Gravel pit, pet licenses on commission’s agenda

SATURDAY, NOV. 20, 2010

Spokane County commissioners will take testimony later this month on several potentially controversial proposals.

A request to create a 97-acre gravel pit in the Four Mounds area west of Riverside State Park will be heard in a special meeting Nov. 29.

In a regular meeting a day later, commissioners will consider fee increases for pet licenses and a proposal to start charging by the hour for building permits.

Developer Harlan Douglass’ proposed gravel mine on Four Mound Road, just west of its intersection with Coulee Hite Road, is opposed by several neighbors.

Douglass wants to change the site’s rural conservation zoning to mineral lands. He says there is a shortage of gravel pits in the area, and his land contains a kind of rock that is easy and economical to mine.

Proposed Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service pet license fee increases, to be aired Nov. 30, are to help offset cuts in general fund support.

The increases also are to prepare for broader regional service that includes the city of Spokane. They would apply to unincorporated areas and jurisdictions that already have contracts with SCRAPS: Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Cheney, Millwood and Fairchild Air Force Base.

Dog license fees would be increased to match Spokane’s rate. Effective Jan. 1, dog licenses would go from $20 to $25 for spayed or neutered animals, and from $40 to $50 for others.

Cat license fees wouldn’t change because they’re already the same: $15 for spayed or neutered cats, $25 for others.

The $5 discount for seniors would increase to $10 for dogs. The discount, which is limited to one animal per owner, would remain $5 for cats.

The building permit fee proposal would replace the almost universal practice of charging according to construction cost. Instead, customers would be billed by the hour for whatever time is required to process their permits.

A Building and Planning Department analysis of a handful of actual projects suggests fees would drop for big jobs and go up for small ones.

A permit for a middle school valued at $13.5 million, which required 57 site visits, would cost $17,149, a $48,040 reduction.

On the other hand, a permit for a $1,080, 240-square-foot picnic shelter would cost about $677, up from $63.53.

Also at the Nov. 30 hearing, commissioners are to take testimony on a plan to add, change or remove weight restrictions on 10 bridges as the result of a new engineering study.

Restrictions would be added to these bridges: Seven Mile Road, over Coulee Creek; Wells Road, over Sanders Creek; Bruce Road, over Peone Creek; and Fridegar Road, over the Little Spokane River.

Load limits would be changed on: the Colbert Road, Little Spokane Drive and Chattaroy Road bridges, all over the Little Spokane River; and Monroe Road, over Dragoon Creek.

Restrictions would be removed from the Muzzy Road bridge over Thompson Creek and the Appleway Avenue bridge over the Spokane River. The Muzzy bridge has been rebuilt, and the Appleway bridge is closed for replacement.


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