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Thursday, October 22, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Land-Swap Deal Proposed For Sports Complex Neighbors Think Current Site Too Close To Residential Area

A land-swap has been proposed for the city’s controversial NorthPointe Sports Complex, moving it out of a residential neighborhood and to a field near the Kaiser Aluminum plant.

The Nevada-Lidgerwood neighborhood council, developer Lanzce Douglass and the city parks department are discussing the possibility of trading properties.

“The discussions are very preliminary,” said Douglass. “The neighborhood is looking into it to see what they want to do. I think we can make it work.”

Al French, chairman of the neighborhood council, is optimistic.

“No one was opposed to the sports complex, it just needs a better location,” he said.

Neighborhood concerns include increased traffic, late hours and alcohol sales.

A neighborhood meeting to discuss the proposed swap has been scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday at Shiloh Hills Elementary.

A public vote is required before the city can trade or swap park land.

“We hope to hear from the public, how they feel about this possible exchange of property,” said Paul Crutchfield, assistant parks director. “We wouldn’t go forward without a vote of the people.”

Neighbor Jeanie Wagenman said the current site for the sports complex is five blocks from the elementary school.

“People who live on Maxine would have it immediately in their backyards,” she said. “You can’t buffer that much noise, traffic and light.

“We aren’t trying to throw our problem on another area, but at Magnesium and Crestline there aren’t any residential homes at this time and access is much more realistic,” she said. “It won’t destroy a neighborhood.”

Wagenman also questions the sale of alcohol at a park.

“Has the impact of alcohol been addressed and does it set a precedent for other parks?” she asked.

The property currently owned by the parks department is near Holland Avenue and Colton Road and was once a city sewage pond.

Douglass has been working to have his land rezoned from manufacturing to allow apartments.

“We will probably meet some speed bumps in the process,” said French. “No one has thrown water on it yet, that isn’t to say it won’t happen.”

The proposed sports complex includes five lighted softball fields, volleyball and basketball courts, an inline-skate hockey rink, a skateboard area, concession stand and parking for 375 cars.

The project also includes three acres for a neighborhood park with a picnic area, playground, restrooms and eight acres of conservation area with trails.

According to studies by Jerry Draggoo and Associates, parks and recreation planners from Portland, the park could produce $80,000 profit a year. But that figure is based in part on beer and wine sales averaging $100,000 per year.

The Douglass Property near Kaiser Aluminum is part of the proposed Grayhawk development.

Douglass has tried for a year to rezone to residential the 45 acres, which are part of a 209-acre project.

The Douglass’ have filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming that before they bought the land, city officials told them a zone change wouldn’t be a problem.

He wants the city to approve a zone change on the NorthPointe property as part of the land-swap agreement.

, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: MEETING SCHEDULED A neighborhood meeting to discuss the proposed land-swap is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday at Shiloh Hills Elementary School, 505 E. Stonewall.

This sidebar appeared with the story: MEETING SCHEDULED A neighborhood meeting to discuss the proposed land-swap is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday at Shiloh Hills Elementary School, 505 E. Stonewall.

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