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Thursday, May 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington Voices

Shoreline plan gets look

Council plans further discussion on program goals

The Spokane Valley City Council took quick looks at several issues Tuesday, including a first look at the proposed goals and policies for the city’s Shoreline Master Program that have been recommended by the city’s planning commission. The goals and policies will be used to set regulations that will govern the city’s shorelines.

The goals and policies have been reviewed extensively by the planning commission and an attorney hired to help the city with its shoreline plan, said senior planner Lori Barlow. Barlow stressed that the goals and policies are general statements. “At this point we’re talking about the concepts,” she said. “You start very broad.”

The planning commission spent a lot of time discussing property rights, docks, utilities and keeping the goals and policies consistent with state law, Barlow said. The city’s final Shoreline Master Program must be approved by the Department of Ecology.

The council is tentatively scheduled to have a longer discussion about the goals and policies with the shoreline attorney at its July 24 meeting.

In other business, the council agreed to have staff prepare a grant application to request funding for the Sullivan Road bridge replacement from the Transportation Improvement Board. The city has $10 million of the estimated $20 million needed to replace the bridge, but staff will likely only ask for a couple of million dollars, Worley said. “It won’t be for the remainder,” he said. “There isn’t enough funds available in the eastern region to fund that.”

The council also had a few questions about a proposed development agreement that they voted to require as a condition for rezoning a parcel of land on Conklin Road from medium density residential to high density residential. The land, located just south of Broadway Avenue, is surrounded by single family homes in a neighborhood zoned low density residential. Neighbors expressed concerns about having an apartment complex in their backyard.

Part of the agreement stipulates that the main entrance will be on Broadway. Councilman Chuck Hafner asked how the city would be able to ensure that apartment residents used the Broadway entrance instead of the secondary entrance on Conklin. The developer plans to make the Broadway entrance a focal point when he designs the project, said senior planner Mike Basinger. “I don’t think we can guarantee it,” he said.

Basinger said he also heard from a resident who was concerned that a proposed 40-foot buffer around the project perimeter was not present on the northeast side of the project. The developer agreed to add the buffer to that area, he said.

Councilman Ben Wick said he was grateful for the staff’s work. “It answers all my questions and hesitations I had,” he said.

A public hearing on the proposed development agreement is scheduled for the July 24 council meeting. The council is also expected to vote on whether to accept the proposed agreement at the same meeting.

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