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Spokane Valley blog

Posts tagged: SARP

Today’s highlights

Empty store fronts are a common sight up and down Sprague Avenue in Spokane Valley. Only two tenants remain in the once thriving Opportunity Center at Pines Road and Sprague Avenue. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

I see the sun outside, but I'm sure that won't last. So I won't mind if you put off reading the Valley Voice until the clouds come in. But when you do pick it up, we've got some stories to take notice of. After Tuesday's City Council meeting the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan is finally dead. I've got a story with reaction to that, plus a story on the city council's selection of three candidates to interview for the vacant council seat. One is Chuck Hafner, who helped get four of the current council members elected, and returning candidates Steven Neill and Ben Wick.

Correspondent Cindy Hval has a great story on her son learning how to drive. Her account is something that any parent who has tried to teach a child how to drive can sympathize with. (Like she said, I'm speaking firmly, not yelling. Well, except for that one time.)  For a bit of cross town news, check out the Landmarks column by correspondent Stefanie Pettit. She takes a look at a 1879 farm house on Five Mile Prarie. Maybe I'm just a sucker for wrap around porches, but it's a nice looking house that also holds a bit of Spokane area history.

Coming Thursday

There was a whole bunch of stuff going on this week in Spokane Valley and we'll have the news for you in Thursday's Valley Voice. The Spokane Valley City Council voted on which candidates to interview for the vacant council position, though the mayor recused himself from the discussion. The council also took the final step to kill the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan, which has been coming for more than a year. The Spokane Valley Fire Department has had some good news: the contractor using its land at Euclid and Barker for storage promises to be out of there by May 15. Meanwhile, let's hope the weather forecasters are wrong about the whole rain and snow thing tomorrow. Otherwise I may have to invest in a rowboat.

Tonight’s city council meeting

Tonight's meeting looks pretty straightforward. The council will give a final yes or no vote on several comprehensive plan amendments, including the removal of the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan. There will also be final votes on a new detention services agreement and on an ordinance to allow livestock on lots larger than 40,000 square feet in mixed use zones.

The council will also decide which of the seven candidates for the vacant council seat they wish to interview. There were eight candidates but the Mayor said Monday that longtime SCOPE volunteer John Baldwin has withdrawn his name from consideration.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.

Today’s highlights

Kathi White of Post Falls prepares for a ride with the help of volunteer Bukre Horner at Equine TLC in Post Falls last week. Equine TLC offers therapy to people with disabilities. SR photo/Kathy Plonka

I could say there is so much in the Valley Voice today that it took me this long to read it, but the reality is that I've been busy writing stories and posting other news and my usual Valley Voice highlights post got pushed from early morning to early afternoon. So, without further ado, here we go.

The Discovery Playground is open for the season. The new playground was very popular last year and some features were literally loved to death. So there are a few new things to see and, in a few weeks, new security cameras with motion detectors. Last year someone stole several large fiberglass eggs that were later found and tried to make off with a large Salmon.

Reporter Lisa Lienberger has great story on Equine TLC, a non-profit that gives disabled children and adults therapy on horseback. The group is having a fundraiser next week to raise money for an indoor arena.

This week the Spokane Valley City Council took the next to last step to eliminate the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan. I also checked in with the Happy Quilters, a group of women at Christ Lutheran Church who make quilts non-stop to send to Lutheran World Relief, which distributes them around the world. And that's just the beginning of their work for charity.

Quiet zones and trailheads on today’s agenda

There are a few interesting items on the Spokane Valley City Council agenda for tonight, but since it is a study session there won't be a general public comment period. There are action items: the first reading of several ordinances having to do with comprehensive plan amendments. Public comment will be taken on those items. Most are fairly standard changes, but one would eliminate the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan. (The most controversial amendment, the St. John Vianney Church rezone request, has been removed for negotiations and will not be discussed tonight.)

Other items that have attracted public interest are railroad quiet zones on the Union Pacific line at Park Road and Vista Road and the Mission Avenue trailhead in Greenacres. Both will be discussed tonight, so head on down to City Hall at 6 p.m. tonight to hear about where the council wants to go with both those proposals.

