While the city of Spokane Valley continues to work out details of a possible land purchase for a new park, SCLD’s board of trustees got a peek at the city’s traffic impact analysis of the site, which could include a new library.
At Tuesday regular meeting of the Spokane County Library District board, the trustees unanimously agreed to move forward with an interlocal agreement with the city of Spokane Valley to build a library on vacant land at Herald Road and Sprague Avenue while the city expands Balfour Park at the same location.
According to the study, the site – which is owned by Pring Corp. and located across the street from the former University City shopping center – would generate around 50 trips an hour during weekdays. That number would jump to nearly 350 on Saturdays.
“I find that kind of negligible,” said Vice Chairwoman Mary Lloyd.
“That would also include visits to the park,” said Nancy Ledeboer, SCLD executive director.
The city has already signed a letter of intent to purchase the property from Jack Pring, with the intention of building a park regardless of the library district’s success in passing a bond to pay for a new library on the west end of the site.
Should the bond vote – which would likely occur sometime in 2015 – pass, the library district would reimburse the city for the property it would use.
The traffic study of potential impacts did not recommend any mitigation, however Spokane Valley Fire Department officials have raised concerns over the possibility of increased traffic – and greater delays – in getting out of Station 1, which is located on the east end of the site at Balfour Road and Sprague. Fire crews are already delayed by up to one minute and 20 seconds when they must go east out of the station and have to contend with one-way Sprague that goes west.
Library trustees also raised some of the concerns that fire administrators have: How to deal with traffic that is generated by a church that is also nearby along with that generated by nearby commercial centers.
“It is a tight fit in terms of cars,” Ledeboer said. “It’s a problem that’s always been there regardless of what we do with that property.”
Trustees suggested splitting the park and library parking areas in order to avoid “a sea of asphalt.” Lloyd also encouraged a separate bathroom area for park users and putting some distance between the library and a proposed farmers market.
Trustee Ann Apperson said she also wants to make sure the library will be easily seen from Sprague Avenue.
“We want visibility,” she said.
Ledeboer said SCLD and the city would continue to work out the details as the agreement goes forward.
“We just want to tell the city that, yes, we’re still in,” she said.