The City Planning Commission just approved lifting height restrictions on Spokane Falls Boulevard (“Commission recommends easing tower restrictions,” April 28, 2018). What a short-sighted decision. Why would the city allow private developers to put any part of Riverfront Park, the city’s crown jewel of downtown, in the shade?
Private developers and the CEO of Downtown Spokane Partnership said in a letter to city planners that the current policy is “unrealistic.” Unrealistic to whose use? To the family enjoying the Red Wagon, to the kids riding the Looff Carrousel, or to the city worker walking Riverfront Park at lunchtime? Or is it the developer seeing any city planning restrictions as impacting their profits?
Once the restrictions are lifted and buildings go up, the park will forever live in the shadow of buildings that never should have been built in the first place. There is plenty of buildable land in our downtown core for developers.
I urge the City Council to protect the city’s jewel from falling under the shadow of short-term profits for a few.