May 1, 2008 in Voices

Spokane council vote allows proposed tower near courthouse

By and The Spokesman-Review
 

The Spokane City Council on Monday reversed a decision by the city hearing examiner rejecting a proposed 100-foot office and retail tower west of the county courthouse.

The 6-1 vote allows developers Marcus DeWood and his wife, Luann Padgham, of West Central LLC, to move ahead with their proposed project.

Hearing Examiner Greg Smith in his ruling said that the city’s land-use plan requires that more intense office uses be located in designated commercial centers and that the proposed tower was not within a designated center.

Councilman Richard Rush, the lone council vote against the reversal, said Monday that the law was on the hearing examiner’s side.

He said allowing for the exception could hurt progress at the nearby Kendall Yards project, an extensive upscale commercial and residential development, because of increased competition for tenants. He also said changing the rule for the building could promote attempts to break height rules throughout the city.

“We are opening the floodgates,” Rush said.

But Councilman Al French said it was “pure speculation” that the building would affect Kendall Yards.

Council members noted that nearby land is allowed to have the taller heights and the property already was permitted to have an office.

“This is not a new land-use designation,” French said. “It’s already zoned for office use.”

Their proposed L-shaped building would be in the block bounded by Broadway and Mallon avenues and Adams and Cedar streets, a block that also includes a historic apartment house.


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