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City of Spokane Proposes Regional Latah Valley Fire Station proposal - Let’s Help Make It Happen!

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - Jan. 7, 2024


Proposal for Permanent Latah Valley Fire Station
The City of Spokane is proposing to build a new fire station and emergency management coordination center in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) of Latah Valley. A fully capable and staffed fire station has been lacking in our area for some time as you are all well aware. Last summer was a stark and tragic reminder of just how devastating fire can be when homes and businesses are part of a WUI such as the one that exists throughout the entire Latah Valley. We want to seize on the momentum behind the current proposal and funding request. Here is where we need your help:

Let the State Know Latah Valley Needs Funding

While the State Legislature does not generally fund city fire stations, the City is hopeful that a multi-jurisdictional emergency management coordination center would serve the broader regional WUI area and is aligned with the State’s comprehensive efforts toward wildfire management and mitigation. The center would not only serve to protect Latah Valley and the City of Spokane, but also the regional WUI area including parts of unincorporated Spokane County. This facility would make a tremendous difference in assisting the efforts of DNR and WSDOT in wildfire prevention and suppression efforts in the region.

To that end, we need you to contact our local State representatives: tell them you support this proposal and effort and that a fully equipped and staffed fire station is crucial for this area. We need you to tell your stories about the events of last summer in our Valley, and the fire incidents you’ve endured in the past. Tell them that a regional approach to firefighting (combining City resources and planning with County and State agencies) best suits the conditions and needs of the Latah Valley.

Please contact the following representatives for our area:

marcus.riccelli@leg.wa.gov

andy.billig@leg.wa.gov

timm.ormsby@leg.wa.gov


Same Motto, New Year - Infrastructure Before Development

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - Dec. 28, 2023


Happenings in 2023
With the year about to close out, CALV is reaching out to say thank you! The unified effort of the Latah Valley to bring voice to the needs and possibilities of this special corner of Spokane has and continues to have a positive impact. With effort from so many of you, we’ve have managed to bridge neighborhood, political, and economic divides in the name of bettering a place we all call home. The following was achieved in 2023 because of you and CALV:

● Higher transportation and GFC impact fees to help raise funding for necessary infrastructure
● CALV hosted a stakeholder summit with city, county, state electeds, and agency representatives to better understand and address the situation in the Latah Valley
● Election of a mayor and city council representatives who have pledged to enact a new moratorium in the name of addressing the many infrastructure needs of the Latah Valley
● Multiple news articles on the Latah Valley including those highlighting the fire danger in the area

Opportunities in 2024
Prior to and post the recent city elections CALV has been busy on multiple fronts. The following is a short list, of a potentially longer list, of opportunities coming in 2024:

● New moratorium - CALV has been working with members of the city council on getting a new moratorium enacted shortly into the new year. This moratorium would focus on planning, funding, and infrastructure improvements. Email or call the mayor’s office and the city council and let them know you support a moratorium.
● Living Latah Valley project - CALV, along with supportive partners, are working on a project proposal that would place conservation and preservation at the center of protecting the quality of Latah Valley and to shape development around that.
● Adjusting the process for approving developments - There are a number of deficiencies that CALV has identified in the development approval process. With the new formulation of the mayor’s office and city council, there are opportunities to correct current deficiencies.
● Stakeholder summit - The stakeholder summit from 2023 was very successful and a critical first step. A second summit is being considered in 2024 as a means to move decision makers into better collaboration with one another for the good of the valley.
Once again thank you for all that you do for the Latah Valley including supporting the efforts of CALV.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year!
CALV

Lisa Brown = mayor@spokanecity.org
Paul Dillon= pdillon@spokanecity.org
Michael Cathcart = mcathcart@spokanecity.org
Jonathan Bingle = jbingle@spokanecity.org
Betsy Wilkerson = bwilkerson@spokanecity.org
Zac Zappone = ZZappone@spokanecity.org
Kitty Klitzke = kklitzke@spokanecity.org


Town Hall with Commissioner French Dec 14th/US195-Meadowlane J-Turn Dec 6th

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - Dec. 5, 2023


Two important meetings are happening in the next two weeks. This is an opportunity to help shape the future and advocate for
a Latah Valley sub-area plan.
We look forward to seeing you there!

