They might be iced over or muddy at the moment, but Spokane Valley’s shorelines are still a subject of intense interest to city officials.
Last week, the City Council was given a brief history and update of the Shoreline Master Program, including the current designations and regulations inherited from Spokane County upon incorporation in 2003.
Since the county’s plan encompassed the entire incorporated area – and was developed in the 1970s – quite a bit of changes need to be made to Spokane Valley’s own plan, which is set to be adopted sometime in 2013.
Lori Barlow, senior planner, told the council on Jan. 17 that the existing plan – which is no longer even used by Spokane County, which updated its shoreline program in 2009 – is severely out of date.
“We want to have a Shoreline Master Program that is going to be representative of our community,” she said.
Barlow said the city has already completed its inventory of its shorelines as to who owns certain properties. It also has recorded the condition of those shorelines.
There also have been legal wrangling between Coyote Rock developers, who have been seeking to place docks on the Spokane River, and environmentalists who have sued to stop project.
City staff continues to work with property owners, environmental advocates and businesses to put together a list of goals and policies for the final document. The plan has been stalled periodically as these fine points are worked through.
“We want to get it as detailed as we can benefit property owners down the road,” said John Hohman, community development director.
Council Member Chuck Hafner said it’s important to remember that the completed plan should be easy for the public to understand.
“We need to remember the K.I.S.S. principle,” Hafner said. “’Keep it simple, stupid.’”
In other news, the council unanimously approved adding a funding request to be submitted to the state Legislature for the Sullivan Road replacement bridge project. The cost estimate to replace the 60-year-old southbound bridge is $19.7 million. Currently the city has received $8 million in Federal Bridge Replacement Funds and $2 million in state grant funds from the Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board.
The majority of the council was in Olympia this week attending the City Legislative Action Conference, so there was no meeting on Tuesday. The next meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Spokane Valley City Hall.