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Shoreline designations proposed at City Hall

Thu., Sept. 27, 2012

Map broken down into three descriptive areas around river

A trickle of people flowed through City Hall last week when Spokane Valley hosted an open house on its proposed shoreline designations.

The designations are part of the state-mandated update of the city’s Shoreline Management Program. The city has maps showing two options. The second was prepared after input from the Department of Ecology and the city’s technical review group, said senior planner Lori Barlow. The DOE has final approval of the city’s Shoreline Management Program.

The original map has the designations of shoreline residential, urban conservancy and urban conservancy-high quality. The second map adds the aquatic environment designation to cover the river itself and breaks the shoreline residential category into upland or waterfront. There are very few parcels along the Spokane River in the city that have waterfront access. Neither option includes any areas designated “natural.”

“That natural designation didn’t quite fit our local conditions,” Barlow said. “So much of our shoreline has already been impacted, largely because of the Centennial Trail.”

The designations will help determine who can build what and where, Barlow said. “We’re drilling down,” she said. “We don’t know exactly what uses will be allowed here.”

The Shoreline Management Program is being put together in pieces. The city will look at restoration and a public access plan before regulations are proposed. The city must finish its work by the end of 2013. “We’re moving along at a pretty good clip right now,” she said. “Without a doubt the regulations review will take the longest.”

Next on the schedule is a public hearing before the city’s planning commission at 6 p.m. today at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague Ave. The planning commission will review the public comments received and make a recommendation to the City Council on whether to accept the proposed shoreline designations. The recommendation should be before the City Council by the end of October, Barlow said.

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