August 27, 2011 in Washington Voices

Council protected citizens with vote

Shelly Stevens
About this feature

Vocal Point is written by members of the community about issues of area interest. If you’d like to address a topic in this space, let us know. Contact Jeff Jordan at (509) 927-2170 or by email at voice@ to discuss what you’d like to write.

After reading The Spokesman-Review Valley Voice the last couple of weeks, my neighbors and I are again amazed at the reprehensible behavior of the Catholic Charities representative and a letter to the editor concerning the rezoning of the parcels on Walnut Road in the Spokane Valley.

Let us remind Rob McCann (a nonresident of our city) that the vision of Catholic Charities does not include name-calling individuals in the neighborhood where he is attempting to rezone. He came into the Spokane Valley and expected the citizens and neighbors of St. John Vianney Catholic Church to be lectured on what he thinks we need for our neighborhood in his opinion, all to the detriment of the citizens. It’s his way or none at all.

Mr. McCann needs to be reminded that the neighbors of St. John Vianney and the City Council of Spokane Valley abide by the law and by municipal code: 19.40.050 R-3 – Single-Family Residential district. Low density residential development – not a density that is 40 times greater per acre than existing use – intended to preserve the character of existing development. (Ord. 07-015 § 4, 2007).

Their proposed project did not change in five months since the first attempt to rezone these parcels, which allowed members of City Council sufficient time to prepare statements and reasons to decide this issue. They had time over these five months to drive through the neighborhood, study the municipal code, make a decision based on law and facts, and then state their reasons denying the attempted rezoning. Like judges use notes in rendering decisions, so do lawmakers, council members and ordinary citizens.

The City Council members are elected officials who run for office expressing their values; and we, the taxpaying citizens, vote for them based on these beliefs and values. That’s the American way. Our City Council protected the entire Valley with their vote not to allow the rezoning of these parcels and allow a monstrosity to be built in our historic neighborhood.

The issue is not political, and we are shocked and amazed at Mr. McCann’s threat to keep coming back until he wins. By doing what? – electing “yes” women and men as our representatives? Those who blindly follow his mandates and disregard the law and facts? Is this the right thing to do, Mr. McCann? Are these types of threats the Catholic way to do things? What about our neighborhood and what is important to us? Do we matter?

The neighbors of St. John Vianney will always fight against the rezoning of these parcels such as proposed by Mr. McCann. And please, sir, quit calling us stupid, ignorant and disturbing; because like it or not, we did the right thing (and the Council did the right thing), and you know it.

We did not engage in any ad hominem campaign against the developer (whoever it is or may be). We continue to take the high road and follow the law, as we have done since the beginning of this process. The City Council’s vote of 5-1 should bring closure to any rezoning issues on Walnut Road.

Spokane Valley resident Shelly Stevens can be reached by email at

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