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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane neighborhood groups strive for urban renewal

The drizzle last week did nothing to discourage Grayson and Megan Bjork from one of their regular visits to the South Perry commercial district. The young couple, taking turns holding their infant son, strolled among the vendors at the Thursday Market before heading off to check out the other nearby shops and restaurants. They had looked for a home in the trendy neighborhood just a couple of miles from downtown before choosing one elsewhere on the South Hill, but they still make it to South Perry as much as possible.

Rep. Matt Shea travels to Nevada to support defiant rancher

Spokane Valley state legislator Matt Shea traveled to Nevada last weekend to support defiant rancher Cliven Bundy’s stand that he doesn’t have to pay grazing fees on federal land. Shea is among a small coalition of legislators from Western states calling for federal lands to be handed over to states. The Nevada episode led to a standoff between Bundy and a large group of armed protesters against agents with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Council puts hold on additional projects like McDonald’s on Hamilton

Responding to community uproar over a planned McDonald’s drive-thru restaurant near Gonzaga University, the Spokane City Council this week imposed an emergency six-month moratorium on similar projects along Hamilton Street in the Logan neighborhood. It’s a largely symbolic effort since the moratorium won’t stop construction of the drive-thru at Augusta Avenue and North Hamilton Street, nor are there any other similar projects in the pre-planning stages at this point.

Opponents of planned subdivision in north Spokane County file lawsuit

Neighbors opposing a controversial subdivision in north Spokane County are taking their objections to court. A group that calls itself Citizens Affirming Responsible Development filed the lawsuit last week in Spokane County Superior Court seeking to overturn a preliminary plat for 25 homes on five acres at 17714 N. Hatch Road.

Spokane closes loophole for contested developments

In a bid to curb unwanted sprawl, Spokane city leaders Monday imposed new prohibitions on extending water and sewer service to potentially contested developments outside city limits until any legal challenges are resolved. The 4-2 vote capped a marathon evening of public testimony pitting developers and business boosters against environmental activists, planners and fiscal conservatives. Councilmen Mike Allen and Mike Fagan opposed it.

Muslim family fights small town in court for religious exemption

SPRINGDALE, Wash. – From the cluttered back stoop of Raqeebah Amatallah’s one-story farmhouse in rural Stevens County, it’s hard to see how the snow-covered wooden structure about 50 yards away could prompt years of legal battles. Inside, there’s evidence of human occupation: a wood stove with charred kindling, a hot plate with stains from countless cooked meals, and some empty coffee cans. But no one has been there for weeks, Amatallah said.

Cultures clash over lifestyle on Green Bluff

Green Bluff’s popularity has become a point of contention among people who live there – some are welcoming new event businesses, while others want to preserve the rural character of the northeast Spokane County neighborhood. The Spokane County Planning Commission on Thursday heard three hours of testimony on whether wedding and special-event businesses should be allowed.

County could open thousands of acres for development

Spokane County commissioners are poised to open raw land for new development, a boon for housing speculators. But the expansion could come with significant public costs. The county’s own draft environmental impact statement found that providing services to the expanded urban area would cost nearly $1 billion for new schools, parks, libraries and police protection. Those estimates don’t include the cost of road improvements, fire protection, and utility extensions and upgrades.

Fairchild buffers gain approval

Efforts to protect Fairchild Air Force Base from civilian encroachment took a big step forward with approval of new land-use regulations by the city of Airway Heights. The Airway Heights City Council on Monday unanimously approved a plan that follows recommendations from the U.S. Department of Defense for maintaining land buffers around the base for public safety.

County approves land-use rules protecting base

New land-use rules to protect Fairchild Air Force Base from civilian encroachment won unanimous approval from Spokane County commissioners on Thursday. They said the need to protect Fairchild as a military asset, but also an economic one, outweighed largely local concerns about the effect of the new rules on property values and uses.

Landowners blast base zoning plan

Spokane County commissioners on Tuesday were accused of trying to take away private property rights in a series of proposed land-use regulations intended to protect Fairchild Air Force Base from encroachment. Landowners said the new regulations would prevent them from obtaining zone changes to develop their property, even though their holdings are well outside of the current urban growth boundary.