RECORD OF THE PROCEEDINGS

OKANOGAN COUNTY

FEBRUARY 26, 2018


The Okanogan County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on February 26, 2018, with Chairman Commissioner Jim DeTro, Commissioner Chris Branch, Commissioner Andy Hover, and Laleńa Johns, Clerk of the Board, present.

Commissioners convened the board at 9:00 a.m.

Commissioner Hover was absent until 11:50 a.m. due to attending a meeting in Douglas County regarding veteran’s service provisions in Douglas County.

Review Commissioners Agenda and Consent Agenda
Commissioners reviewed the consent agenda packet.

Leah McCormack came to discuss the status of the property tax legislation SB 6614 and how it might impact the county. She also discussed information that had indicated people should not pay their property tax. She was very concerned about the impacts that information would have. Additional information will be made available to the public regarding the situation.

Legislative Update Call – Zack Kennedy
The commissioners heard a legislative update from Potts and Associates. (attached)

Briefing Among Commissioners – Discuss Individual Meetings & Schedule
Commissioners discussed their weekly calendars and briefed each other on upcoming meetings.

Discussion – Introduction – WSU Extension Office Intern
Natasha Moffitt-Hemmer Kayla Wells-Moses

Ms. Wells-Moses explained Ms. Natasha Moffitt-Hemmer was brought into the extension office on an internship. She is conducting her animal science internship one day a week here through the end of June in order to provide answers to producers ag questions. She will be providing Ag education outreach, will work with state wide Ag specialist, and provide the beef 200 course here. There is no date set yet for the course.

Ms. Moffitt-Hemmer explained she is in her 2nd year at WSU and is hoping to achieve her master’s degree in animal science. After graduation, she and her husband intend to move back to the area. She discussed her Ag experience and educational goals within Extension.

Ms. Wells-Moses  explained Ms. Moffitt-Hemmer is looking for contacts to reach out to if the board has any names to offer her. Ms. Moffitt-Hemmer has been working with Monte Andrews with the Cattlemen Association. But she doesn’t know of other groups she should be contacting, but would like to know if the commissioners have specific names she should be reaching out to. Commissioner DeTro stated she might contact the Farm Bureau. Nicole Kuchenbuch is the president. Commissioner Branch replied Albert Roberts would be a good contact for the slaughter unit project. Ms. Moffitt-Hemmer said she has been doing some outreach on her own through veterinary offices.

Ms. Wells-Moses  will be introducing Ms. Moffitt-Hemmer to the tribal extension office as well. The commissioners thanked Ms. Wells-Moses  and Ms. Moffitt-Hemmer.

Public Hearing – Marijuana Moratorium – Perry Huston
Perry Huston, Rocky King, Dan Higbee

Committee Industry: Jeremy Moberg, Kelsey Taylor, Don Gray, Paul Neir Matt Frigone
None Industry: Andi Ervin, Keith Kistler, George Zittell, Linda Pierce, Brad Skelton

The audio recorder was turned on. A sign in sheet was circulated.

Commissioner DeTro opened the hearing up to staff. He stated the public hearing is to hear testimony regarding the moratorium on marijuana operations. He provided the board with written copies of the proposed code.

Director Huston explained the subject of the public hearing and sited history of the moratorium on the siting of new and expanded cannabis operations. (memo attached) It expires March 5, 2018.He relayed that the changes were proposed based on complaints from both neighboring land owners and people in the industry that were received because the current code did not provide sufficient protection for neighborhoods or certainty in the permitting process for the industry.

The options today are:
1) Repeal the moratorium, adopt amendments as interim controls as proposed or as further amended by BOCC and transmit to Planning Commission for review and recommendation.
2) Extend and transmit t Planning Commission
3) Extend and remand to cannabis committee
4) Repeal moratorium

Cannabis committee recommended #1.

Director Huston reviewed the code for Cannabis Operations including the district use chart and discussed the mosaic of permitted uses. The vested sites will have to come into compliance within a certain timeframe consistent with the requirements in 17A. Director Huston further discussed the recommended setbacks for various densities. He discussed buffers that were not recommended or agreed upon by the committee.

If the BOCC moves to authorize option #1 Director Huston explained, another Public Hearing would be needed. Between adopting interim controls, any application would be vested under the interim controls. If option #2 is chosen it would extend the moratorium and it would prevent vesting while the revised code goes through the Planning Commission and eventually back to the BOCC for adoption.

Commissioner Hover asked about higher density areas and thought, if allowed, a checkerboard of outdoor grows within higher density sites could happen. Director Huston said the site would be vested unless abandoned after three years under current code?

