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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The Dirt: Spokane Youth Sports Association presses forward with proposed sports complex in South Hill’s Glenrose area

By Amy Edelen and Megan Rowe The Spokesman-Review

The Spokane Youth Sports Association recently filed additional documents to support a decade-old environmental review for a proposed youth sports complex in the Glenrose neighborhood.

The SYSA added a report – conducted by Spokane-based JUB Engineers in 2018 – that assesses wetlands in the region, an updated traffic study and project design, grading and lighting plans for the complex to the project file, according to a notice by the Spokane County Building and Planning Department.

The proposed project – Zaheim Youth Sports Complex – will have one multipurpose sports field, a parking lot, storage facilities and restrooms. At full build-out, it will contain four youth baseball fields, two multisports fields with lights, a basketball court and walking path.

The $2.2 million sports complex could be used year-round and will be the only synthetic turf field on the South Hill, the association said in a grant application filed with the state Recreation and Conservation Funding Board.

The proposed complex has been controversial among residents, who cited concerns with traffic, increased noise and stormwater runoff.

More than a decade ago, the Spokane South Little League filed plans to develop a baseball complex on the 20-acre site at the southeast corner of 37th Avenue and Glenrose Road, then owned by Morning Star Boys’ Ranch.

The county determined in 2009 the project would not have an adverse impact on the environment.

The Glenrose Community Association appealed that decision, but it was upheld by the county’s hearing examiner, who stated a traffic study was required for the project and the league needed to comply with the county’s noise and disturbance standards.

The Morning Star Boys Ranch transferred the property to the Morning Star Foundation, which sold the property to South Spokane Little League in 2012.

The SYSA, which operates various youth sports leagues, purchased the property in 2016 for $476,000, according to Spokane County Assessor’s Office records.

The Glenrose Community Association sent a letter to the sports association in May, citing several permitting and legal hurdles for the project and asked the group to “address the serious concerns of the neighborhood.” The neighborhood association responded to the letter, stating it disagreed with its content.

The association claimed in the lawsuit that the project doesn’t meet the definition of “community recreation facility.” It sent a check for $1,152 , which was required by the county’s fee schedule, in July to complete a request to review the land-use definition, but Pederson returned the check, stating the county had already reviewed it.

Public comments on the project are due to the Building and Planning Department by Feb. 26. – A.E.

Kitty Cantina

plans April opening

Co-owners Justyn and Tori Cozza plan to open doors on The Kitty Cantina: A Cat Café in April, after the husband-and-wife team secured a location at 6704 N. Nevada St. in mid-January, Justyn Cozza said.

A glass wall will separate the café portion from the cat area, which will feature furry friends adoptable through SpokAnimal. The Cozzas came up with the idea for the cafe after visiting the cat cafe Neko, in Seattle.

Securing the space was no small feat, Justyn said, because landlords who were willing to accommodate a space used for both animals and food service proved to be difficult.

Securing a loan hindered plans as well. The café had a successful Kickstarter campaign – nearly 300 backers funded $13,566 – but lenders wouldn’t allow the Cozzas to include the money when proving their business could be viable.

“They were actually following it and rooting for us, they were great,” Justyn Cozza said. “They just said you just have to show that you are financially viable without it.” – M.R.

New eye clinic planned in Valley

Empire Eye Physicians is planning to build a new clinic in Spokane Valley.

Spokane-based Bernardo|Wills Architects has applied for permits on behalf of Empire Eye Physicians to build a 14,000-square-foot eye clinic and parking structure at 16010 E. Indiana Ave., adjacent to My Place Hotel.

Empire Eye Land LLC purchased the vacant site for $653,400 in 2019, according to the Spokane County Assessor’s Office.

The project is valued at $3.8 million, according to city documents.

Empire Eye Physicians was not immediately available for comment on the project.

Empire Eye Physicians has clinics in Coeur d’Alene and at 1414 N. Houk Road in Spokane Valley. – A.E.

Second Omnicare

set for Spokane

CVS Health Corp. is building a new Omnicare facility in north Spokane.

Omnicare Inc., a subsidiary of CVS Health Corp., is renovating an existing 18,500-square-foot building at 2830 N. Astor St. into an the facility, which will provide long-term, comprehensive pharmaceutical services to patients, according to an environmental review filed with the state Department of Ecology.

Evergreen Pharmaceutical LLC purchased the property for $2.2 million in April, according to the Spokane County Assessor’s Office.

Construction, which will employ about 70 people, is slated to begin in the spring, according to the environmental review.

The facility, once built, will be the second Omnicare location in Spokane. – A.E.

Contact Amy Edelen at (509) 459-5581 or at

Megan Rowe may be reached at (509) 459-5382 or at

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