June 6, 1996 in Washington Voices

Neighbors Fear Apartments Will Cause More Traffic

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Neighbors to a mega-apartment proposal in northeast Spokane said they fear traffic will slow to stop-and-go if 700 new units are added to the abundance of apartments already in the area.

Cedar Builders Inc. wants approval to build 586 apartments and 114 duplex units on the south side of Lincoln Road between Nevada and Crestline.

Neighbors showed up at Spokane City Hall on Tuesday for a public hearing on builder Rich Naccarato’s proposal.

He is seeking a zone change, approval of a preliminary plat and a special permit for the project, known as Cedar Springs Estates, which comes as a sequel to his existing Cedar Creek Village.

Along with other partners, Naccarato already has built 735 units in the area.

A different developer earlier this year got approval for 405 single-family homes on what was once a bluegrass farm.

All three projects are in the Calkins Addition, an area annexed to the city two years ago as a planned development.

Neighbors are getting traffic jitters as they see increasing congestion on Francis, Division, Crestline, Nevada and other routes.

“The traffic on Nevada is going to be prohibitive,” said Anne Jensen, a neighbor to the development, during Tuesday’s hearing.

Sandy Smith, the vice chairwoman for the Nevada-Lidgerwood Steering Committee south of Francis Avenue, said tie-ups are inevitable with the fast pace of growth north of Francis.

“As this area develops over there, it’s just going to go crazy,” Smith said.

Lou Dobberstein, a traffic engineer for the city, said the widening of Nevada to four lanes several years ago has created enough street capacity to handle traffic from Naccarato’s newest proposal and more.

The city is limiting the number of driveways with access to Nevada in order to keep cars moving smoothly, thereby increasing its capacity, he said.

However, congestion is multiplying at intersections and smaller arterials to the south, such as Crestline, Perry and Helena, neighbors said.

Neighbors raised other concerns such as providing parks and public safety protection.

Naccarato said the new apartment complexes are designed to attract city dwellers who are looking for convenience and safety. He said a park is planned in conjunction with a proposed new elementary school at the center of the annexation near the planned single-family homes.

, DataTimes


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