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Spokane Gun Club votes to sell land to Valley School District

Aug. 24, 2018 Updated Fri., Aug. 24, 2018 at 10:48 p.m.

The Spokane Gun Club is seen on Friday, July 13, 2018, in Greenacres, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
The Spokane Gun Club is seen on Friday, July 13, 2018, in Greenacres, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

The Spokane Gun Club approved selling land to the Central Valley School District in a final vote Friday evening.

The vote passed with 94 of 101 members in favor of the sale, which prevents the school district from condemning the land and allows the gun club to retain incentives in the sale agreement.

Under the sale agreement, the school district would cover closing costs, property taxes and would pay any environmental cleanup costs exceeding $1 million of the site, located at North Henry Road and Sprague Avenue. The agreement also allows the club to lease back a portion of property for $10 a month until 2021.

The Central Valley School District agreed in July to purchase 99 acres from the Spokane Gun Club for close to $8 million to construct a new high school and a future elementary school.

A majority of gun club members initially voted in favor of the sale in July. However, there was some contention among members opposed to the sale who were concerned about the ability to obtain a new site, environmental cleanup costs and obtaining permits for a new club site. They also claimed the initial vote in favor of the sale wasn’t done in line with the club’s bylaws.

The club’s attorney, William Lenz of Witherspoon Kelley, subsequently emailed a document to members outlining the sale agreement and a second meeting was held Aug. 3 for a second vote, in which 53 of 92 members voted in favor. At that meeting, it was brought forward that the club a needs two-thirds majority vote to approve the sale.

The school district gave the club notice it intended to seek condemnation for a 40-acre portion of land for construction of a new third comprehensive high school if an agreement wasn’t reached by members.

The gun club then scheduled a special meeting on Aug. 24 for a final vote.

Spokane County Commissioner Al French wrote a letter of support that was read at the meeting Friday evening by Spokane County Planning Director John Pederson, who was present to explain the process for obtaining a conditional use permit for a new gun club site.

“If the sale is consummated and the gun club is interested in relocation to another site, please be assured that you have my support in your efforts,” French wrote in the letter.

Now that members have approved the sale on a final vote, the club plans to invest sale proceeds to develop a new site with indoor and outdoor shooting ranges as well as improved club facilities that could be rented to law enforcement for training.

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