A handful of Spokane Valley residents visited an open house Wednesday to take a look at the city’s draft public access plan for the state-mandated update of the city’s Shoreline Master Program.
“I just wanted to see what was going on,” said resident Cecil Whipple as he looked at maps showing improvements to existing access points on the Spokane River. “It’s nice to see what they’re trying to do.”
The plan doesn’t create additional access points, but does include the addition of picnic tables and/or benches at spots overlooking the Spokane River. The plan also suggests adding parking and other improvements to existing sites, including at the Mission Avenue Centennial Trail trailhead and Sullivan Park.
Susan Scott, who owns Lark Inc., dropped in to look at the maps and ask city staff questions. “I’ve just been following the whole process,” she said. “We build boat docks. We do get people asking questions.”
One question people have asked is about Shelley Lake and why it’s not included in the access plan.The tiny lake is surrounded by a gated housing development and is all private property. It is not included in the plan because it is not considered a shoreline of statewide significance, senior planner Lori Barlow said. The homeowner’s association does not allow docks, she said. “None of those properties really go down to the water’s edge,” she said.
The city’s planning commission will hold a public hearing on the draft river access plan at 6 p.m. on Thursday. The planning commission may suggest changes based on public testimony and will then forward the plan to the City Council for approval.