Town Hall Meeting
Dec 14th, Thursday at 5:30pm
Board of the County Commissioners Hearing Room
Lower Level of Public Works Building
1026 W Broadway

Funding Proposal for Latah Valley Improvements
Commissioner Al French is hosting this town hall to discuss the following:

Transportation
Community Center
Park
New Fire Station


AND
J- Turn Community Meeting
The city is hosting a meeting to discuss the J-Turn at US 195/Meadowlane
Dec 6th, Wednesday 6:30-8pm
Mullan Road Elementary Multipurpose Rm
2616 E 63rd Ave


Supporting Those Who Will Support Us

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - Oct. 18, 2023


Pro Latah Valley - Supporting Those Who Will Support Us

Citizen Action for Latah Valley (CALV) is all about its name, meaning we are dedicated to doing all that we can to protect, preserve, and advocate for the future of the Latah Valley. This doesn't mean acting without connection to and supporting the needs and realities of the rest of Spokane and the broader region, but we do hold this area of ours in high esteem and have spent a lot of time and energy over the last two years attempting to get others to recognize how special this place is. There are those running for office in Spokane that have shown a commitment, not just a perspective of we'll build our way of this situation, and ensure Latah Valley is a priority.

Based on hearing what the Latah Valley needs (a moratorium being a primary need in order to get real stuff done), reinforcing their commitment to help, and working through how to go about dealing with the decades of neglect, CALV has endorsed these three candidates:
Lisa Brown - Candidate for Mayor of Spokane
Betsy Wilkerson - Candidate for Spokane City Council President
Paul Dillion - Candidate for Spokane City Council District 2 representative
Latah Valley is On the Ballot

Because of you and your dedication the Latah Valley is a prime issue on this year's ballot. Several of you have been trying for years to get the city and other stakeholders to listen and ultimately act in the best interest of this area. Congratulations, the Latah Valley is front and center and will likely stay there so long as our collective efforts continue as they have. Doing what is needed and best for the Latah Valley isn't linked to any political party or political ideology but is about bringing together those who will work to do what is right for the Latah Valley. It's going to take a lot of effort from various agencies, departments, and people, regardless of political affiliation, over a number of years to work towards providing for the needs of the Latah Valley. CALV's efforts are all about getting what needs to get done and working with those who can provide the necessary support and resources.


These candidates will be in Latah Valley on Thursday Oct 19th dropping off the above flyers in Eagle Ridge, Qualchan Hills, Grandview/Thorpe, and Vinegar Flats.
If you have time to help from 9am-12pm, please meet at
Yoke's Fresh Market- Latah
4235 Cheney Spokane Rd


A Moratorium is the right tool for the job!

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - Oct. 4, 2023


A moratorium is the right tool for this job!

In September 2022 a moratorium was put in place for six months but it only dealt with certain building fees (transportation impact fees and general facilitated charges). That moratorium paused development while the fees and aspects related to them could be reviewed, with the outcome ultimately being an increase for both.

With roadways, fire protection, water, and other services being non-existent to substandard to failing still a reality in the Latah Valley, the call has been for the city to enact a new moratorium to better address the serious realities of this area. There is a commitment from existing electeds as well as candidates for positions on the city council and for mayor who support enacting a moratorium in order to address, more substantively, the needs of the Latah Valley. There are also those in office or running for office who say development should continue and are opposed to a moratorium yet offer no alternatives/solutions.

A moratorium on major development would allow for time and space in order to more substantively address the deficiencies of the Latah Valley. Not everything can be fixed while a pause on building is in place. However, it would, in a very real way, allow the whole valley to breathe easier as certain aspects are either resolved or steps are put in motion to solve problems in this area. The Latah Valley is woefully behind on a laundry list of infrastructure needs. Allowing more development to happen without addressing some of these critical needs only pushes the whole area further and further behind the curve and increases the likelihood of major losses due to traffic related events and fire danger.

Listed below is a simple breakdown on moratoriums. Keep writing the city council, mayors office, and writing letters to the editor calling for a moratorium on major development in the Latah Valley.

Thank you,
CALV

A Moratorium = Accountability
We have seen what happens when the city has no
obligation to address issues


What is a moratorium?
A moratorium is a pause. It is a legal action that suspends an authorized activity. In the case of the Latah Valley the moratorium sought is a legal suspending of major development.

How is a building moratorium justified?
The adoption of a moratorium is meant as an emergency action. In regards to development the emergency could pertain to planning, building fee structures, environmental concerns, level of services, or permitting processes. In the case of Latah Valley all of these could apply with two strongest ones being level of services (i.e. fire response) and planning (i.e. sub area plan). So the moratorium is written to address specific issues.

Who enacts a moratorium?
In the case of the City of Spokane, the city council (as the legislative body) can enact a moratorium. This can be done by a simple majority vote. However, the mayor can veto that vote and without a super majority (5) of the city council .

