Oroville sets Critical Areas Workshop

Potential operator for concession stand at park

OROVILLE – There was still no public comment on the updates to the Oroville’s Critical Areas/Comprehensive Plan Amendments so the council decided to set up a one-hour workshop prior to their June 18 meeting to answer questions and take testimony.

While the public didn’t give any input at the city council’s June 4 meeting, several council members and staff did ask questions of Chris Branch, director of community development.

City Clerk Jones asked about the limitations on “Frequently Flooded Areas” and the fact no new lots could be created. Councilman Ed Naillon said he had concerns regarding long time local developers versus new developers and wanted to make sure the rules applied equally to both.

Branch said that the forms used are standard and apply to all developers.

“The biggest changes are in the wetlands section,” said Branch after the meeting.

“Mostly in the hundred year floodplain and in the floodway. Areas we regulate now, but the new piece does not allow new subdivisions.”

Branch said no new lots will be able to be created that don’t have legally buildable spaces outside the floodplain. He said wetland areas are based on a scoring system for habitat value.

“Ecology provide a Small City’s Guidance Manual which has added more flexibility to the buffer areas. Which is a good deal.”

Branch said that developers will still have to work through a biologist who will have a checklist.

“The responsibility then rests with the biologist and not with the city staff who does not have as much training… something that had been a concern of the council,” he said.

While Critical Areas can be anywhere within the city, those that fall within the state’s Shoreline Master Program — within 200 feet of natural high water that is designated of significance to the state — like Lake Osoyoos and the Okanogan and Similkameen rivers, will likely see additional changes after the city adopts the Shoreline Master Program, according to Branch.

“It will change a bit when we adopt the Shoreline Master Program according to the new standards. All the Critical Areas within the Shoreline you have to regulate with the Shoreline Management Act. Those rules will change by the end of the year. Some may become less stringent,” Branch said. “For now we are taking the Critical Areas and putting them in there, we may have to modify them later.”

Veterans Park Concession Stand

Jarred Naclerio presented a proposal to lease the city’s concession stand at Osoyoos Lake Veterans Memorial Park. In addition to wanting to prepare and sell several food items, Naclerio would also rent floatation devices and beach toys. The need for additional commercial equipment at the stand had been one reason it had remained without a renter. Naclerio told the council he had the proper commercial equipment to prepare food.

Councilman Tony Koepke made a motion to lease the concession stand with the understanding Naclerio would first obtain the proper food handlers license, pass a health department inspection and supply proof of insurance. The motion was approved and Naclerio said it would take him a couple weeks to get all the items required by the city together.

In a related item, the Oroville Chapter of the Royal Neighbors were granted a park application to provide some type of entertainment one night a month at Veterans Memorial Park from June through August.

Branch said he had recently attended an Airport Conference. He reported that there was an online tool to evaluate an airport’s economic impact via the state Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Division. He also said the there was discussion of wildlife management and suggested the city take positive action to eliminate the problem or the city could be liable. Despite the fence, Oroville has had problems with deer getting on the runway and dogs or coyotes damaging runway lights.

Having fuel available for sale is the best economic value for airport operations, Branch said. Lastly, he discussed marketing Oroville’s Dorothy Scott Airport via facebook. He said the social website is proving a valuable source of information for letting pilots know about airports.

The next Oroville City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 18 at 7 p.m. in the city council chambers located at 1308 Ironwood. The workshop on the Critical Areas/Comprehensive Plan Update will take place from 6 p.m. to start of the council meeting.