Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Services wants to build a dog walking area behind its new location on Trent Avenue.
To do that, the property must be rezoned from low-density residential to corridor mixed use.
It’s among the comprehensive plan amendments the Spokane Valley City Council will consider Tuesday.
At the City Council’s public hearing on May 6 about the amendments, one neighbor presented four pages of signatures from his neighbors who oppose the change.
“This rezone will result in increased light pollution, noise pollution and traffic congestion,” said Mark Shollenberger, who owns property that borders the proposed rezone.
He said the SCRAPS’ new lights are so bright he has to shield his eyes when he’s in his backyard at night. He also worries about the “avalanche effect” on neighboring properties, including a parcel owned by Mutual Materials that the business tried to rezone about 15 years ago.
“If this rezone goes through I guarantee that Mutual Materials will retry to get the property on the corner of Montgomery and Elizabeth rezoned so they can use it,” he said. “They currently cannot use their own piece of property because it’s residential.”
SCRAPS director Nancy Hill said the proposed rezone would have the lowest possible impact on the neighborhood.
“SCRAPS will clean up the property – already there has been illegal dumping and a truck load of trash has been removed,” she said. She wants to make the area more parklike with walking trails, but no new lighting on the parcel.
She said all dogs would be on a leash with trained volunteers or potential dog owners, never left to roam, during daylight hours. There would be a 6-foot site-obscuring fence around it.
“Dogs being walked on a leash are generally happy dogs and do not bark,” Hill said. “Dogs bark when they are left unattended and are bored.”
She said SCRAPS is subject to nuisance ordinances regarding noise and barking dog laws.
Hill also said SCRAPS will be a quiet neighbor in an area where trains run and where forklifts and semitrucks are in use 24 hours a day at Mutual Materials.
During the hearing, Mayor Dean Grafos pointed out that SCRAPS has a 30-year contract with many municipalities in the area and asked if SCRAPS had any intention of building on the parcel. Hill said they did not.
The planning commission considered the rezone in February, but with one member absent during the meeting the vote was split evenly, so the proposal was moved forward to the City Council with no recommendation.
Planning Manager Scott Kuhta said the council hears two or three comprehensive plan amendments per year.
The council will hear the first reading of the ordinance May 27 and the second reading on June 10.