How long can it last?
A moratorium is good for six months. It can be renewed for additional six month periods so long as the emergency action can be justified through work plans.

Resources
RCW
Attorney letter to the city
Crosscut article: https://crosscut.com/2018/05/slow-growth-some-washington-cities-halt-development

Nadine Woodward = mayor@spokanecity.org
Ryan Oelrich = Roelrich@spokanecity.org
Michael Cathcart = mcathcart@spokanecity.org
Jonathan Bingle = jbingle@spokanecity.org
Lori Kinnear = lkinnear@spokanecity.org
Betsy Wilkerson = bwilkerson@spokanecity.org
Zac Zappone = ZZappone@spokanecity.org
Karen Stratton = kstratton@spokanecity.org


Recap - Engage - Comment

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - Sept. 29, 2023


CALV MEETING - SEPTEMBER 28TH
Thank you all for attending last night’s Community Meeting of 40+. With many newcomers and thought-provoking discussions, the meeting was time well spent. The threat of fire has become a hot topic affecting both the Latah Valley and other parts of Spokane. This highlights the need for a permanent fire station and effective options for neighborhood evacuation. As requested by several members, we have attached the PowerPoint for Latah Valley’s Summit and the 28 Sep meeting. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Sep 28 Meeting Presentation
Latah Summit Presentation

Comment Comment Comment

October 4th - BOCA/BOH
Spokane City is also updating the city’s Comprehensive Plan/municipal code as it relates to land use and incorporating the guidelines for the state authorized (BOCA – Building Opportunities and Choices for All). BOCA has potential for being a valuable tool in creating additional housing, however it does NOT currently include a waiver for areas that do not have existing adequate infrastructure. Please send your comments requesting a waiver be included to restrict BOCA use in areas that lack adequate infrastructure *Deadline to comment Oct 4th.
Send comments to developmentcode@spokanecity.org

October 4th
A public hearing is scheduled Oct 4th at 9am to finalize the “Greens at Meadowlane II” development. You can send your comments in or appear to testify. If you are interested, please contact us as we have valuable data and talking points to make your comments impactful.

October 9th
The draft 6-year Capital Facilities Plan (2024-2029) shows a permanent Station 5 still unfunded. A window of opportunity exists now to send comment to the city supporting the need for a new Station 5. *Deadline to comment is Oct 9th
Send comments to compplan@spokanecity.org

District 2 Council Forum Sept 30 4:30 pm Liberty Park Library Paul Dillon and Katey Treloar


Meeting Sept 28th, Thursday at 6pm

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - Sept. 26, 2023


Latah Valley meeting Thursday
September 28th at 6pm
NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING
A lot has transpired since CALV held a meeting with Latah Valley residents in late spring. We are overdue to meet, so please make the time to attend.

Latah Valley Residents Meeting (hosted by CALV)
Thursday, September 28th
6:00pm
St. John's Lutheran Church
5810 S. Meadowlane


Staying Connected. Staying Vigilant - Latah Valley meeting September 28th

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - Sept. 16, 2023


Staying Connected. Staying Vigilant - Latah Valley meeting September 28th
NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING
A lot has transpired since CALV held a meeting with Latah Valley residents in late spring. We are overdue to meet, so please make the time to attend.

Latah Valley Residents Meeting (hosted by CALV)
Thursday, September 28th
6:00pm
St. John's Lutheran Church
5810 S. Meadowlane




KEEPING UP THE PRESSURE - LATAH VALLEY NEEDS A MORATORIUM
Though a lot has taken place since meeting in late spring very little has advanced regarding the infrastructure needs for the Latah Valley. What has happened though is that the development community has been more vocal in downplaying the benefits of a moratorium all the while driving full speed ahead with development proposals with no plan or stated intention to address the infrastructure needs beyond what they are mandated to do. Adding more and more homes to the Latah Valley with no infrastructure improvements is akin to adding fuel to a dangerous fire, and no amount of rhetoric that ignores infrastructure before development will alter that reality.

It's up to us to keep up the pressure on the city to take action here. The action is not a moratorium as an end goal but as a common-sense starting point to really address the planning and funding shortfalls needed for the Latah Valley. AND to keep the residents of Latah Valley SAFE!

Remember

A moratorium is not a social statement but a legal way for cities to act when public safety is threatened.
A moratorium can last for more than 6 months by a council vote and public comment.
The last moratorium established a Latah Valley district for traffic impact fees so the money collected stays in the Valley.
Impact fees pay for future development and cannot be used to fix current deficiencies or operational expenses.
There are NO impact fees for fire, schools, parks, public transportation, or community centers. Increased Development will not contribute to these services.
There are three candidates running for office - Lisa Brown, Betsy Wilkerson, and Paul Dillion - that agree and are ready to support the moratorium and the work that will come from having a moratorium in place.

