Barry Margolese, a Seattle developer who hopes to build 183 homes on Five Mile Prairie, fought Spokane planning department recommendations and the prairie’s neighborhood council in an appearance before the city hearing examiner Tuesday night.
The city’s planning staff recommended homes in the 51-acre Summerhill subdivision be built without basements.
Staff also recommended incorporating the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design suggestions offered by Spokane Police Department.
Neighborhood council officers expressed concerns about increased traffic, narrow roads, emergency response times, flooding and design of the planned unit development.
In a dramatic speech drawing applause from nearly 70 neighbors at the hearing, neighbor Steve Mumm argued the proposed development fails to meet the “superior” design criteria required of a PUD.
Margolese expressed his concerns with the planning staff recommendations, especially the CPTED suggestions.
Police department recommendations include wider streets, and wrought iron instead of solid wood fences in the backyards.
“I was taken back by the forwardness of the recommendations,” said Margolese. “These conditions go way beyond the realm of law enforcement.”
He noted the planning suggestions are based on a 40-hour course taken by the police officers.
Margolese said he has no intention of turning the open space and drainage area that runs behind most of the houses into a park with trails, as suggested, or to install wrought iron fences.
He also balked at traffic calmers, or widening the 28-foot private streets to 36 feet as suggested in the CPTED report.
The hearing lasted more than three hours. Spokane hearing examiner Greg Smith is expected to announce his decision within two weeks.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: Five-Mile hearing A county commisioner hearing on a 238-unit manufactured home park in Five Mile Prairie is set for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in the lower level of the public works building. Public hearings are not required for manufactured home developments in the county. The county planning department approved the development Sept. 5. Neighbors opposing the project filed the appeal Sept. 15.