On June 21, 2017, Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Christopher Culp denied motions by Okanogan County to dismiss Futurewise and the Methow Valley Citizens Council appeals of the Okanogan County comprehensive plan and zoning regulations. If granted, these motions would have ended the appeals.
Instead, Judge Culp accepted an invitation by Futurewise and the Methow Valley Citizens Council to stay the appeals, to give the newly elected Okanogan County Board of County Commissioners time to reconsider the comprehensive plan and zoning regulations. The County had earlier committed to adopting a new comprehensive plan and zoning regulations by December 2018. The stay delays the lawsuits until after the County adopts the new comprehensive plan and zoning.
A comprehensive plan is a set of maps and land use policies to guide future growth in a county or city. Zoning regulates the uses allowed on the land.
Futurewise Executive Director Christopher Wierzbicki hailed the decision saying,
“Judge Culp’s decision gives Okanogan County time to consider issues important to Okanogan County residents, businesses, and property owners including fire safety, conserving working farms and orchards, and protecting drinking water.”