It really is time again for a moratorium. US 195 has always been the main issue but after this summer, the need to address and FIX fire protection and evacuation is very clear. Yet once again, replacing Fire Station 5 will continue to remain unfunded on the capital facilities draft six-year plan 2024-2029. Fire, roads, schools, public transportation, environmental protection, and so on, the list of critical needs is long for the Latah Valley. Email, call, write the mayor and city council....let them know we need a solution and until they can find one, a moratorium should be adopted.

Nadine Woodward = mayor@spokanecity.org
Ryan Oelrich = Roelrich@spokanecity.org
Michael Cathcart = mcathcart@spokanecity.org
Jonathan Bingle = jbingle@spokanecity.org
Lori Kinnear = lkinnear@spokanecity.org
Betsy Wilkerson = bwilkerson@spokanecity.org
Zac Zappone = ZZappone@spokanecity.org
Karen Stratton = kstratton@spokanecity.org


The Summer of Fires

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - Sept. 6, 2023


FIRE. FIRE. FIRE.
First off, we want to thank the first responders and support agencies for their outstanding efforts on the ground and in the air over these last four months. Latah Valley, as most everyone knows first-hand, has experienced numerous fire events which consumed dozens of acres and had potential for widespread destruction, putting lives in danger. Had it not been for the decisive response and minor wind conditions in otherwise highly dangerous environmental conditions, hundreds of additional homes and people would have been at risk or lost



Here is a snapshot of these events:
May 1st Grandview House Fire – full response, seven fire trucks, stopped fire on hill below the house.
https://my.spokanecity.org/fire/news/2023/05/01/grandview-residential-fire/

May 13th Qualchan House Fire – 2 Alarm response 20+ fire trucks, stopped fire on hill below house
https://my.spokanecity.org/fire/news/2023/05/15/second-alarm-house-fire-latah-valley/

July 31st
Car Fire on US 195 – Brush fire burned uphill threatening homes in Eagle Ridge
Hallett Fire https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2023/aug/01/west-hallett-fire-spokane-wildfire-contained-but-e/
Chief Schaeffer says, “Latah Valley is on an island, and we can’t deliver the response requirement of 17 firefighters in 11 mins”. https://vimeo.com/850352232 10:17 min mark

Aug 3rd Sunset Fire
https://my.spokanecity.org/fire/news/2023/08/04/major-wildland-fire-in-sunset-hills-causes-evacuations/

Aug 20th Thorpe Fire
https://my.spokanecity.org/fire/news/2023/08/21/15-acre-wildfire-in-westwood-natural-area-prompts-level-2-evacuations/
Evacuation did occur for some, and many experienced block roads, poor communication/notifications, and traffic jams. Our hearts go out to the victims of the Gray and Oregon Rd Fire. These fires demonstrated just how vulnerable we are. The time for change is now, we must ensure the safety of our residents and first responders.

WE NEED ACTION. WE NEED A MORATORIUM. WE NEED SOLUTIONS.

We know of at least three candidates running for office who want the change needed for the Latah Valley. On August 17th, Paul Dillon (candidate for Spokane City Council District 2), Betsy Wilkerson (candidate for Spokane Council President), and Lisa Brown (candidate for Spokane Mayor) publicly called for a moratorium asking for, “a pause on new residential development in the Latah Valley until the necessary public safety facilities can be planned for and funded.”

The fire events alone from this summer reinforce what we have been asking for from the beginning….a moratorium. We need to address the public safety issues in the Latah Valley, but we also need to find solutions. We need you to get the word out.

We should not wait until the November election to press for what is needed in the Latah Valley, so please email all the Spokane city council members and the mayor, and encourage your neighbors to do the same. Contact them and call for a moratorium until we can find real solutions for all the issues we are facing in the Latah Valley.

TEMPLATE LETTER FOR MORATORIUM

Dear [city council member; mayor]

It has been a summer of devastating and deadly fires for the Spokane area. Though spared of the incredible loss experienced by those affected by the Oregon Road and Gray Fires, the Latah Valley had several close calls which included Level 3 evacuations. I am contacting you today to enact a moratorium on major development in the Latah Valley (Grandview/Thorpe, Latah/Hangman, Eagle Ridge, Qualchan) besides all the other underserved or missing infrastructure, deficient level of service for fire response alone warrants such action.

