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Washington Voices

Housing project near I-90 heads to hearing

Thu., Aug. 21, 2014

A developer based in Vancouver, Washington, is moving ahead with plans to develop 40.5 acres of new housing near Interstate 90 in southwest Spokane County.

West Plain Holdings LLC is taking its project in front of the county’s hearing examiner on Wednesday.

The hearing will be at 9 a.m. in the Commissioners Assembly Room of the Public Works Building, 1026 W. Broadway Ave.

The developer is seeking approval of a preliminary plat that would be built out in four phases over the coming decade, said Tom Vandervert, associate county planner.

So far, the project has not sparked controversy from the neighborhood. One nearby resident submitted a letter objecting to more housing construction in the area, Vandervert said.

The property was opened to development in 2013 when Spokane County commissioners approved a large expansion of the urban growth area, including an area of land in the vicinity of Fairways Golf Course.

The developer submitted plans right after the commissioners’ vote and before opponents of the urban expansion filed an appeal to the state Growth Management Hearings Board.

The appeal resulted in the urban expansion being remanded back to county commissioners because of a faulty public participation process in setting population projections.

The developer earned “vested rights” in the process and can move ahead with the project regardless of the potential for a successful legal challenge to the urban area expansion.

The development is proposed for property about a quarter mile south of the intersection of Thomas Mallen and Hallett roads. The land lies along the east side of Thomas Mallen.

The plan calls for 112 single-family lots, 12 duplexes and 68 town homes.

The project was given a mitigated determination of environmental nonsignificance. An appeal period for that determination ends Tuesday.

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