August 23, 2012 in Washington Voices

Swale work set for Sprague Avenue

Inland Asphalt wins job with $1.27 million bid
By The Spokesman-Review
 

The Spokane Valley City Council unanimously awarded Inland Asphalt the Sprague Avenue swale project at a cost of $1.27 million.

Steve Worley, senior capital projects engineer, told the council the city received three bids for the project and Inland Asphalt came in the lowest.

The project will be done in three parts, completing the swale, the landscaping and road preservation. He said the request for bids was late in getting out, but he expects most of the project will be completed by the end of October.

“Hopefully we’ll get it paved,” he said.

Councilman Arne Woodard asked if the late request for bids limited the number of bids to only three. Worley said he suspected it did.

In other business, the council heard proposed changes to the planning department’s permitted and accessory uses matrix the city uses to decide what kinds of buildings are appropriate in certain neighborhoods.

Assistant Planner Christina Janssen told the council the matrix was used every day not only by city staff, but by professional developers and citizens in the community.

“When you work with a document that much, you often find little ways it could be a little bit more user-friendly,” Janssen said.

She told the council one planning zone – the city center – was added when the city was formed, but never materialized, so it was eliminated from the matrix.

Councilman Ben Wick didn’t agree that it should be eliminated.

“I think that it’s a very valuable concept,” he said. Although the city doesn’t have a city center, he hopes the city will have one someday and would like to rejuvenate the concept.

“I guess I’d like to leave it in there,” Wick said.

“It was not our intent that we would pre-suppose we would not have a city center zone at some point,” said Planning Manager Scott Kuhta. He said at this point, since the city doesn’t have one, the header can be confusing for outside developers, but he was more than willing to leave the heading and add an asterisk to explain the problem.

Another change to the matrix affected different kinds of manufacturing industries. Instead of listing them all separately, such as aircraft manufacturing or furniture manufacturing, all 29 different forms were listed under a general “manufacturing” header to make them easier to find in the matrix.

Under the heading of cemeteries and crematories, Janssen told the council that she has been seeing more stand-alone crematories come through. Since cemeteries are allowed in residential areas, this was probably a category which should be separated into two different areas. Crematories would only be permitted in the corridor mixed use zone, the community commercial zone, the regional commercial zone and light and heavy industrial zones.

Councilman Dean Grafos said he would like to add some uses to the matrix for building supply and home improvement businesses, convalescent homes and caretakers residences.

Councilwoman Brenda Grassel noted that in parks and open spaces zones, there wasn’t an allowance for small restaurants or bike shops. She noted that in many nicer parks, there are often restaurants, such as the Park Bench in Manito Park.

Janssen and Kuhta both agreed that would be a nice addition to some parks.

“We can take a look at that and see,” Kuhta said.

The changes to the matrix, including the council’s suggestions will come back to the council during its Aug. 28 meeting for its first reading.


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