Lack of adequate planning and monitoring by the city over the last 20+ years, along with a long list of infrastructure missing in the Latah Valley has positioned the residents literally in harm's way along with many other quality of life aspects one should expect from a neighborhood in Spokane. This area cannot handle any level of major development adequately, responsibly, or safely until comprehensive planning is complete. Increasing traffic impact fees and general facility charges were important but still insufficient. Latah Valley requires dedicated city funding and action now for needed infrastructure.


There is a pathway to balance the integrity of the Latah Valley, protect the agricultural and wildlife corridors, manage traffic movements, and allow for smart development adequately, safely, and mindfully. That can only happen by pausing more major development in an area that lacks community resources and appropriate infrastructure.

The pressure to grow Spokane should never come at the expense of preserving what makes Spokane a wonderful place to live. Please do the right thing – enact a moratorium on major development in the Latah Valley until comprehensive planning can be undertaken and funding sources identified for needed infrastructure.



Sincerely,

________________
Nadine Woodward = mayor@spokanecity.org
Ryan Oelrich = Roelrich@spokanecity.org
Michael Cathcart = mcathcart@spokanecity.org
Jonathan Bingle = jbingle@spokanecity.org
Lori Kinnear = lkinnear@spokanecity.org
Betsy Wilkerson = bwilkerson@spokanecity.org
Zac Zappone = ZZappone@spokanecity.org
Karen Stratton = kstratton@spokanecity.org


Sunset Fire - Thoughts From My First Wildland Fire Evacuation

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - Aug. 18, 2023


On Monday July 31st, my family felt compelled to sit down and discuss our evacuation plan after witnessing the Hallett Fire that occurred off the Cheney-Spokane/Marshall Rd south of Spokane. How would we evacuate? What would we take or leave? How would we get out of our neighborhood? We thought we had a decent plan but less than three days later we were proven wrong.

Just prior to 2pm on Aug 3rd a brush fire was reported on the northside of Sunset and Rustle Rd. While outside getting the mail, I noticed a large plume of smoke and decided to investigate. A couple of us then headed out on our bikes and were surprised by a large tanker aircraft making a low pass. The plume of white smoke was building quickly just northwest of the Grandview neighborhood, which is where we live. Standing with several neighbors on a viewpoint overlooking I-90, we watched as trees in the Finch Arboretum ignited in flames. It felt like something you’d expect to see in a movie. As multiple aircraft continued dropping water and fire-retardant, we received the first Level 2 evacuation notice (be prepared to leave the area) on our cell phones.

But not all our family members received notification which was concerning. Had our neighbors been notified? It was decided we should split up; one person would check in with our elderly neighbor to the left and one would go to the neighbor on the right and make sure they were aware of the situation. We then received a phone call from our neighbor across the street. They had lost their home to a fire in May and are currently living in an apartment near Indian Canyon Golf Course. They had received a Level 3 evacuation notice (leave the area immediately) but had no way to leave because their car was in for repairs.

With our neighborhood at a Level 2, three members of our family started packing to evacuate while the fourth left to help our stranded neighbors. Our cell phones were flooded with texts and calls from neighbors sharing information and comparing the latest updates on the fire. We checked social media and the TV to get current information, but updates were not coming fast enough. After waiting for what seemed too long, one family member drove up the street to see what was happening and was met by a skateboarder alerting neighbors that the police had just informed him to evacuate, our neighborhood was now at a Level 3. We never received this notification on our cell phones, and numerous neighbors on our street had no idea there was a Level 2 let alone Level 3 evacuation for our neighborhood. Thankfully through texts, calls, and door knocking, the message got out.

We left our house with a few bags, three dogs and a goldfish, split between two cars. Our exit route was congested with others trying to evacuate so we got split up in the chaos. Thankfully we had decided to meet at Rosauer’s on 3rd Ave to re-group and were relieved when everyone arrived safely. Through another evacuee from the West Hills, we learned they had opened a shelter at Spokane Falls Community College, but traffic was at a standstill on Sunset Blvd in both directions and it wasn’t clear if Government Way was open.
At 5:30 pm, we received notification via cell phones that the evacuation order had been lifted. We had to wait longer before we returned because the roads were still congested. The evacuation was over but, on the drive back home, we received the Level 3 evacuation notification from hours prior. The next morning, we received another Level 2 evacuation notice which apparently was made in error. The communication was confusing throughout the entire incident, which did nothing to minimize stress levels.

