The neighbors fear the parking and traffic problems.
The university fears a lack of housing for its students.
No matter what the Spokane City Council decides, someone will walk away displeased.
For nearly two years, Logan residents have been warring with Gonzaga University over its plans to build a student housing complex on property bounded by Boone and Sharp avenues, Pearl and Lidgerwood streets.
A series of delays and appeals finally landed the proposal to build the 30-unit complex back in the council’s hands earlier this week.
Council members heard testimony from the two sides but delayed a decision on the project until Monday.
Attorney Robert Kingsley, who represented Jeanette Harras and the Logan Neighborhood Association, argued that residents never were allowed a chance to review the university’s final plans.
When the city’s hearing examiner approved a second draft of the plan a year ago, the Knights of Columbus appealed, saying the project threatened their business and the value of their land.
The Knights sat down with Gonzaga and worked out a compromise.
Chief among the Knights’ disputes was a plan to build a 30-unit parking lot across the street from the housing complex.
Gonzaga agreed to change its parking plan - including buying more land for additional parking spaces - and submitted the changes back to hearing examiner Greg Smith.
Smith approved the revised plan, saying the changes weren’t substantial enough to need a second hearing.
Harras and the neighborhood appealed, saying they should have gotten a chance to comment on the changes.
“We did not have a fundamental right here that should have been afforded, the right to appear - to examine the revised plan,” Kingsley said.
Stan Schultz, GU’s attorney, argued that Harras and the Logan association missed the deadline for appealing the hearing examiner’s decision by 18 days.
“This appeal should be dismissed because it simply isn’t timely,” Schultz said.
City Attorney James Sloane said his review of the case showed that Harras and the neighborhood submitted a valid appeal.
Neighbors have complained the project would increase the area’s traffic and parking problems.
Vacated streets near the university create a maze for drivers, as well as reduce the number of on-street parking spaces.
Schultz argued that building student housing on campus actually decreases traffic and parking problems in the neighborhood.
“This desperately needs to be constructed,” he said. “There are students coming in August who need to be living here.”
The council last January approved vacating Van Gorp Place from Sharp to Boone to make way for the project.
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