Spokane city and county leaders pledged Tuesday to work together to address urban growth and land-use issues.
The first collaborative meeting is set for May 12 and comes after a City Council effort to block the extension of water and sewer service into newly expanded urban growth areas outside city limits until any legal challenges are resolved.
“This is only going to work if we all acknowledge that what we are doing today can be done even better,” said Mayor David Condon, who vetoed the council’s anti-sprawl plan.
In exchange for the collaborative effort, the City Council has agreed to drop efforts to override Condon’s veto and to avoid any new annexations for a year while county commissioners have agreed to hold off on any new urban expansion requests and to drop a massive public records request it filed with Spokane for information related to the attempted utility services ban.
Valley eases rules for marijuana grows
Spokane Valley eased restrictions Tuesday on where recreational marijuana can be grown and packaged.
The move is designed to open industrial sites north of the Spokane River along the city’s eastern edge that were excluded when Spokane Valley imposed a 1,000-foot buffer around the Centennial Trail. Retail marijuana stores are still prohibited within the buffers.
Commercial real estate agents, industrial property owners and would-be marijuana producers told council members the river is a better buffer than an arbitrary 1,000 feet, and that opening up the industrial sites even to limited production and processing will bring new companies and jobs to the city.
The council unanimously approved the change.
More than 30 companies have applied to the state for production and processing licenses in Spokane Valley, while 43 more have applied for retail licenses. The state will allow three retail operations in the city, but there’s no geographical limit on the number of licensed producers and processors.