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North Hatch subdivision wins examiner’s OK

A subdivision proposal along North Hatch Road that dates back to 2008 has won new approval from the Spokane County hearing examiner and can move ahead.

Last summer, the hearing examiner ruled that the subdivision’s preliminary plat application had languished for too many months and was invalid.

Landed Gentry Development Inc., of Burlington, Wash., is seeking to subdivide 5 acres into 25 home sites known as Canterbury Bluff.

The property includes an existing home at 17714 N. Hatch Road, which is located to the south of a Spokane County aquatics facility and Bidwell Park.

Last week, Hearing Examiner Mike Dempsey approved a preliminary plat for the project.

The site contains a wetland, which will have a 75-foot buffer from development. Surrounding residents had challenged the wetland investigation. They wanted a 100-foot or larger buffer and a guarantee that new plantings would become established.

But the hearing examiner found that the investigation and wetland mitigation plan were done properly.

The preliminary plat would have the rear of one home adjacent to the buffer with a mound of earth installed to create a sense of safety for wildlife using the wetland, according to the 42-page decision.

Plans call for common open space as well, which will double storm water infiltration areas.

A homeowners association would be responsible for maintaining the wetland buffer and open space.

The hearing examiner recommended a performance bond, letter of credit or other financial instrument to ensure survival and maintenance of plantings for at least 10 years.

The project will also be required to meet newer county development standards, including protection of a steep slope on part of the site.

However, the developer is being allowed to build a private road, which would not be as wide as a public road, to make room for home lots. The private road was approved by the hearing examiner as an exception to newer county road standards for neighborhood connections.

The previous decision by the hearing examiner last August was appealed to Spokane County Superior Court by the developer, but the appeal was stayed pending last week’s decision on the new application.