Commissioner Branch asked about the build out and thought more discussion would be helpful. Director Huston discussed how the predetermination of high density areas came about. Some of the definitions have already been set aside for higher levels of development. Commissioner Hover said the area is treated as physically and functionally connected/related and or contiguous of a county road network would be treated as the high density area. It is inclusive of the area itself no matter who owns the lots. Commissioner DeTro asked what would be the criteria and would it not have to go through a conditional use permit? No, Director Huston explained but you would need to refer to footnotes to know specifically.

Commissioner Hover asked if language regarding state highway setbacks was noted in the document, in addition to county roads. Director Huston stated he did not address state highway setbacks as requested, but it was discussed by the committee. He explained the language could be added but we cannot use the county’s setback standard. We have a minimum 68 foot setback from centerline for county roads when property abuts it, but language does not address state highway setbacks as we do not have that authority regarding that situation. The group decided not to address it further.

Industrial Hemp impacts were discussed by the committee as they are the same as cannabis but perhaps more impactful due to volume. The concern of cross pollination would render either crop unmarketable. The recommendation on the conditional use district and minimum requirement district was to leave it in CCT. His understanding was they are interested in exploring industrial hemp operations. The idea being it would give opportunity for those to participate in the process with the tribal council so he left it. A buffer of ten miles from the boundaries of the reservation was discussed, which they can agree to or not.

Commissioner Hover asked about unincorporated towns and what zones they fall under. Director Huston replied that a neighborhood commercial use zone process was followed when town plats were processed. Some towns have definitive zones and some would need to be researched.

Commissioner DeTro closed staff testimony and opened up to public testimony. He relayed the ground rules for testifying.

Jeremy Moberg thanked the commissioners for putting folks together for the cannabis advisory committee. He thought it was a good process and it brought awareness to the operators about fencing, odor, and light protections. He is concerned about the 25 foot setbacks that would affect the use of the land. He believes the distance for county roads is fine, but he feels that fences should be able to be built on property lines. The density issues and odor control was addressed through new language. But the smell is not really addressed by the fencing. He spoke to LCB licensing and about licensing entities that are not zoned correctly, and her answer was not yet. He believes they will take it seriously and will not issue licenses if not zoned for it. He believes it will be an outcome even though it isn’t addressed now. Commissioner Hover asked the process when someone changes the license on an existing location. Mr. Moberg said LCB

Keith Kistler reiterated some items discussed earlier by Director Huston. Mr. Kistler worked to create the best rules as possible. The advisory committee found the district use chart was difficult to work with and as a result created the high density area definitions. He said the Industry and non-industry ideas were incorporated. After all the work and time, he would like to see interim controls adopted. As it moves to Planning Commission it would be good for the advisory committee members to attend those meetings.

Building Official Dan Higbee, stated the building ordinance exempts fences from permitting requirements.

Commissioner DeTro closed public testimony and opened up to the board.

Motion Cannabis Operations Moratorium
Commissioner Branch moved to repeal the moratorium, adopt the amendment as interim controls as proposed and transmit the code amendment to the Okanogan County Planning Commission for public review and recommendation. Commissioner Hover discussed that he did not have a problem with established farms, but moving forward he doesn’t want to see perpetual issues crop up. Commissioner Branch discussed respect for those vested. Director Huston said he assumes the abandonment period of three years should be looked at. Commissioner Branch suggested two years. Commissioner DeTro commended everyone who participated in the process as he believes the situation worked out and something good came out of it. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Director Huston will draft an ordinance to adopt 17A amendments and the interim controls, and a resolution repealing the moratorium will be provided tomorrow.

Commissioner DeTro closed the public hearing.

2:30 p.m. Gina McCoy, member of the public arrived, to take notes on her computer.

Update - Planning – Perry Huston

Director Huston asked the board to adjourn as BOCC and reconvene as Tonasket EMS District as there items to be approved.

Motion Tonasket Ems District
Commissioner Hover moved to adjourn as the BOCC and reconvene as the Tonasket EMS District. Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

Director Huston explained what needs to be approved. There are two claims that were previously submitted but need original ink. Also, the regular monthly vouchers must be approved.

Commissioner Hover moved to authorize the chairman and the secretary of the Board of Volunteer Fire Fighters to sign the two claims. Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Branch moved to approve the Voucher certification and authorize the Tonasket EMS District vouchers to be paid in the amount of $21,702.30. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Hover moved to adjourn as the Tonasket EMS and Reconvene as the BOCC Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Hover briefed the commissioners on his and Veteran’s Service Officer Eric Fritts trip to Douglas County where they met with Douglas County commissioners. Douglas County is interested in bolstering their veteran’s services program. Eric Fritts provided them with a PowerPoint presentation and ended with a list of options for them to consider. They were interested in contracting with Okanogan County for veteran’s services and training. Mr. Fritts will put together a job description for an assistant who would help cover Okanogan County. An assistant should be hired who will provide coverage while Mr. Fritts attends to training the Douglas County VSO. Mr. Fritts will draw up an interlocal agreement between Douglas and Okanogan County for review. Douglas County would like to consider the interlocal agreement as soon as possible.

