Chapter 17.04


17.04.010    Purpose.

17.04.020    Authority.

17.04.030    Scope.

17.04.040    Interpretation.

17.04.050    Compliance.

17.04.060    Establishment of zone districts and overlays.

17.04.070    Description of zone districts and overlays.

17.04.010 Purpose.

The purposes of this title shall be to promote the public health, safety, general welfare and interest of the town and the citizens thereof by:

A. Establishing and retaining a pattern of land use within the town reflective of the needs of the residents thereof and considering the existing land uses, structures, and their associated intensities in both residential and commercial areas;

B. Recognizing that the location, the river, the views and the associated environmental qualities are a valuable asset to the town and its citizens;

C. Achieving public and private land use decisions that are consistent with the goals and policies of the comprehensive plans of the town;

D. Encouraging the location and use of structures and land for commerce, industry, residences and recreational opportunities where they are most compatible with existing land uses and identified environmental and aesthetic constraints;

E. Providing flexible means to encourage innovative site design and land use patterns responsive to both human and natural environmental needs while maintaining sufficient control to assure compliance with the goals of this title and the comprehensive plans of the town;

F. Protecting existing land uses and property values from undue adverse impacts of adjacent development;

G. Providing for adequate light, view, open space, air, privacy and fire separation;

H. Ensuring efficient use of public investments in community facilities, roads and improvements;

I. Providing an interim set of land use regulations to protect the town and its citizens while allowing proper planned growth, to allow time for careful consideration and deliberation in revising the town’s comprehensive land use plan and related comprehensive plans;

J. Providing a clear, orderly and efficient administrative system for review and approval of proposed projects and developments;

K. Encouraging the development of recreational opportunities and support facilities such as trails, parks and parking areas. (Ord. 372 § 1(1), 1990)

17.04.020 Authority.

This title is adopted pursuant to the authority of Chapter 35.63 RCW, and the comprehensive plan of the town. (Ord. 372 § 1(2), 1990)

17.04.030 Scope.

This title shall apply to all public and private lands situated within the incorporated limits of the town, and over which the town has jurisdiction under the Constitutions and laws of the state of Washington and the United States, and shall set forth minimum standards which are supplemental to the rules and regulations of the Shorelines Management Act and the town’s master program thereunder, the State Environmental Policy Act and the town ordinances implementing the same, the Growth Management Act, town, county and state health regulations, building, plumbing, electrical and other codes and regulations, and subdivision and short subdivision ordinances of the town. (Ord. 489 § 1(A), 1998: Ord. 372 § 3(1), 1990)

17.04.040 Interpretation.

In interpreting and applying the provisions of this title, the provisions shall be held to be the minimum requirements adopted for the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the town and the citizens thereof.

A. The provisions of this title shall be liberally construed to further its purposes and in the event controversy as to the meaning of a particular provision of this title shall arise, such provision shall be construed liberally in favor of the general public interest and the stated purposes of this title.

B. If the conditions imposed by a provision of this title are less or more restrictive than or conflict with the conditions of any other provision of this title, or any other law, rule, contract, resolution or regulation of the state or federal government or the county of Okanogan or the town of Winthrop, then the more restrictive requirement or the higher standard shall govern.

C. Reference in this title to any existing provisions of law, including town ordinances or regulations or state or federal laws, rules or regulations shall include reference to any amendments to such provision that may occur subsequent to adoption of the ordinance codified in this title. (Ord. 372 § 3(2), 1990)

17.04.050 Compliance.

A lot may be used and a structure or part of a structure constructed, reconstructed, altered, occupied or used only as this title permits. No lot, area, yard, or off-street parking area existing on or after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title shall be reduced below the minimum requirements of this title. (Ord. 372 § 3(3), 1990)

17.04.060 Establishment of zone districts and overlays.

For the purposes of this title, the following zone districts and overlays are established: residential I district, residential II district, residential III district, tourist residential district, mixed use I district, business I district, business II district, business III district, industrial district and public use district, and shoreline overlay, critical areas overlay and westernization overlay. The zone districts and overlays established by this title are indicated on the zoning map attached to the ordinance codified in this title as Exhibit A and incorporated herein by this reference, and are described in Section 17.04.070. (Ord. 643 § 1(part), 2012: Ord. 581 § 1(part), 2006: Ord. 554 § 1(part), 2004; Ord. 489 § 1(B,C), 1998: Ord. 372 § 3(5)(part), 1990)

