Latah Valley Declaration

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - July 7, 2023

The Latah Valley of Spokane is a unique and historically significant area deserving of the highest levels of protection and advocacy possible to preserve its attributes and protect the quality of life for generations to come. However, for more than 20 years now, strategic comprehensive planning and timely implementation of infrastructure needs and preservation actions have been woefully lacking.
Beyond environmental threats to Latah Creek, prime farmland, and wildlife, the Latah Valley is underserved in basic public services. Despite all of this being obvious and understood, large scale development has been allowed to continue, creating multiple public safety and quality of life issues in the Latah Valley. More acutely the lives of people who live and visit here stand in real peril.
As identified in the Comprehensive Plan, Capital Facilities Plan, SRTC 2021 Study, 2017 Fire LOS Study, Parks Master Plan, and the city Water Plan, the list of violations and substandard quality of life indicators caused by the lack of oversight by the city and through the actions or inactions of numerous stakeholders, including the development community itself, is vast and appalling:
● Levels of service (LOS) for all US-195 Latah Valley intersections are rated FAILING LEVEL
● Fire service is at a FAILING LEVEL
● Lack of concern to the future of water in the area
● Parks and recreation access below levels of service
● No schools in the area (all students must be bused or drive outside the Latah Valley)
● No permanent fire station
● No public transportation
● No safe bikeable and walkable pathways
● No community center
● No library
● No nearby medical care
● No concerted effort to protect the wildlife corridors
● No concerted effort to preserve farmland

As such the residents of Latah Valley, supporters of Citizen Action for Latah Valley and the undersigned representing the HOAs of Latah Valley demand the following for the Latah Valley:
● A moratorium on all major development until the issues of planning, funding, and development approval processes are adequately addressed. RCW 90.58.590 36.70A.360 35A.63.220 WAC 173-27-085
● Construction and staffing of a permanent fire station within the next 5 years [CAPITAL FACILITIES BUDGET ]
● All identified roadway improvements addressed within the next 7 years [ City 6 yr Street Plan]
● Adoption of a comprehensive sub-area plan to be completed within the next 3 years [Comprehensive Plan]
● Adoption of a plan to preserve and protect the agricultural land and wildlife corridors within the next year
● Acquisition of land for preservation and protection to begin within the next 5 years [As offered by Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office]
● Detailed accounting of how all the necessary infrastructure/services lacking in the Latah Valley will be paid for and when each item on that list will be sufficiently addressed, within the next 2 years.
● Overhaul the approval process for development such that infrastructure and preservation needs are adequately addressed before development occurs, within the next 5 years
● Parks for all citizens are operating above minimums for levels of service within the next 10 years. [ PARK PLAN]

The situation in the Latah Valley is one of crisis and opportunity. The crisis is that lives are in peril daily because of the roadway system and the lack of adequate fire protection. The opportunity comes from the stakeholders and how they choose to approach the needs and realities of the Latah Valley. By taking a very different approach vs. merely following the protocols as they are, the Latah Valley could be a model of how to balance the various interests to the benefit of all. This area is ripe for a future that combines development, preservation, and levels of service. We, the residents of Latah Valley, supporters of Citizen Action for Latah Valley, and the undersigned representing the HOAs of the Latah Valley insist that there be more coordination, action, and results from all involved.
Kai Huschke
Adam Marshall
Molly Marshall
Citizen Action for Latah Valley

Brian Newberry, President
Eagle Ridge Homeowners Association

Mike Bafigo, President
Bob McVicars, Vice President
Overlook at Qualchan Homeowners Association

Bob Davis, President
Qualchan Hills Homeowners Association

Ted Buescher, President
Jeff Warren, Treasurer
Overlook Place at Qualchan Homeowners Association

Joseph Lenti
Latah Hangman Neighborhood Council

Joy Sheikh
Grandview/Thorpe Neighborhood Council


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