The Spokane neighborhood that runs from Gonzaga Prep in the south all the way to Whitworth University has been split in two.
The Spokane City Council voted this week to create two new neighborhood councils – Nevada Heights and Shiloh Hills – from what was the Nevada/Lidgerwood neighborhood. The change will open up residents of Shiloh Hills, north of Francis Avenue, to potentially more city money that would address trash collection and easing traffic congestion, said City Councilwoman Amber Waldref.
Because of its size and the different demographics of the large neighborhood, some residents in the north expressed an interest in splitting off a few years ago, Waldref said. While the areas south of Francis are on the city’s street grid system and are made up mostly of single-family homes, the northern portions of what was the Nevada/Lidgerwood neighborhood were annexed from Spokane County, resulting in a mishmash of design standards and types of housing, Waldref said.
“They have different needs, and different interests,” she said.
Alexandra Stoddard, chairwoman of what is now the Nevada Heights neighborhood, began meeting with residents north of Francis in March to begin developing bylaws for the new neighborhood council. A resident of the Nevada/Lidgerwood neighborhood since 1992, and a member of the council since 2008, Stoddard said the split would allow residents of the new Shiloh Hills area to compete for the limited city funds available for street improvements.
“I think it will more equitably divide resources,” Stoddard said.
Waldref said she hoped the Shiloh Hills Neighborhood Council, which will be chaired by Sandy Hart, would reach out to residents in all types of housing, including rentals, which normally don’t seek representation in city government. She said pedestrian safety will likely be a priority in the neighborhood.
“The biggest issue up there will be traffic calming, with all that pedestrian activity,” she said.
In July 2015, the City Council voted to spin off the Audubon/Downriver Neighborhood Council from the larger Northwest neighborhood, which kept its name.
Hart, the chairwoman of the new Shiloh Hills neighborhood, built her home there in 2004 and has seen a decrease in property crime as vacant lots have developed. She said she planned to talk to residents in the coming weeks and make sure their concerns are brought up to the city.
“My goal is to really reach out to all the neighborhoods, and see what they want,” Hart said.
The Shiloh Hills Neighborhood Council meets the third Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. in the event room at Lilac Lanes, 1112 E. Magnesium Road.
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