Spokane lies at a pivotal crossroads. We can further expand an already-large urban area, placing on taxpayers the burdens of new fire, police, water and sewer services, or we can invest in sustainable growth by infilling neighborhoods with denser development that pays long-term dividends and increases quality of life.
The municipal code-violating approvals of Dave Black’s Target in the Southgate District and a drive-through-only McDonald’s in the Logan neighborhood, and Mayor David Condon’s veto of the City Council’s anti-sprawl ordinance, illustrate the need for a broader conversation about land use planning and design. Centers and corridors zoning was designed to empower neighborhoods to become the next Garland, South Perry or North Monroe but, instead, it’s being abused and perverted.
Spokane has perhaps more potential than any other city in the West. We have a strong community atmosphere, world-class recreation and a low cost of living. We can be the next Bend, Ore., the next Boise, the next Provo, Utah. We just need a strong vision and inspired leadership.
How do we do that?
Ensure that Scott Chesney and the planning department enforce centers and corridors, give the Spokane Homebuilders’ Association a serious attitude adjustment, and recall Condon.