March 17, 2010 in Letters

City’s Y plans too exclusive

The Spokesman-Review
 

What standard should the City Council use for the future of the YMCA building in Riverfront Park? How about “Protect Riverfront Park” as the prime standard, recognizing that rules exist to be implemented?

The Dec. 14 council-adopted “Updated Downtown Spokane Plan – Fast Forward Spokane” referenced Riverfront Park and acknowledged that Spokane’s stunning natural beauty is one of the city’s strongest assets. It spoke to the importance of “implementing reasonable regulations that protect the view to and from these features.”

To protect a park, street lights and security patrols may do more than a condo. Adopting a residential/ commercial building proposal for the Y without a shoreline conditional use permit to make it legal puts the cart before the horse.

Time is insufficient to complete the permit process before the March 31 deadline. I question whether this use should be granted, given the direction of the downtown plan and the Spokane River Gorge master plan. As reinforced in the Municipal Code, Section 17C.160: “The amenity of the river and the public investment in the Spokane River Gorge should be widely shared, not limited to those properties immediately adjacent.”

The council should remove the building, giving a priceless open space gift to future generations.

Leona Dater

Spokane

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