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Sunday, September 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Amway House denied rezoning request

UPDATED: Wed., April 10, 2019, 5:57 p.m.

The home built by Ron and Georgia Lee Puryear on the Spokane River in Post Falls almost 20 years ago has been empty for most of the last decade and Ron Puryear died in 2016. The Puryear family, who made their fortune in their Amway business, still owns the massive home and have made a request for a special use permit to use the home as a bed and breakfast and event center. Neighbors are not thrilled. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
The home built by Ron and Georgia Lee Puryear on the Spokane River in Post Falls almost 20 years ago has been empty for most of the last decade and Ron Puryear died in 2016. The Puryear family, who made their fortune in their Amway business, still owns the massive home and have made a request for a special use permit to use the home as a bed and breakfast and event center. Neighbors are not thrilled. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

The Amway House will not be allowed to be turned into an event venue or bed-and-breakfast any time soon.

The Post Falls Planning and Zoning Commission voted down a special-use permit request to change the zoning of the single-family mansion Tuesday at Post Falls City Hall. The room was packed full with more than 100 people who watched the permit fail in a 2-4 vote.

Post Falls city officials did leave the door open for the owners of the mansion to update their proposal for the permit and bring it back for reconsideration.

The house is in the middle of a contentious argument between the owners, members of the Puryear Family, who haven’t been able to sell the house for years, and neighbors, who have expressed concern over parking and noise issues.

Regardless of the failed vote, John Beutler, Century 21 broker for the owners of the Amway House, said that the outcome was positive because the issues that neighbors raised can be resolved.

The commission echoed the issues raised by neighbors. The owners of the Amway House need to first buy a neighboring property and turn it into a parking lot, which they plan to do. The owners also need to agree to no on-street parking, and the city noise ordinance needs to be obeyed.

“We’ve got ahead of ourselves,” said Commissioner Ryan Davis. “If no on-street parking was secured, it would be different.”

Once those issues are addressed, the commission members said they would be willing to hear another proposal. The next commission meeting is in May, and Beutler could not confirm if he would be back then, but said he would be eventually.

Neighbor Chris Greenfield, voiced her opposition to the commission and said she was ecstatic the permit failed because of traffic, parking and noise.

She said she is “possibly” considering filing a lawsuit against the homeowners if the mansion is turned into an event venue or bed-and-breakfast.

“I’ve talked to other homeowners in the area and they said they are planning on a class-action lawsuit if it passes,” Greenfield said.

Her main reason was that by changing the zoning, the private agreements called CC&Rs –covenants, conditions and restrictions – that homeowners sign when buying property in the neighborhood still state that the houses can only be single-resident homes. Regardless of the special-use permit, the CC&Rs wouldn’t give permission unless 75 percent of the neighbors agree, Greenfield said.

Greenfield said the neighborhood’s CC&Rs state that houses cannot have a business and cannot be open to the public.

She said the homeowners should drop their price and it will open up a pool of buyers who would use it for its single-family use.

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