plan will be reviewed following the docketing
2227   period but not later than November 1 of each year.
2228
2229   5 year review



                                                                                                   55
2230   The Capital facilities Plan will be reviewed and adopted not less than 5 years from date of
2231   adoption and every five years thereafter concurrent with the required 5 year review of the
2232   comprehensive Plan. Review of the Capital facilities Plan will be consistent with the
2233   amendment process in this section.
2234
2235   Chapter eleven: Economic Development
2236
2237   Section two: Annual analysis and review
2238   Working in cooperation with the Economic Alliance, Okanogan County Department           of
2239   Community Development will prepare an annual report for submittal to the Board          of
2240   County Commissioners. The report will contain an analysis of economic activity          in
2241   Okanogan County and any proposed revisions to the economic development element          of
2242   the comprehensive plan.
2243
2244   Section three: Recreation
2245
2246   The recreation plan adopted by Okanogan County on April 20, 2004, along with all
2247   attachments, is adopted by reference into this comprehensive plan.
2248
2249   The Okanogan County Department of Community Development will prepare an annual
2250   report for submittal to the Board of County Commissioners. The report will contain an
2251   analysis of recreational activity and infrastructure in Okanogan County and any proposed
2252   revisions to the recreation plan. Okanogan County intends to do a complete review of the
2253   recreation plan in 2009-2010 if resources are available to do so.
2254
2255
2256   Chapter twelve: Hazards Vulnerability Assessment and Mitigations
2257
2258   Section one: Hazard Mitigation Plan
2259
2260   The Hazard Mitigation Plan adopted by Okanogan County on January 13, 2009,
2261   including all attachments, is adopted by reference in this comprehensive plan.
2262
2263   The Fire Protection plan will be applied county wide using an educational and incentive
2264   based approach to minimize the danger of wild land fire.
2265
2266   GPO: Road requirements for development will assure escape routes for residents and safe
2267   access for emergency equipment in the event of wild land fire.
2268
2269   The flood management program for Okanogan County will be merged into the critical
2270   areas ordinance.
2271
2272   Chapter thirteen: Environmental Protection
2273
2274   Section one: Shoreline Master Program
2275



                                                                                               56
2276   Okanogan County adopted a Shorelines Master Program as required in RCW 90. on
2277   xxxxx. The Shorelines Master Program is currently under review. The public review of
2278   the Shorelines Master Program began with the review of this comprehensive plan. The
2279   review of the Shorelines Master Program will continue on an independent schedule with
2280   the exception of a final consistency review and review for impact to the buildable lands
2281   analysis.
2282
2283   The Shorelines Master Program will be adopted by ordinance by the Okanogan County
2284   Board of County Commissioners. The Shorelines Master Program will be adopted by
2285   reference into this comprehensive plan.
2286
2287   GPO: To facilitate the creation of local processes the Shorelines Master Program will be
2288   implemented under the minimum jurisdiction required by statute. The Critical Areas
2289   ordinance will provide necessary regulation in those areas outside of the jurisdiction of
2290   the SMP.
2291
2292   Section two: Critical Areas
2293
2294   Okanogan County adopted a Critical Areas Ordinance as required in RCW on xxxxx.
2295   The public review of the Critical Areas Ordinance began with the review of this
2296   comprehensive plan. The review of the critical areas ordinance will continue on an
2297   independent schedule with the exception of a final consistency review and review for
2298   impact to the buildable lands analysis.
2299
2300   The Critical Areas Ordinance provides regulation relating to sensitive areas such as
2301   wetlands, critical habitat, and geologic hazards and will contain the flood management
2302   program for Okanogan County.
2303
2304   The Critical Areas Ordinance will be adopted by ordinance by the Okanogan County
2305   Board of County commissioners. The Critical Areas Ordinance will be adopted by
2306   reference into this comprehensive plan.
2307
2308
2309   Chapter 14: Coordination
2310
2311   Section one: Federal Agencies
2312
2313   Local government has the responsibility to protect the local tax base, value of private
2314   property, economic stability, and, in general the well being of the local community.
2315   These critical functions are closely entangled with federal and state management
2316   decisions.
2317
2318   Congress has long recognized the importance of local authorities to the management of
2319   the nation’s resources and to the actions of resource management agencies. It has
2320   provided for the involvement of local authority in every federal land use statute passed
2321   over the past 35 years. In many of these statutes Congress has mandated that the federal



                                                                                                 57
2322   land use agencies “coordinate” their policies and management activities with local
2323   government.
2324
2325   Coordination means the federal agencies shall give prior notice to the local government
2326   of agency plans and management activities and, among other criteria, requires that the
2327   agencies make their policies and management activities consistent with local plans.
2328   Congress has directed the federal agencies to coordinate with local government because
2329   they recognize that local authority must be consulted and involved in the decision making
2330   process above and before the public input process.
2331
2332   Authority:
2333   United States Code (USC)
2334
2335   Section two: State Agencies
2336




                                                                                             58

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:5
posted:10/1/2011
language:English
pages:58