The Twisp Planning Department is responsible for the preparation and implementation of current and long-range land use plans through administration of the policies and regulations established by the Twisp Town Council in compliance with State and Federal laws. The Planning Department also processes, reviews and prepares reports on various types of development and land use applications and has the authority to approve administrative permits, make SEPA Threshold Determinations and work with citizens and applicants to interpret and enforce the Twisp Municipal Code (TMC). This webpage for the Twisp Planning Department provides access to the TMC, plans, programs and applications administered by the Department.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I need a permit for my project?
It all depends! While the majority of activities a typical property owner pursues are exempt from permitting, the Town does have a variety of permit types that address requirements intended to protect public health, welfare and environment. To determine whether you need a permit for your project, you will need to know some basic requirements for building and development in the Town of Twisp, as well as know some information about your project and your property.
The Town of Twisp categorizes permits into four types; Types I. - IV. A description of each permit type and how the town processes the permits can be found in the Twisp Municipal Code 14.05. Table 1. in the Twisp Municipal Code 14.05.020 provides a list of permit types and the process by which decisions are made for approval and appeal of permits. By answering the following questions, you can determine what permits are likely needed for your project.
Step 1. What is the zoning of my property?
The entire community has been zoned with a commerical, residential, industrial, airport or public use zoning district applied to each property. The type, density and intensity of land uses vary by zoning district so it is important to start with determining what your property is zoned. Zoning information can be found on the zoning map on the planning department web page, at Town Hall or by contacting the planner.
Step 2. Is my project allowed in the zoning district?
Once you know how your property is zoned you can then refer to the district use chart in Twisp Municipal Code 18 - Appendix A to decide if the project is allowed, prohibited or requires a Conditional Use Permit or Planned Development approval.
If prohibited, you may be at the end of the process but should talk with the Planner to confirm.
If allowed, proceed to Step 3.
If Condition Use Permit or PD, proceed to step 4a or 4b.
Step 3. Are there any other zones or overlays that apply to my property?
The Town has several layers of regulation that “overlay” zoning so your next step is to determine whether any of these affect your property. Your property may be subject to critical areas review, lie within the 100 year floodplain, a shoreline area or be within the Lincoln Street Overlay. Overlay information can be found on the zoning map.
If within Overlay (except Lincoln Street), you may be required to prepare a Critical Areas Report, a SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) checklist, a Floodplain permit, and/or a JARPA (Joint Aquatic Resources Permit Application). In addition, if your project has development proposed in or near water, other state and federal permits may also be required. Please see the Planning Department for a pre-application meeting to ensure all permitting types are addressed.
If not, you will need to fill out a standard building permit application and an impact assessment checklist.
If you do not know the answer to these questions, please call Town Hall (509-997-4081) to make an appointment with the Town Planner.
Step 4.a. My project does not appear on the district use chart, how do I know if it is allowed or not?
Your project may or may not be allowed. The Town of Twisp zoning code authorizes the issuance of an Administrative Permit (Twisp Municipal Code 18.50.080) to determine if an unlisted use should be allowed. The determination is based on the impacts the project will have on the surrounding land uses. You will need to fill out an Impact Assessment Checklist available at Town Hall. Generally, the planner makes the decision, however the planner may discuss the potential impacts and effects of your proposal with the Planning Commission, Mayor, your neighbors and Town Council to make a determination.
Step 4.b. The district use chart says my project is prohibited. Can I request the Town to allow it?
You may be able to apply for a conditional use permit or a variance, which are Type III permits and are decided by the Board of Adjustment. Requirements for these permits are found in the zoning code Twisp Municipal Code 18.50.060 and 18.50.070 Please contact the planner for more information about applying for these permits.