Director Huston explained the large door on the Agriplex will need to be repaired as the wheel rollers fell off. It no longer opens or closes. Sunrise Chevrolet is apparently responsible for the issue and is working with Joe Poulin to get it repaired. The old signs should not be applied to the new door.

The Rocky Mt Elk Foundation will need to be able to get in but there is a small operable door they can use.

The latest draft of the Comp Plan was previously provided to the board. Director Huston discussed the draft. The water section that was previously discussed is in there. Scoping and environmental review will need to happen. Commissioner Hover would like to devote enough time to go through section by section, discuss how each feels about each section then get through it that way. Director Huston explained the group regarding Watershed Council is scheduled on a Monday. It was suggested that March 6 at 2:10 should be scheduled to go over the plan and water issues.

Director Huston discussed the data based for WRIA 48 and what tracking information will be used to inform areas that have or don’t have water. There was no reason to separate the WRIAs, but there isn’t enough time to address it all. He suggested bringing in someone to do the work. He is looking for someone with computer skills and someone who is curious and interested in the material. Commissioner Hover discussed possible grant funds could be used to create the overlays, but there may be a module for Terrascan that would allow us to support that. Director Huston replied the tracking software would integrate the different aspects that touch across several departments which would allow each to check status. The well logs data base is being reviewed to integrate with another program.

Status of the Shoreline Master Program is not known yet, but we do have some language to consider. There was discussion on urban residential going into conservation, so another conversation will be needed for that. Leonard will need to be contacted. The required change has been reviewed and everyone accepted, but what we are waiting for is the higher ups review and comments. And we have not seen that from DOE with their comments.

Director Huston asked for direction on the BLM scoping on restoration project. The project does come into Okanagan County, did the commissioners wish to offer comment on that? The commissioners will look through it and perhaps initiate/request a coordination meeting

Public Hearing – Considering Repeal & Amendment – Title 20 –Perry Huston
Angie Hubbard, Char Schumacher,

The recorder was turned on and a sign in sheet was circulated.

Commissioner DeTro opened the public hearing to staff. This hearing is to consider repeal and amendments to Title 20.

Director Huston provided his staff report. The commissioners previously questioned Title 20 and the original document as a compliance matter for regulatory reform and we had an option to adopt similar rules regarding water availability. He further relayed the recent adoption history of the Comp plan. Then Whatcom/Hirst legislation came about (ESSB 6091). The objective now is to address development permit procedures and administration as an administrative or a non-administrative application. Director Huston prepared the notifications section, and a good deal of housekeeping was performed to keep the document consistent.

What the board is doing today is discussing what and if anything should be done differently in terms of our processes. In WRIA 49 there is a grace period for a watershed plan to be in place which would contain impacts and how to permit exempt wells and that sort of thing. There are many options available, one of which is keep what we have in place, repeal and adopt 20A, or leave it alone and morph water requirements in another section of code. Keep in mind in WRIA 48 our response will be to track wells in use and place any new wells against the 2sfs, and work out responsibilities for closed basins. A future process would be to line out who is doing what in terms of administration and implementation of WRIA 49. As lead agency, the county will be leading this conversation to implement the revision of the watershed plan.

The draft legend showing the reaches was handed out and discussed. (attached) Commissioner Hover asked if the county has a way to track wells in the county. If the county repealed title 20 notifications would not happen, but we would still track the wells. We are bound by history, we cannot go back and retroactively subject them to the new rules.

Commissioner Branch feels obligated when lots are created and water designated to then go back and look at it. We haven’t been considering water that way until now. The subdivision may not have actually had the water at time of conditional approval. Director Huston stated the Planning Commission meets tonight and they will review the water availability study. It is more an issue in WRIA 49 than in 8. Commissioner Branch doesn’t believe it serves us in a safe way. We have these obligations to address. He didn’t see much reference to regulate things that deal with verifying water availability.

Director Huston explained the inclusion of water language in title 20 was to try and an address the new water availability laws, is it the best place for it, maybe not, we are working on that. It would be used to inform. Title 20 was considered because we could operate with it most swiftly.

Commissioner DeTro closed staff and opened up to public testimony.

Jim Soriano explained he is here to discuss title 20. He stated it is helpful to have the notifications about the various processes and issues. When it got to the public hearing before the hearing examiner, and showing impairment evidence, he was able to verify impairment by the exempt wells that continued to be drilled in the valley, and there was no feedback from the examiner. He believes is would be nice to know there is problem in order to prevent any more problems down the road. He understands the property right perspective, and the disappointment to build and not have water. He said whatever the board does to title 20, he believes it must be taken seriously and the whole thing was put into place to protect senior water right holders. Something must be done.

