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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Stephanie Hokanson: Glenrose sports complex raises a host of questions

Stephanie Hokanson

I have recently read your article about SYSA’s proposed Sportsplex in my Glenrose neighborhood (“Sports complex set for 37th, Glenrose,” May 24).

I am a mother of three school-age children. I am very aware of the current trend of after-school sports and the need of places for children to play. However, we have several unanswered questions and concerns.

We are part of the Urban Reserve. That means that we do not have public utilities. We have wells, septic tanks, no fire hydrants, country roads (and they are crumbling). There are no sidewalks, bus stops or safe means for children to walk to the destined location. SYSA is wanting almost 400 parking places and would like to hold tournaments. We have no retail (fast food, coffee shops or services) within a short walking distance. That is a lot of vehicles for our area to manage, a lot of traffic.

The proposed stadium lighting is a big concern given there is no buffer to prevent the light (even with shielding) from affecting all that surrounds the site. I should mention my home is in direct line of sight of the stadium glare. I do not want Spokane children to lose their night sky to light pollution. I do not understand the need for anything other than a daylight facility. Do we truly want our children playing on a frozen field in winter?

Our location is vulnerable to fire. Water has to be brought to us. Currently, 37th Avenue is the most direct route and the Sportsplex could cause delays for fire and other emergency services to reach us in time. Will having a facility like this in a field of wheat bring an increase in fire danger?

What are the environmental impacts, and will they be addressed? Without the ability to irrigate, the solution is AstroTurf. AstroTurf is often made of products that include heavy metals which can leach into the ground. Port-a-Potties or a large septic would be the only options for bathrooms. We would like to ensure the safety of our water, especially since so much runs off the hills and into the valley.

Will there be increased flooding? We have requested that Spokane County conduct a current SEPA review as a part of the permitting process for the complex and not rely on the old review conducted several years ago prior to the construction of Trickle Creek, Twisted Willows and several other new developments in our community. How will our local fauna be affected by this facility, its traffic, unnatural products? We have numerous species of birds, a moose family, coyote dens, mountain lions and a bear that call our area home. The deer migrate though this corridor and the elk used to. Are they proposing 9-foot fencing? This is fertile farmland. Once it is developed, it can never be turned back into farmland.

We are advocating for the county to hear our community’s concerns and protect us. I see the value in protecting natural environments before it is too late. I read another article recently in the Seattle Times about Constantine moving to protect 65,000 acres of the last best places in Seattle. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/constantine-wants-to-leverage-conservation-fund-to-buy-65000-acres-of-last-best-places/.

Glenrose is one of Spokane’s best places and it deserves protection. We encourage them to build a park, not a complex. Save Glenrose!

Stephanie Hokanson is a soccer mom who lives in Spokane.

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