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Hearing will allow comment on zoning

Wed., Aug. 8, 2007, midnight

Spokane Valley residents can comment on the city’s new zoning map at a public hearing Thursday night.

The city is rewriting the rules on how land can be used and what can be built where. While most areas will retain the same land use – such as residential, commercial or industrial – the proposed zoning will permit smaller lot sizes than are allowed now in many neighborhoods.

Among the zoning changes, the map would allow new multifamily housing between Fourth Avenue and an empty right of way that could extend Appleway Boulevard, as well as an area near the corner of Eighth Avenue and Tschirley Road.

Additionally, the neighborhood generally bounded by Pines Road, Trent Avenue, the town of Millwood and the Spokane River – including the riverfront Coyote Rock project – would be zoned mixed-use. Stretches of Sprague Avenue also would be zoned mixed-use, and most land along Pines between Sprague and I-90 would be zoned for offices.

The hearing takes place at 6 p.m. in City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague Ave. The map is available online at

– Peter Barnes


Expired tabs can now be basis for car tow

Spokane’s code enforcement officers have a new tool to remove parked cars from public streets.

The Spokane City Council on Monday unanimously approved a rule that will allow the city to tow and impound vehicles that have registrations expired by more than 45 days.

City Prosecutor Howard Delaney testified that the new rules will help the city remove abandoned cars and prevent a person from starting a car sales business that uses city streets to display vehicles.

License plate tabs will be used to determine if a car should be towed, Delaney said.

George McGrath, who is running for City Council, questioned the wisdom of the law because it gives to the city more authority to “deprive people of their property.” He added that the people most likely to be affected are poor.

But another City Council candidate, Gary Pollard, said the idea was strongly supported by the Community Assembly, a committee of neighborhood leaders.

– Jonathan Brunt

Mystery powder found to be MSG

The only threat posed by a white, powdery substance found Tuesday in a mail bin at a North Side post office turned out to be the possibility of a bad headache.

A Spokane Fire Department hazardous material team determined it was just MSG, or monosodium glutamate, a flavor enhancer commonly used in Chinese food.

A postal employee found the powder in a bin at the Garland Post Office, 1903 W. Garland Ave., about 11 a.m. The hazmat team was called in as a precaution. The post office was closed for more than two hours.

This is the first such incident in at least a year, said Lisa Nysten, a spokeswoman for the Spokane postmaster.

– Amy Cannata

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