Saturday’s highlights

Horizon Middle School eighth-grader Lucas Fitzsimmons, left, gets help separating leftover food waste and soiled paper from garbage, as part of the Central Valley School District’s cafeteria composting program. Assisting him, from right, are eighth-grade leadership students Colby Potts, Emma Kennedy and Scott McKinley. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

Here we are on another lovely Monday morning. Well, it will be lovely after the morning coffee kicks in. So now is the perfect time to take a look at what was published in Saturday's Valley Voice. The kids at Horizon Middle School stepped up to launch a new composting program that will be used by the entire Central Valley district by the end of the school year. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has the story and we also have a catchy rap tune performed by students to go with it. Just beware - you might find yourself singing it later.

Lisa also has information on the four finalists for the Freeman superintendent position. They are: Cheney High School principal Thomas Gresch, Liberty School District superintendent Bill Motsenbocker, Coeur d'Alene High School Principal Randy Russell and Mead School District executive director of human services Kelly Shea.

I've also got a look at what additions the Spokane Valley City Council is considering to go along with the Broadway Avenue Safety Project, including resurfacing part of Broadway and improving drainage in an area that floods during storms. The council also discussed the comprehensive plan amendment that would eliminate the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan. It became clear during their discussion that only councilman Bill Gothmann favors keeping SARP.

Tonight’s city council meeting

The Spokane Valley City Council meeting tonight looks pretty straightforward. There's only one item up for a vote - the first reading of a proposed ordinance that would allow livestock on parcels larger than 40,000 square feet in mixed use zones. It would only affect a handful of properties in the city.

The council will also hear reports on the street vacation process and a Broadway Avenue stormwater drainage project. The report on the annual comprehensive plan amendments will probably be lengthy, as there are several. The major one would do away with the entire Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan and the proposed amendment that has gotten a huge amount of attention is a request from St. John Vianney Catholic Church to rezone a parcel it owns so senior low income housing can be built. Tonight's discussion will not include a vote, which will come later in the month.

So if you find yourself out and about tonight, drop by City Hall at 11707 E. Sprague at 6 p.m.

Valley council meeting tomorrow

Sorry about the interruption in the flow of blog posts. It's really hard to blog without an internet connection. Tomorrow's Spokane Valley City Council meeting has quite a few things that will be of interest to the community. The council will meet in executive session at 5 p.m. to discuss the applicants for the council seat vacated by the resignation of Rose Dempsey. During the regular meeting at 6 p.m., the council will vote on which candidates to interview during the March 29 council meeting.

The council is also expected to give final approval to proposed ordinances that will loosen rules on keeping backyard chickens and tighten rules that apply to adult retail businesses. A vote is also scheduled on the Indiana Avenue Extension project.

The council will hear a report on several proposed Comprehensive Plan amendments, but there will be no vote on any of them this week. One amendment would kill the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan and another would allow St. John Vianney Catholic Church to rezone land next to the church for the purpose of putting in low income senior housing.

See you tomorrow at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague. 

Big planning commission meeting tonight

Tonight the Spokane Valley Planning Commission will pick up where it left off two weeks ago and continue a public hearing on the proposed annual comprehensive plan amendments. Apparently the last meeting was so full of citizens wanting to give public comment that the commission couldn't fit it all into one night.

One of the main items proposed is to kill off the entire Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan. St. John Vianney Catholic Church wants to have a parcel it owns at 503 N. Walnut rezoned from low density residential to medium density residential. Tthe church would like to build a 40 unit senior housing complex there.

The Hultman Family Trust owns property on the southeast corner of Progress Road and Sprague Ave. and is asking to have it rezoned from mixed use avenue to neighborhood center.

The hearing will begin tonight at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.

Packed planning commission meeting tomorrow

I'm back at the keyboard after a long day spent with the Spokane Valley City Council in various meetings yesterday. You'll see my story on the regular city council meeting in Thursday's Valley Voice and the story on the council retreat will be in on Saturday.

For those of you that haven't checked the paper yet, some people in Central Valley are unhappy today after yesterday's bond election failed. Several reporters, including the Valley's own Lisa Leinberger, collaborated on a story in today's paper on the various bond and levy elections.

Now then, on to business. The Spokane Valley Planning Comission is meeting tomorrow night at 6 p.m. in City Hall (11707 E. Sprague) and the agenda is packed with items that may draw some interest. There will be more discussion on adult retail entertainment plus a public hearing on possible changes to the city code regarding the keeping of chickens. There will also be a study session on the annual Comprehensive Plan amendments. The comp plan can only be amended once a year and this year the entire Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan is up for elimination.