Driving back into our intact neighborhood and home, the feelings of gratitude and genuine appreciation washed over me for the amazing, coordinated effort of the folks in the air and on the ground who averted this disaster. They have my most sincere thanks.

Prior to that day, actual evacuation was only theoretical but all that changed on Aug 3rd. As our family reflected on that day, some things came to mind that might be helpful to others. Here is a list of suggestions that we came up with should a future evacuation be necessary:

1. Develop a family plan with multiple options. Think about the what if’s...you are an expert on where you live.
2. Develop community-get to know your neighbors!
3. Contact your neighborhood council and help put together a plan for your neighborhood. Identify residents that may need assistance.
4. Sign up for alerts with Spokane County Department of Emergency Management.
5. Follow Spokane News, the Fire Chief, and other Fire Districts on Facebook and Twitter.
6. Download real-time apps that track incidents and display maps like Watch Duty. Accurate and timely information is critical.

Besides our own preparedness and responsibility in these situations, we also know it’s not just about us and the residents of this area. Both the Hallett and Sunset fires occurred in an area called the WUI – Wildland/Urban Interface where structures like houses and residents intermingle with undeveloped wildland. This makes fighting fires even more challenging as typically these areas are heavily treed, have steeper terrain, and fewer roads for access and evacuation. Fast and efficient evacuation is paramount in these emergency situations. Spokane has many neighborhoods and areas that are in the WUI and are designated as extreme risk for wildfire. These fires from last week are no anomaly and we should expect to see more fires within our city. Were we just lucky to have these resources available or should we be asking some hard questions? Such as:

1. Are abundant resources guaranteed to be available like air support, fire fighters, police, and emergency responders.
2. What are the true risks for neighborhoods in Spokane with only one or two evacuation routes?
3. Are there neighborhood emergency response plans? (It now appears one third of our neighborhood never received prepare to evacuate or evacuate notices, and the only road out of the neighborhood for them was through a Level 3 evacuation area).
4. Is water infrastructure and water pressure adequate to handle wildfires in Spokane, especially the Latah Valley?
5. Are residents receiving notifications and communication effectively?
6. Does increased growth and development in areas of Spokane lacking adequate infrastructure to support current residents make sense?

For the Spokane community, we all have an important part to play. A high risk of wildfire and challenging evacuation scenarios exist within the city limits. Mitigating these risks and becoming a more resilient city will require a whole community approach. Collaboration between residents, Emergency Management, community leaders and neighborhoods will be essential to plan and prepare for future emergencies that threaten where we live.


Congratulations Latah Valley!

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - July 9, 2023


“You never know what's around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you've climbed a mountain.”
― Tom Hiddleston
Congratulations Latah Valley! Our issues have been recognized and are important to the upcoming elections. We are looking for representation from leaders that support a moratorium and are willing to roll up their sleeves to find solutions. Check out today's Spokesman Review.

https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2023/jul/09/does-woodward-deserve-4-more-years-incumbent-brown/


Latah Valley Declaration

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - July 7, 2023


DECLARATION for the LATAH VALLEY
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


Declaring a Better Future for the Latah Valley - May 18th @ 6pm

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - May 12, 2023


On May 18th the residents of the Latah Valley and supporters of Citizen Action for Latah Valley will be signing off on the Latah Valley Declaration. It's time we get even louder in demanding the future we want and calling out the critical issues that have and will make this area dangerous and undesirable if deep changes don't occur.

We demand better!

Citizen Action for Latah Valley
Neighbors and Supporters Meeting
Thursday, May18th at 6pm,
St. John’s Lutheran Church
5810 E Meadowlane. 

We'll also cover other items at the May 18th meeting including legal options and keeping up the pressure to get the city enact a new moratorium (see the meeting agenda below).
  
CALV financial update + call for donations!
Latah Valley Declaration - discussion and vote
Report from Councilwoman Betsy Wilkerson
Water report from Ken VanVoorhis
Legal options that are on the table
June meeting of the all the players
Moratorium, Moratorium, Moratorium - how to keep common sense alive?

