The Spokane Valley City Council is expected to learn a little more about a potential land partnership with the Spokane County Library District next Tuesday night.
While there won’t be any firm decisions made at the regular April 10 meeting – the items appear on the “administrative report” section of agenda – city staffers will brief council members on new information that could result in a future land purchase on the property, which is owned by Pring Corp.
In January, library representatives approached the council on partnering on the land, which is located on the north side of Sprague at Herald Road. Under the proposal, the city would purchase the entire eight acres, assessed for $1.5 million, and develop the eastern portion for the expansion of Balfour Park. The library district would later reimburse the city, provided it could receive voter approval on a planned 2015 bond vote to build a replacement Spokane Valley Library branch.
The library in question would be a 50,000-square-foot facility, which would include a 200-seat auditorium. There would also be conference rooms and study areas included. The existing library on Main Avenue west of Pines Road would be closed.
The city would pay for the land through its Capital Projects Fund, which has a balance of $3.4 million.
Pring Corp. is owned by Jack Pring, a well-known Spokane Valley businessman who has contributed money to the campaigns of six of the seven members sitting on the City Council.
Also on Tuesday’s agenda, the council will be asked to approve the first reading of its revamped sign code amendments, as suggested by the Spokane Valley Planning Commission.
The new revisions essentially loosen many of the existing sign rules, including the allowance of wall sings on multifamily buildings, letting businesses have more freestanding signs, and allowing businesses to utilize off-premises signs for directional uses. A-frame signs would also be allowed.
Rules would also be relaxed on temporary signs, which previously required securing a permit, as long as they’re in good shape and displayed one at a time.
When the talk turned by some council members to allowing more signs in shorter amounts of distance on busy arterials, city staffers warned that some restrictions are necessary.
“You have to think of the amount of clutter you would be adding, as well,” said John Hohman, senior engineer of development.
Final approval is expected on April 24.
Finally, the council is expected to make its final decision to approve a new ordinance that would do away with the permit process that allows for the “Fill the Boot” campaign to utilize firefighters soliciting for cash in traffic at busy intersections for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
While the summer fundraiser is done more safely than others, city legal officials worry that other groups may not have the same fortune – or training – to continuously enter busy intersections without getting hurt.
The council unanimously approved the first reading of the ordinance at its March 27 meeting. There were no comments from the public on the issue.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, at Spokane Valley City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.