Before undertaking any task, it’s good to have a goal in mind.
With that philosophy, the Spokane Valley City Council unanimously approved Tuesday night the “goals and policies” component – the first of several – of a Shoreline Master Program for the city.
The council has already had a couple of run-throughs on the subject already, with only a few tweaks from the city Planning Commission draft approved in late June. The commission did a lot of the heavy lifting by meeting several times over the document, which was prepared by an advisory group.
The document will be the benchmark for rules on how the city’s shorelines – whether on the Spokane River, Shelley Lake and even gravel pits – in the future.
On July 24, when the council last went over the document, city staffers were directed to incorporate language that recognizes the Centennial Trail as an economic asset. Beyond that, perceived conflicting language was cleaned up in other areas.
On Tuesday, satisfied there would still be opportunities to make modifications to the draft in the future, the council gave its approval.
“It will still be acknowledged as a draft,” said Lori Barlow, senior planner. “We anticipate the opportunity to go back and make changes. It’s just one of the pieces and it will sit and wait for the other segments of the Shoreline Master Program to be completed.”
Speaking of waiting, the council finally had the opportunity – and quickly seized it – to approve a resolution to a longstanding stalemate with Spokane County over billing for a portion of the city’s law enforcement contract.
City officials had long claimed that Spokane County overcharged Spokane Valley for law-enforcement services between 2003 and 2009. County number-crunchers, on the other hand, said the city owed additional funds for services beyond what had already been paid. Efforts at mediation were unsuccessful, but a new law-enforcement contract was drawn up in 2010 which attempted to settle the dispute. In a nutshell, both parties have been eager for the issue to end and drafted settle-and-adjust language whereby either party did not have to pay the other.
The motion to approve the agreement was approved unanimously.