April 15, 2010 in Washington Voices

Council agrees to settle suit over driveway

City to pay $25,000 following Baldwin Avenue project
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Highlights from Tuesday’s council meeting

Public comment

 Pat Minnihan spoke against changing Broadway from a four-lane road to a two-lane road with a center turn lane and bike lanes between Pines and Park roads, which will make it identical to Broadway from Sullivan to Pines roads. She said she felt this plan would slow traffic down at the intersections and wouldn’t be safe for students who attend school in the area.

 “We don’t’ want two-lane traffic, we want four lanes,” she said.

The Spokane Valley City Council agreed Tuesday night to settle a lawsuit against the city filed in July, 2008.

James and Mary Pollard will receive $25,000 in the settlement, which was filed after the couple said the city allegedly ruined their driveway. They said in 2006, the city-approved reconstruction of Baldwin Avenue was ‘slipshod’ and the project made both of the entrances into their property unsafe by raising the road at least 30 inches.

“According to the lawsuit, the road work violated the Pollards’ rights under the Washington state Constitution to have unhindered access to their land and to be compensated for property damage,” said a story in The Spokesman-Review in 2008.

The Pollards said city employees were ordered not to hear the couple’s complaints about the matter.

City Attorney Mike Connelly told the council the funds were to be paid through the city’s insurance.

The council also heard the second reading of an ordinance that would update the city’s current adult entertainment code.

Deputy City Attorney Cary Driskell told the council that the changes would be more consistent with state and federal laws which have changed over the years due to interpretation of appellate court judges. The changes would also clean up any ambiguous language in the code.

Driskell also said he had heard from the attorney representing DéjÀ Vu. The club would like to stay open until 4 a.m. instead of closing at 2 a.m. Driskell said he told the attorney he would pass that along to the council, but the council took no action on the request.

The council also discussed policy language in amendments to the city’s comprehensive plan.

Mayor Tom Towey wondered why city staff should be taking the time to include this language in the comprehensive plan such as promoting opportunities to employ Spokane Valley residents for jobs in the Spokane Valley.

“We should be doing that anyway,” Towey said.

Council member Bill Gothman said that in many cases if the city is up for state and federal funds for projects, one of the things they ask is if this kind of language is in the comprehensive plan.

Acting City Manager Mike Jackson agreed with Gothman.

“Many of them are connected with potential grant opportunities,” Jackson said.

“It should be in there for that,” Towey agreed.

Gothman suggested the council make a list of language they find too general or broad to be included in the comprehensive plan and go through it with the city staff the next time it meets.


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