Please email the mayor, city council, fire department, and state legislators.  Call for a moratorium because of the following safety issues:


Areas operating below/failing level of service requirements

US195 multiple intersections operating LOS F (failing).   
Fire Station #5 – temporary, directed to have been replaced by 2020 per hearing examiners decision.  2023 was the first year it appeared on the capital facilities plan but is unfunded.  Latah valley identified as underserved in multiple areas.                
Parks – 2022 adopted master plan shows multiple areas in Latah Valley as underserved and operating below LOS.                     
Water – Multiple infrastructure deficiencies with boosters, reservoirs and pipes
And more development will make the issues even more dangerous!

mayor@spokanecity.org
lkinnear@spokanecity.org
bwilkerson@spokanecity.org
bbeggs@spokanecity.org
bschaeffer@spokanecity.org
marcus.riccelli@leg.wa.gov
timm.ormsby@leg.wa.gov
andy.billig@leg.wa.gov


May 1st Recap - NEXT meeting MAY 18th

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - May 5, 2023


Thank you all for coming on Monday night for our neighborhood meeting. Lisa Brown (mayoral candidate), Paul Dillon, Cyndi Donahue, and Katey Treloar ( City Council candidates for District #2) came to listen and speak to the group. We also heard comments from the Fire Chief, Fire Marshal, and County Commissioner. It was such a great conversation that we have decided to have another meeting on Thursday, May18th at 6pm, St John’s Lutheran Church 5810 E Meadowlane.

Here are the facts……….

2867 homes in the permitting process for Latah Valley (17 different developments)
Areas operating below/failing level of service requirements

1. US195 multiple intersections operating LOS F(failing). 2021 SRTC study
2. Fire Station #5 – temporary, should have been replaced by 2020 per hearing examiners decision. 2023 was the first year it appeared on the capital facilities plan but is unfunded. Latah valley identified as underserved in multiple areas. 2017 Fire LOS study Hearing examiners results
3. Parks – 2022 adopted master plan shows multiple areas in Latah Valley as underserved and operating below LOS. Parks Master Plan
4. Water – Multiple deficiencies - Eagle Ridge 1, Eagle Ridge II, Cedar Hills and the Qualchan Low. The following projects need to be completed before new construction. Water Plan pg 587

o Qualchan Booster Station
o Qualchan Twin Tanks
o 18” connector Pipe between Qualchan Tank and Eagle Ridge Tank
o Eagle Ridge Tank
o 24” pipe Extension from Eagle Ridge to Qualchan Low Area


Neighborhood Rally May 1st

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - April 23, 2023


Please join us and get updates!


WSDOT letter to Council Page 1

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - April 19, 2023


WSDOT letter to Spokane


WSDOT letter to Council Page 2

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - April 19, 2023


WSDOT Letter to Spokane


Council Letter to WSDOT

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - April 19, 2023


17 April 2023
Michael A. Frucci, P.E.
Acting Regional Administrator
WSDOT Eastern Region
2714 N Mayfair Street
Spokane, WA 99207

RE: Request to Coordinate Discussions on Funding Options for Hwy 195 Corridor

Dear Mr. Frucci:

Thank you for your letter dated April 10, 2023, regarding conditions along the Hwy 195 corridor
addressed to Council President Beggs.
First, we, the undersigned, appreciate your acknowledgment of the efforts of the current Spokane City
Council to tackle this challenge. As you and many others well understand, the current conditions have
been decades in the making and, unfortunately, have become pressing with increased development.
There is more to do for all of us.
We appreciate the continuing partnership with WSDOT to arrive at equitable funding that specifically
address your infrastructure concerns. We sincerely regret that past administrations and councils did not
address these infrastructure needs earlier, and frankly failed to provide any sensible mechanism to fund
essential services and improvements for more than 20 years.
Council recently adopted the SRTC study and recommendations for upgrading network connections
parallel with Hwy. 195 so that we can reduce safety concerns and traffic volumes on Hwy 195. The
City’s top priority is to re-establish a two-way connection with Inland Empire Way so that residents in
Latah Valley can use that route to reach Downtown Spokane independent of Hwy 195, and Spokane
Transit Authority can provide bus services. We hope to update our upcoming Capital Improvement Plan
to reflect that priority.
Implicit in your letter (and Mr. Gribner’s 2020 letter) is a continued request for a formal halt to
development along the Hwy 195 corridor. We understand this, but at the same time are constrained by
state law in our efforts to limit or suspend development in the area indefinitely, and by the broader
demands to address the critical housing shortage. Unfortunately, those constraints are real and
indirectly constrain WDOT in its options. For this reason, it is understood within the City Hall that
sooner (rather than later) that WSDOT will need to act by whatever means necessary to keep the Hwy
195 corridor as safe as possible for all users under the current conditions, including limiting turns until
the new network connections are established.
Despite these challenges, we hope to continue our partnership with a meaningful investment in the
City’s portion of the transportation system. The cost of these projects is prohibitive but much less
expensive than an overhaul of the I-90 connection and bridge.

