Project Contact

Tim Trohimovich

Okanogan County Comprehensive Plan Appeal

Together with the Methow Valley Citizens Council, Futurewise is appealing county planning and zoning decisions that do not contain adequate provisions to protect the quality and quantity of ground water. In the Methow Valley alone, proposed regulations will allow the creation of 24,440 parcels without a potable water supply.

Outside the Method Valley, the zoning designated much of the county’s farmland, including its productive orchards, for one-acre development. Residences will be allowed on one-acre lots along with multi-family dwellings at a density of 5 dwelling units per acre, an increase from the 4.5 dwelling units per acre allowed by the interim zoning. A wide variety of commercial and industrial uses are also allowed on the one acre lots. Over the last ten years, Okanogan County lost 36,031 acres of land in farms. This plan will continue this trend.

In Okanogan County “most if not all of the available water has already been allocated.”[1] “Ecology regularly sends out Administrative Orders under RCW 90.03 alerting water right holders they will be curtailed in favor of instream flows for the Methow and Okanogan Rivers. This has been a common occurrence in Okanogan County where users were curtailed or shut off four out of the last five years on the Methow and three out of the last five years on the Okanogan during times of low flow.”[2] In the Methow Valley alone the proposed zoning will allow the creation of 24,440 parcels without a potable water supply. Overuse of ground water affects instream flows in both the Methow and Okanogan basins.

 



[1] State of Washington Department of Ecology Water Resources Program, Focus on Water Availability for the Methow Watershed, WRIA 48 p. 2 (Publication Number: 11-11-052, Revised August 2012) accessed on July 12, 2016 at: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/pu...; State of Washington Department of Ecology Water Resources Program, Focus on Water Availability for the Okanogan Watershed, WRIA 49 p. 2 (Publication Number: 11-11-053, Revised August 2012) accessed on July 12, 2016 at: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/pu....

[2] Letter from Washington State Department of Ecology to Perry Huston Okanogan County Planning p. 3 of 5 (April 7, 2011), available from staff.