Jim Perrow Wolf Creek wanted to know what the procedures are as they are cloudy. He has lots to be developed in closed basin, wells that are drilled, some that are not drilled yet, and he has a lot of development plans, what does he need to do, what are the standards for closed basins, what are the steps to follow. Commissioner Branch said this is what they are all here to figure out. Money is involved and he needs predictability.

Phil Millam Methow Valley Citizens Council, the county is between a rock and a hard place. He thinks it would be a mistake to repeal title 20 without interim procedures being in place. He believes leaving the water

Thompson, appreciated the comments he heard of the commissioners today. He also believes the 6091 and is in favor of title 20 being repealed. He represents landowners in the area and they are grid locked in terms of what they can or cannot do. He supports establishing the rules for procedures in another place especially if we are not doing water certifications.

Chris Erlandsen, Brewster. He agrees this is a hard road to haul. While title 20 does provide some direction there are some applications where it doesn’t fit. Sometimes subdivisions are done but no building is erected and water taken out of the problem. Sometimes a landowner may need to re drill a well, and we must track the wells that are in place and those to be drilled. Prior approved subdivisions may not be built upon but they did go through a process, but when the Hirst decision came about they were told it would have to go through title 20. He explained there may be some subdivisions where a well was done first, and then a house, but the rules impact that situation and another well might be required once a house is built.

Motion Recess the Hearing
Commissioner Hover moved to recess the hearing until 4:05 p.m. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Public Hearing – Supplemental Appropriation – Treasurer’s O & M - $10,000
Commissioner DeTro opened up to staff, seeing no one, he opened up to public, seeing no public wished to testify, he closed the hearing to comments and opened up to commissioner discussion.

Motion Resolution 21-2018 Supplemental Appropriation
Commissioner Hover moved to approve resolution 21-2018 a supplemental appropriation within the Treasurer O&M fund 110 in the amount of $10,000. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

4:05 p.m. Continued title 20 hearing.

Commissioner Hover believes title 20 is onerous on people, but people do want to be notified. He feels like there should be some kind of notification system process should be in place. Commissioner DeTro wants to know what would be cleanest. It is cleaner to take 20.010.050 out and adopt 20A? Director Huston stated obviously we need a tidier notification process. When you get down to title 20 all it really does is create a notification process and it was our interpretation that if you proved the water was being used you were fine to build. He discussed what might be in conflict with 6091. Commissioner Hover thought the crux of the issue is that we don’t track the wells.

Commissioner Branch thought an amendment of title 20 would be needed, either way it will take some time. Director Huston is leaning towards a free standing water section. WRIA 48 will be different from WRIA 49, so the processes may be different. Whatever we are doing in 49 will be for the interim. Commissioner Branch said if title 20 isn’t repealed we are still mailing notices. There is an appeal process we have to deal with too. He suggested repealing section 20.10.050 of Title 20 regarding the water and leaving everything else for another day. Commissioner Hover believes people just want information about what is going on and how it will impact them. Director Huston explained some rearrangements on the Planning Website that may help as the reports and data are put there and what will be fed to the website for people to review. Commissioner Hover doesn’t want to delay.

Motion Repeal Title 20.10.050 & Create a Stand Alone Water Section
Commissioner Hover moved to repeal Okanogan County code Title 20.10.050 and direct staff to draft an ordinance which would create a free standing water section. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner DeTro closed the public hearing.

Motion Oroville Rural EMS District
Commissioner Hover moved to adjourn as the BOCC and reconvene as the Oroville Rural EMS District. Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Hover moved to approve the Oroville Rural EMS District vouchers in the amount of $11,359.02. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.
Commissioner Hover moved to adjourn as the Oroville Rural EMS and Reconvene as the BOCC Motion was seconded all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion - Voucher Approval - Commissioners
Vouchers certified and audited by the Auditing Officer as required by RCW 42.24.080 and those expense reimbursement claims certified as required by RCW 42.24.090 have been recorded on a list, and made available to the Board. As of this date, the Board did vote, by unanimous vote, to approve the regular vouchers in the amount of $598,193.97 and Payroll vouchers in the amount of $867,810.71. Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion seconded and carried.

Motion Public Health Voucher
Commissioner Hover moved to approve the Public Health Vouchers in the amount of $7,938.82 Warrant numbers as cited on the attached blanket voucher list. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Motion Certification of 2017 Capital Assets
Commissioner Branch moved to approve the certification of the full and complete inventory of all capitalized assets that were added or disposed of in accordance with standards established by the state auditor for the twelve month period beginning January 1, 2017 and ending December 31, 2017 and as required by RCW 36.32.210. Motion was seconded, all were in favor, motion carried.

Review Meeting Minutes

The board adjourned at 5:00 p.m.