Spokane County commissioners will hold off on possible changes to laws on housing clusters in rural areas until late this year.
Commissioners held a public hearing Tuesday on proposed changes such as how the county calculates “open space,” housing setbacks and whether cluster housing can be built on land zoned for small-tract agriculture. Cluster developments, which are groups of homes surrounded by undeveloped land, are controversial in rural areas such as Green Bluff and Peone Prairie, where some residents say they add too much traffic and congestion to areas set up for farming; others, however, want the ability to develop their land as they choose. About 60 people showed up at the hearing, some sporting bright green stickers proclaiming “I Support Farms and Open Space.”
Commission Chairman Todd Mielke said some of the rules would change zoning laws or the comprehensive plan and the county can only change the comprehensive plan once a year, in November. Zoning laws must conform with the plan, so zoning changes have to wait on any changes to it.