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Hillyard Blog

Archive for January 2011

Rogers, a historic place

Rogers High School made it on to the National Register of Historic Places. The original building is from 1932 and one of a handful of high schools built in art deco style. Read colleague Mike Prager's story about the award here.

How to promote a neighborhood

One issue that's always on the agenda here in Hillyard, is how to promote the business district. At the Wednesday meetings someone usually has a question or a suggestion for advertising or some sort of promotion.
And the questions remain the same: what works and how much is it?

T-shirts are printed, fliers are printed, banners are put up and taken down, decorations for holidays and seasons are put up, special promotions are planned, Santa comes once a year - there is no lack of ideas and creativity.

So, can you think of promotions that have worked for you, or encouraged you to visit a neighborhood where you usually don't go or shop? Do you want a printed newsletter mailed to you? Is e=mail better? Coupons? Let's hear it.

Bakery opening in Hillyard

The first round of applause at this morning's Historic Hillyard Merchants Committee meeting came after an announcement that a bakery is opening in one of the old buildings up here - stay tuned for more details after the meeting.

City council decision on impact fees

The city council made a decision on impact fees last night. Here's a link to colleague Jonathan Brunt's story from the meeting. An impact fee is a one-time tax on builders; the money is supposed to go toward the development of infra structure such as streets, water and sewer.

“The approved impact fee for a single-family home is $90 downtown, $749 in northwest Spokane, $694 in south Spokane and $1,004 in northeast Spokane. The builder of a 50,000-square-foot supermarket will pay $23,000 downtown, $163,000 in northwest Spokane, $151,000 in south Spokane and about $219,000 in northeast Spokane.” From Jonathan Brunt's story this morning.

Hillyard-based IEL facing cuts

The Institute For Extended Learning teaches English as a second language - among many other things - and it's facing budget cuts. Read colleague Kevin Graman's story here.

Impact fees high for Hillyard

Another issue brought up this morning was the proposed impact fees that were put on hold at the City Council meeting last night. It was noted by several people that the impact fees would be higher in Hillyard and northeast Spokane than in downtown and on the South Hill. Here's an excerpt from colleague Jonathan Brunt's story this morning:

“During Tuesday’s debate, the council voted 5-2 to remove some projects from the list of road upgrades. Councilman Richard Rush argued that some of the projects would cause sprawl.

The decision will lower the proposed rates. As proposed, the new impact fees would have ranged significantly based on project size and location. The builder of a single-family home in northwest Spokane would have had to pay $994, $1,216 in northeast Spokane, $850 on the South Hill and $314 downtown.

The builder of a 50,000-square-foot supermarket would have had to pay $216,000 in northwest Spokane, $264,500 in northeast Spokane, $185,000 on the South Hill and $68,500 downtown.

Last week, Mayor Mary Verner said she supported the change in the law to allow the tax to be collected.”

Here's a link to the entire story.

Highlights from Wednesday morning

The blog made it - carefully on icy streets - to the meeting in the Historic Hillyard Merchants Committee meeting this morning. Councilmember Bob Apple is here today and about 20 neighbors and business owners are here, too.
There's a meeting today at 3:30 p.m. the Washington State Department of Transportation's office about the north-south freeway's progress. The office is located at 2714 N. Mayfair Street, that's one block east of Ruby Street on North Foothills Drive.
Representatives from the Hillyard neighborhood has been meeting with WSDOT on a regular basis since the Market Street restoration project began and they continue to meet on a regular basis.

The Hillyard Neighborhood Council is meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the East Central Community Center, 500 S. Stone.

Hogwarts in Hillyard

NOrtheast Youth Center is offering a magic class straight out of Harry Potter on Jan. 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The class is taught by Hogwarts' professors and covers potions, divination and herbology - it promises to be a magically good time. Cost: $37. Call: (509) 482-0708.
Northeast Youth Center is located at 3004 E. Queen Avenue in Hillyard.

Thursday’s Beacon Hill hearing

The Beacon Hill development got a preliminary plat/PUD hearing before the city of Spokane hearings examiner Thursday morning. About 20 people were there to testify in support of the development, which has been widely embraced by Hillyard business people and residents.

The project presented at last week's hearing, is the first phase of the Beacon Hill Home development and this part is located on the northern face of Beacon Hill, with access from Wellesley Avenue. It proposes the construction of 304 single and multi-family homes on 40.31 acres of a site that covers a total of 182 acres.

Owners Pete Rayner and David Baker have been working on the project for more than a decade, and at Thursday’s hearing Rayner said it has cost the developers close to $900,000 to get to this point because the city has delayed responses to various applications.

Rayner presented a document from 2006, signed by then head of the city water department Brad Blegen, which outlined an agreement in which the city, Beacon Hill and another entity known as Vista Homes, would each take care of part of the water infrastructure improvements needed.

Vista Homes was not represented at the hearing and no one in the room knew if that development is moving ahead or not.