17.04.070 Description of zone districts and overlays.

A. Residential Districts. The intent of the residential districts of the town is to provide several residential areas to allow for a variety of types and styles of residential use and development, while still assuring that the residents of the town are provided with the protection and regulations necessary to protect their home investments and their home lives from incompatible uses and developments. A district is provided for strictly single-family dwelling use with lot sizes consistent with existing development in the existing residential area; for single- and two-family dwellings with slightly larger lot sizes and multifamily dwellings allowed only with strict review and conditions through the planned development process, to allow for a wider variety of residential uses in areas of the town which are already in mixed residential use and/or are less densely developed with room for well-planned expansion of residential development; and for a district for higher density multifamily housing mixed with residential-tourist development.

B. Mixed Use District. The intent of the mixed use district is to provide an area in the town that fosters a cohesive mixture of residential and commercial uses.

C. Commercial Districts.

1. Three commercial use districts are also provided within the town. The business I district is a professional office district to allow for low intensity business uses in fringe residential areas of existing mixed uses and to serve as a buffer between residential districts and higher impact commercial districts. The business II and III districts are similar in allowing a wide range of commercial uses, while recognizing existing basic differences in the town commercial areas. The business II district (main downtown core) has limited on-site parking and pedestrian shopping is encouraged by promotion of smaller, abutting shops and developed boardwalks. Much of this older business area is adjacent to the banks of the Methow and Chewuch Rivers and encouragement is needed to utilize the aesthetic and environmental benefits of this riverside location.

2. The business III district is adjacent to SR 20 and is an auto-oriented business district where the primary circulation between establishments is vehicular, there is space for larger stores and commercial uses requiring greater size and bulk, and greater off-street parking requirements are imposed.

D. Industrial District. The town has one industrial district designation to allow for light nonpolluting industrial uses which are compatible with the rural surroundings and the pristine natural environment of the area. The industrial district is intended to be out of the main traffic pattern of the town and removed from the residential districts with which it might conflict.

E. Public Use District. The public use district is created to protect public amenities and areas of environmental sensitivity, including town parks and areas of existing town facilities such as the town sewer plant.

F. Overlay Zones. Three overlay zones are created that provide supplemental regulation or design review requirements in addition to the basic standards of the underlying zone district. The overlays are described as follows:

1. Shoreline Overlay. The shoreline overlay covers those portions of the underlying zone districts that lie within that area defined as under shoreline jurisdiction in the town shoreline master program (SMP). This area generally lies two hundred (200) feet landward on a horizontal plane from the ordinary high-water mark, or the one hundred (100) year floodplain boundary, whichever is greater, on the Methow and Chewuch Rivers. The intent of the shoreline overlay is to provide a link between the provisions of this title and the SMP, and to provide protection for those critical areas, as defined in Chapter 36.70A RCW, which exist within the shoreline areas of the town. Specific regulations for land uses permitted in the shoreline overlay are contained in the town SMP.

2. Critical Areas Overlay. The critical areas overlay is designed to provide protection against adverse environmental impacts resulting from uses of land within an underlying zone district when such land is classified and designated as a critical area in the comprehensive plan as required by Chapter 36.70A RCW. Specific regulations for land uses within the critical areas overlay are contained in Chapter 18.06 of the Winthrop Municipal Code, or any amendments thereto or replacement thereof.

3. Westernization Overlay. The westernization overlay is designed to provide a direct relationship between land use actions and the town theme. The town theme, an integral part of the local economy, is intended to provide an old west appeal to the community. The period of western history promoted by the theme is 1889 through 1919. All development within the westernization overlay shall comply fully with Chapter 15.08, or any amendments thereto or replacement thereof. (Ord. 643 § 1(part), 2012; Ord. 581 § 1(part), 2006; Ord. 554 § 1(part), 2004; Ord. 489 § 1(D,E), 1998: Ord. 372 § 3(5)(part), 1990)