Today’s highlights

Valley Lilac Festival candidates back row, left to right: Porscha Smith, University; Christa Gentili, The Oaks Christian Academy; and Brianna Bogart, Valley Christian. Front row, left to right: Katie Mandler, Gonzaga Prep, and Kaleigh Fox, Central Valley. SR photo/Colin Mulvany

Well, it's Thursday again and time for some more Valley Voice highlights. Five of the 14 Lilac Princesses live in the Valley area. They attend University High School, Valley Christian, Central Valley High School, Gonzaga Prep and The Oaks Christian Academy. Today's Valley Voice includes interviews with all five. The Lilac Queen and her court will be selected Sunday.

As expected, the Spokane Valley City Council voted this week to remove the City Center zone from the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan and relplace it with mixed use zoning. Today's story includes a lot of public comment from both sides of the issue.

We also have a look at a pet cemetery in Colbert and a deal with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office that saved the budgets of some small southern Spokane County towns.

Coming Thursday

The Valley Voice is going to look a little purple on Thursday. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has interviews with all the Lilac Princesses who live in the Valley. There are girls from Valley Christian, University High School and Central Valley High School. The princesses from Gonzaga Prep and the Oaks Classical Christian Academy are also Valley residents.

The Spokane Valley City Council faced a packed room last night as people came out to comment on the emergency amendment to eliminate the City Center zone from the Sprauge/Appleway Revitalization Plan. They voted to approve the amendment four to one. Councilman Bill Gothmann voted against it and councilman Bob McCaslin was absent.

Some of the small towns in southern Spokane County got a bit of sticker shock this year when it came time to negotiate their law enforcment contract with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. But a deal was struck and the towns will have smaller increases this year. 

Check back tomorrow for some links.

Meetings tomorrow

Tuesday nights have certainly been interesting lately and that should continue tomorrow. The Spokane Valley City Council will meet and the top item on the agenda is the second reading and final vote on the proposed emergency comprehensive plan amendment to eliminate the City Center zone of SARP and replace it with Mixed Use Avenue zoning. There was a ton of public comment at last week's meeting and there will probably be more tomorrow. The council will also discuss the procedure to replace council woman Rose Dempsey, who resigned last week. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.

The East Valley school board will meet tomorrow as well. Their meetings have been lively recently as parents and community members have packed in to comment about the district's proposed re-visioning plan. The issue isn't on the agenda, but more people might wander in to have their say. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the District Administration Center, 12325 E. Grace.

Today’s highlights

Central Valley Superintendent Ben Small answers a question from a member of the Liberty Lake Kiwanis Club about the upcoming CV bond levy at a Jan. 12 meeting. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

Pour your coffee and settle in, it's time to take a look at some highlights of today's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger interviewed Central Valley School District superintendent Ben Small to get all the information you ever wanted to know about the district's upcoming bond, including a full list of what schools will benefit. Correspondent Cindy Hval has a story on a program called Safety Net, which helps youth who are aging out of the foster care system.

The Spokane Valley City Council voted Tuesday to advance an emergency ordinance to remove the City Center zone from SARP to a second reading. There was a lot of public comment on the issue that was almost evenly split. I didn't have enough space to include them all, but there's a representative sample in there. On a related note, check out my story in today's main paper about council woman Rose Dempsey's resignation.  

Coming Thursday

We've got a new batch of great stories coming your way in the Thursday Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger interviewed Central Valley School District superintendent Ben Small for a Q&A story about the upcoming bond issue. I'll have a story on the lengthy and sometimes sharply worded Spokane Valley city council meeting Tuesday. A lot of people commented both for and against a proposed emergency amendment to replace the City Center zone of the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan with mixed use zoning.

Correspondent Cindy Hval will have an intertesting story on a program called Safety Net, which provides assistance to youth “aging out” of the foster care system.

Schedule notes

The City of Spokane Valley offices will not be open Monday because of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. Similarly, I won't be around to post any interesting tidbits, so come back and check in on Tuesday.

We do have something to look forward to over the weekend. The Spokane Valley City Council will have a discussion Tuesday on the proposed emergency comprehensive plan amendment to remove the City Center zone from the Sprague/Appleway Revitalizaton Plan and replace it with Mixed Use Avenue zoning. It has been a hot topic of discussion and there will likely be a large crowd. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague. See you there!

Agenda change next week

If you marked your calendar for the council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 11, to share your views on a proposed emergency comprehensive plan amendment to remove the City Center zone from SARP, get out your eraser. The city has put out its agenda and packet for the meeting and the emergency ordinance isn't on it. A quick look at the advance agenda shows the first reading has been moved to the Jan. 18 meeting, with the final vote still scheduled for Jan. 25.

