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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Wednesday, April 8, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

New duplexes coming to West Plains

A new development with 34 duplex buildings and a single-family residence could be coming to the West Terrace Neighborhood south of the Spokane International Airport, a move which has already alarmed some neighbors.

The property is owned by Joseph Pence Jr. and Lynette Pence through a corporation, Pence Properties Cheney LLC, and is located at 7410 S. Fruitvale Road. Joseph Pence and Lynette Pence also own several properties just to the south of the new development, which have been described by neighbors in nearby single-family homes as an “eyesore.”

Several neighbors objecting to the new development wrote to the county that they had concerns about access roads, traffic, parking, crime, stormwater drainage and flooding.

According to county documents, the site could house more than 154 people and is in the Cheney School District. It’s estimated to add more than 700 vehicle trips a day. There would be two parking spaces for each unit. Dana, Aero and Fruitvale roads would be the development’s access points, and according to the developers’ application, Dana Road would be extended to Aero Road.

Gerd Scheller, president of the West Terrace Third Addition Home Owners Association, said he might not be as opposed to the new development if it weren’t owned by Joseph Pence, whose other nearby development he described as “third world.” That development does not have paved driveways, appears to be single story and has less landscaping than the neighboring developments and single family homes.

Scheller said he would like to work more closely with developers and the county to make sure new construction can fit into the neighborhood.

“I really want to work with them so they don’t have a bunch of scythes and pitchforks coming out to see them,” he said.

Scheller said he’s also concerned that the new development might connect to other neighborhoods’ drainage ponds, or contribute to the existing flooding and drainage issues on the West Plains.

Allyson Andrade, a spokeswoman for Whipple Consulting Engineers, the company that’s applying to develop the property, said Whipple was not the firm that built the nearby duplexes, and the company is trying to listen to the needs of the community and the property owner.

“I understand their concerns and that they don’t want to see another (development) like that,” Andrade said, “but that’s not what we typically build and what we expect it to look like.”

This issue will be before the Spokane County Hearing Examiner at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Commissioners Assembly Room in the lower level of the Spokane County Public Works Building, at 1026 W. Broadway Ave.

Spokane County Building and Planning Department staff recommended the developers’ application meet more than two dozen conditions before it’s approved by the hearing examiner, including submitting final road and drainage plans, sidewalks on Aero Road with similar requirements to the nearby Crystal Meadows neighborhood and a requirement that each unit have a garage that is big enough for two vehicles. The developer also would be restricted to no more than 34 duplexes, which equates to 68 residences.

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