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Condos approved for South Side bluff – with conditions

Fri., June 15, 2007

A controversial project that could create 100 condos on a South Spokane bluff with erosion problems has been approved – provided the landowner meets a long list of conditions.

Spokane Hearing Examiner Greg Smith gave the preliminary go-ahead for Yong Lewis to move forward with a 30-building complex called Tuscan Ridge on 23 acres near 57th Avenue and Hatch Road. Plans for the site include constructing some buildings on stilts and setting them into a steep hillside.

Geological tests determined that much of the site has “severely erodible soils,” the hearing examiner’s findings said. Further, Smith outlined 35 conditions that must be met for the project to proceed, including extensive additional geotechnical studies on individual building sites before any permits are granted.

In his findings, the hearing examiner wrote: “Due to site constraints, the presence of geohazards, and the cost of mitigating the geohazards, the number of units that can physically be constructed on the site may be less than the total number approved.”

The Quail Ridge Annex Homeowners Association PUD appealed the city’s initial finding that environmental problems caused by the development could be mitigated with the recommended measures. The appeal contended the requirements didn’t go far enough.

Smith’s decision incorporated dozens of exhibits, several public meetings and testimony from planners, engineers, geologists, attorneys and angry neighbors. During several public hearings, neighbors cited concerns ranging from additional traffic congestion to fire safety and bluff destabilization.

Hillside erosion was the top concern of the neighbors, many of whom are senior citizens living in two gated communities directly above Lewis’ property. Erosion has nearly claimed one nearby property and residents fear the development could threaten homes both above and below the planned community.

For the project to move forward, the developer will be required to install a left turn lane on Hatch Road in front of the access point to the site, do site-specific engineering for each structure and build retailing walls. Conditions imposed also include creating an on-site disposal system for storm and surface water generated on the premises.

The hearing examiner’s decision may be appealed to the City Council. Appeals must be filed with the Planning Department at City Hall by 4:30 p.m. June 25.

Eatery planned

The former owner of Mama Mia’s and the executive chef at Fugazzi Restaurant plan to open a high-end restaurant on First Avenue, near the Fox Theater in downtown Spokane.

Scratch will go into a suite next door to the Montvale Hotel and should open this fall, said Connie Naccarato, who owned and operated the North Side Mama Mia’s for 20 years before it closed three years ago.

“We’re really excited about being right across the street from the Fox, where the symphony is going in,” Naccarato said.

She and Jason Rex, executive chef of Fugazzi, looked for a location for six months before leasing space at 1007 W. First Ave.

The restaurant has about 1,600 square feet of dining space and a banquet room big enough for 50 people. Scratch’s dishes will include pasta, fresh fish and dry-aged beef, Naccarato said.

Lunches will run $8 to $12 and dinners from $15 to $45.

Liberty Lake clothing shop

Jodi and Joe Hoffman plan to open The Lake Shack Boutique in a mini-mall near the Liberty Lake Home Depot, in July.

The 1,500-square-foot store will carry women’s and men’s clothing, accessories and candles.

“We’ve been wanting to own our own business for quite some time,” said Jodi Hoffman, a medical researcher.

Brands will include 7 For All Mankind, which makes jeans, she said.

Lake Shack Boutique will open at 21651 E. Country Vista Drive.

Crown West Realty continues growth

Crown West Realty LLC, the real estate investment, development and management company that owns Spokane Business and Industrial Park, is continuing its growth with the recent purchase of a large corporate center in Atlanta.

The company purchased the 196,000-square-foot complex, which consists of five single-story office buildings, for $18.1 million.


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