Tueday's meeting is not a study session, so people can still give their opinion on the issue during the public comment period. With that item off the agenda, what little is left should be wrapped up quickly enough that I can get home in time to watch NCIS. The council is set to consider a proposed petty cash resolution, a motion on the parks and recreation maintenance contract and a letter of support for the Appleway Courts Senior Housing project.

Today’s highlights

Ponderosa Elementary School principal Jerrol Olson “high fives” Mrs. Heckema's 1st grade class as they walk by the “open concept” media center on their way to lunch, while a class is in session. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

Here we are in 2011 and we've still got great things to read in the Valley Voice. Today reporter Lisa Leinberger writes about the upcoming Central Valley School District bond issue that will modernize many of the schools, including Ponderosa Elementary. It can be difficult for teachers to hold class in a building with no interior walls and not nearly enough electrical outlets.

A majority of the Spokane Valley City Council indicated they wanted to move ahead with an emergency comprehensive plan amendment to eliminate the City Center zone from the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan despite the planning commission's recommendation that the amendment be rejected.

Former Spokane Valley councilman Steve Taylor wrote a touching tribute to former Spokane Valley mayor Rich Munson, who died on New Year's Day. A public memorial service for Munson is set for 10:30 a.m. Saturday at CenterPlace.

In the main paper reporter Meghann Cuniff has a short report on two burglars who were chased by a business owner and then tracked down by a police K9 called Maximus.

Council to discuss City Center

There are only six items on the agenda for the Spokane Valley City Council meeting on Tuesday, but item number three is a doozy. The council will get their first chance to discuss a proposed emergency comprehensive plan amendment to cut the City Center from the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan. The planning commission has recommended denying the emergency amendment, which was initiated at the request of a land owner who wants to put in a used car lot at University City.

The commission did not hold back in giving its opinion, saying the proposed amendment was “processed too quickly and without sufficient public input” and that the commission believes SARP and the City Center Zone “has not been given enough time to develop” and that “a lack of vision and indecisiveness for a City Center is contributing to economic problems.”

The meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall, is a study session, so no public comment will be taken. The issue is scheduled to be considered at the Jan. 11 and Jan. 25 council meetings, where public comments will be accepted.

The Liberty Lake City Council is also scheduled to meet on Tuesday and has a similarly brief agenda. The only items on the table are the monthly staff reports and the 2011 standing committee appointments. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Drive.

Today’s highlights

Six-year old Shain Cothren of Suncrest holds a homing pigeon Sunday that will fly to the North Pole to deliver his Christmas wish list (attached to the right leg) to Santa Claus. He asked for a monster house and a Transformer. SR photo/Bart Rayniak

We’ve got a busy Valley Voice today, so grab a cup of coffee and get settled in. A new Christmas tree lot at Pines and Mansfield is offering a unique perk. Kids can send their letters to Santa at the North Pole via homing pigeon, which has apparently been a big hit. Readers following the exploits of “Chicken” can read an update by correspondent Stefanie Pettit on how well the bird is settling into her new home. 

This week the Spokane Valley city council voted by a slim majority to name Bill Bates, the half-brother of the mayor, to the city’s planning commission despite protests from some council members that it appears to be a conflict of interest. Things are looking a little less dire in Liberty Lake than they were last week. The city council there held a special budget meeting this week and voted on how to allocate an extra $140,000 in income to alleviate cuts previously proposed.

Liberty Lake police have made arrests in a long string of garage burglaries and vehicle prowls. They’ve also had a break in multiple thefts of flat screen televisions from RV’s. The Spokane Valley Planning Commission met to discussed a proposed emergency ordinance to remove the City Center zone from the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan. The majority voted to recommend that the city council reject the amendment, but it doesn’t end there. The issue will be considered by the council at the Jan. 4 meeting.

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Welcome to the Spokane Valley blog. Here we cover news, events and information from the greater Spokane Valley area, including Millwood, Otis Orchards, Liberty Lake, Newman Lake, Rockford and Fairfield.

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Nina Culver Nina Culver covers city of Spokane Valley, Spokane Valley Fire Department, Newman Lake Fire and Rescue, Spokane County Fire District 8, Liberty Lake Police Department and the small towns of Fairfield and Rockford.

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