Rayner wants the city to move ahead and make the promised water infrastructure improvements so he can get on with his development.

He said it would cost him as much as $800,000 to bring the water access up to par, a job that may include the construction of a new water tank, water mains and a booster station.

Representatives from the city’s water department at this point are reluctant to foot the entire bill, and the city also has some concerns about the access road to the development (too steep, blind curves) as well as the sewer capacity at the site.

At the conclusion of Thursday’s hearing the city and Beacon Hill were both asked to submit a document outlining a satisfactory solution to the current stalemate.

Look for a full story in Thursday's Voice section.

Hillyard Festival 100th anniversary planning

There's a meeting on Tuesday, Jan 11th at 6:30pm at the Northeast Community Center (4001 N. Cook Street) of  the Hillyard Festival Association meeting and we need your help.
This year is our 100th anniversary of celebrating the Hillyard Festival, so I am asking you to attend and support our Festival.
The only donation we are looking for right now is a little bit of time and wisdom to the cause.
We've revamped how we do things to be more effective and efficient, but we need help to implement the system. We can't just let the 100th anniversary of our Festival pass like any other one.  We have to make it monumental, the best ever. Please help. If you can't make it on Tuesday but want to help, please let me know.  
Via e-mail from Luke Tolley - please rsvp to Luke at or by calling (509) 475-3509

Beacon Hill development hearing Thursday

The preliminary plat/PUD hearing for the proposed Beacon Hill housing development is Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. in the city council briefing room, lower level of city hall. Look for a story in tomorrow's Voice section. And here's an e-mail from Luke Tolley, Hillyard Neighborhood Council Chair, in support of the proposed 304 single and multi-family home development:

“The Hillyard Neighborhood Council has pledged its support for the Beacon Hill development effort and as such we are encouraging our members to attend Thursday morning's hearing with the City that Beacon Hill is having.  
The hearing is Thursday, Jan 6th, 9:30am at the City Council Briefing Room, lower level of City Hall.
The hearing has to do with issues with the water access and will very much effect the future of not only the Beacon Hill development, but the development of all of East Hillyard.
I encourage you to attend, but furthermore I encourage you to get others from your organizations to attend as well. ” Via e-mail from Luke Tolley.

A new year - lots of new plans

The Historic Hillyard Merchants Committee met for the first time this year, this morning at the Outlaw Cafe. First on the agenda was the upcoming Snowflake Ball - it was canceled because of low ticket sales.

Moving right along to upcoming events: there are plans for a Hillyard Hop on May 21 - complete with a parade, a car show and lots of special for Hillyard shoppers.
HIllyard it planing on getting in on Arbor Day this year. If everything works out, merchants will be giving away small trees in the week leading up to Arbor Day. The Northeast Youth Center is planing on helping out, too.
Another big topic on today's agenda is advertising. The Hillyard Merchants have been shopping around for a good deal on advertising. TV commercials are expensive (the price batted around was $15,000) and many business owners worry that they can't afford it. A point was made repeatedly that marketing Hillyard is not a one-time deal - what it takes is a campaign that businesses and community groups all can buy into. On Feb. 7 at noon there will be a meeting at the Outlaw Cafe to further discuss advertising and marketing efforts and offers.
The time is set for the Valentine's dinner: Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Outlaw Cafe - please make reservations at the cafe.
And lastly, the parking spots have been cleared of snow by an independent contractor - so come on up.

It’s meeting time

- once again. The Hillyard blog will be at the Historic Hillyard Merchants Committee meeting Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m. (or maybe a little earlier to get breakfast…) at the Outlaw Cafe. See you there.

Welcome to 2011

Hope you all got into the new year in the best way: surrounded by friends and family and somewhat awake at midnight.

It's a cold one out there and I'm sure I wasn't the only one who woke up to a frozen pipe Saturday morning. Being the handy type I figure it out, thawed everything, no permanent damage and all that, and I spend most of my Sunday wrapping pipes and spraying foam into cracks. Gotta love that foam. Just remember to wear gloves…

Trying to located the ice cold draft that froze the pipe, I came across a newspaper from Dec. 26, 1959. It was almost impossible to unfold and read any of it, but I can tell you that the city was working on the Market-Greene Street connection, and that it was 95 cents to get into the Garland Theater to see “The Cattle Empire.”

I guess that's the thing about blogs - they can't be used to insulate your water pipes. Anyway.

If you have any pictures or good neighbor stories please go ahead and send them to me at - I'll put them up on the blog as I get them.

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About this blog

Welcome to the Hillyard neighborhood blog. My name is Pia Hallenberg and I’ve worked as a journalist in Spokane since the fall of 1998; for the last six years I've worked for The Spokesman-Review.

In April, I started a neighborhood blog on South Perry Street (where I live). When it came time to expand the blog activity, Hillyard was an easy pick: There is so much going on in this neighborhood in terms of new businesses and street improvements, festivals and new construction - and there is a strong sense of neighborhood history and pride. I'm looking forward to highlighting all of that on this blog.

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