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South Hill big-box plans going before council

Proposals to convert about 45 acres of southeast Spokane into sites for major retail development could come to a vote before the City Council as early as Monday.

But pressure from neighborhood activists to limit retail uses along South Regal Avenue and Palouse Highway has forced developers into a face-to-face workshop with neighborhood representatives.

Residents of the Southgate and Moran Prairie neighborhoods don’t want big-box retail development – in large measure because of the traffic it would bring, but also because, they say, they prefer smaller, pedestrian-friendly shops and eateries.

Developers, including a group representing Home Depot, are seeking to bring suburban-style retail development to this corner of the South Hill. To do so, they need City Council approval of amendments to the city’s comprehensive land-use plan.

Such a major change should be the subject of a public planning process, not the result of developer-driven planning, the neighborhood groups said.

The Plan Commission agreed, voting 5 to 3 to recommend against the proposals by Home Depot and Black Development, which represents a private landowner and KXLY on two of the sites at Regal and Palouse.

In an effort to find compromise, city planning staff has arranged a workshop today from 3-9 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Educational Service District 101 conference building, 4202 S. Regal. The South Regal area amendments are among a group of nine proposed changes to the comprehensive plan up for consideration by the council when it convenes at 6 p.m. Monday in Council Chambers.



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