After three years, 48 meetings and 1,500 hours of volunteer time, a panel of Spokane County residents is proposing a wide-ranging set of regulations to protect steep slopes, wetlands and wildlife corridors from development.
If approved by Spokane County Commissioners, the regulations would identify and define these areas, establish rating guidelines, and set standards for those wishing to develop on land where these features are common.
Among the areas coming under the regulations would be the steep slopes of Mount Spokane and Tower Mountain, wildlife habitat around Mica Peak, the Spokane River and the Dishman-Mica Natural Area as well as urban open spaces in Greenacres, Otis Orchards and Liberty Lake.
County planner Tim Lawhead said the regulations are required under the state Growth Management Act and sets into law much of what the county already does.
The regulations clarify other issues such as the buffering required around wetlands and what type of management plans would be required for wildlife areas.
“We tried to make this real flexible, there’s almost nothing that is outright prohibited,” said Lawhead.
Lunell Haught, chairwoman of the citizens committee, said the regulations are both flexible and firm and solve problems with overdevelopment in these areas rather than just pass more regulations.
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MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: PUBLIC WORKSHOP The county planning commission has scheduled a public workshop on the proposed conservation regulations for 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Public Works Building, 1026 W. Broadway. Copies of the proposed regulations are available from the county Planning Department. For more information, call 456-2205.