We ask that, the City and WSDOT work together to identify funding to begin the first phase of design
and construction on the most critical elements that we mutually agree upon and are in line with the
SRTC study that the Council approved last year.
We would like to set up a series of meetings between Council Members, city staff, and WSDOT staff to
set up a timeline and funding sources to expedite this process.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,
__________________________________ __________________________________
Breean Beggs, City Council President Lori Kinnear, Council Member District 2
__________________________________ __________________________________
Betsy Wilkerson, Council Member, District 2 Michael Cathcart, Council Member, District 1
__________________________________ __________________________________
Jonathan Bingle, Council Member District 1 Karen Stratton, Council Member, District 3
__________________________________
Zack Zappone, Council Member District


WSDOT Doubles Down: City Ducks Responsibility

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - April 18, 2023


WSDOT Doubles Down: City Ducks Responsibility
On April 10th the Washington Department of Transportation sent a letter to the city about the Latah Valley. In that letter they made mention of the recent moratorium and actions taken regarding the development fee increases, but the majority of it centered on the reality of the situation in the Latah Valley whereas the city has not followed through on the necessary road improvements. The most clear passage was this one: 

Regardless of the solutions enacted by the City I must underscore the vital importance of constructing the identified improvements before or at least along with the construction of the developments. 

These words echo the words relayed to the city back in 2020 and with that reminder that left hand turns from Hatch, Meadowlane, 16th onto SR-195 will be closed for safety reasons if the city doesn't step up. 

The City responded on April 17th. In that response they said this: 

Implicit in your letter (and Mr. Gribner’s 2020 letter) is a continued request for a formal halt to development along the Hwy 195 corridor. We understand this, but at the same time are constrained by state law in our efforts to limit or suspend development in the area indefinitely, and by the broader demands to address the critical housing shortage.

There are two very big problems with this statement. The fact that people's safety is in question (including the real possibility of fatalities) because of inadequate roads is a legally justifiable reason to enact a new moratorium. In addition there are also the reasons related to insufficient planning and a litany of substandard to no infrastructure as other reasons to enact a new moratorium. The second problem is the claim that houses being built in the Latah Valley will address the housing shortage. This is a very disingenuous statement because the houses slated to be built will not be affordable to the average Spokane resident let alone low income. The development in the Latah Valley will not address housing for those who need it most: those not housed or those who could use truly affordable housing. 

You can read both letters here and formulate your own view:
CALV suggests you send notice to the city and the media that the city keeps ducking its responsibility in addressing the realities of the Latah Valley. And with that, WSDOT has provided, yet again even though it has ZERO say on development in the city, a common sense option which is to stop development until the problems are solved. Demand that the city enact a moratorium on major development. 

No development before infrastructure. Latah Valley needs a moratorium!


https://static.spokanecity.org/documents/citycouncil/current-agendas/2023/04/city-council-current-agenda-2023-04-17.pdf      read letters on pg 7

Please send an email, make a phone call, and write to the newspaper

https://my.spokanecity.org/citycouncil/members/
nwoodward@spokanecity.org
editor@spokesman.com
LETTERSTOTHEEDITOR@INLANDER.COM
marcus.riccelli@leg.wa.gov
timm.ormsby@leg.wa.gov
andy.billig@leg.wa.gov


It's Up to Us to Protect the Latah Valley  May 1st Neighborhood Rally/Meeting

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - April 14, 2023


Latah Valley Residents Rally/Meeting
Monday, May 1st @ 6pm
St. John's Lutheran Church
5810 E. Meadowlane Road

It's time to get together again to keep up the advocacy for the Latah Valley. A lot has transpired since this organized effort has gotten off the ground but we still have a long way to go. At the May 1st meeting we will cover the following:
Pushing for a new moratorium
Updates from CALV activity
Pushing additional impact fees: fire, parks, schools
Generating new ideas to generate awareness, create real pressure for real change

* We are inviting our District 2 council members and District 3 state legislators

We'll see you all on May 1st!

Bottom line - No Infrastructure, No Development!
As CALV has been doing since day one, we have been engaging and challenging the leadership of Spokane to lead. This has meant meetings and emails going back and forth between CALV and city hall. In the latest demand to adopt a new moratorium for the Latah Valley we received the email response below from Councilwoman Kinnear. Councilpeople Beggs and Wilkerson were cc'd along with state legislatures Ormsby, Riccelli, and Billig. 

There are some good things here but also items that fall short as well as conflate what has actually occurred. The conflation is in regards to the General Facility Charges (GFC). As you know the city adopted accurate fees based on having done nothing in 20+ years but then took back their decision to adopt an increase in GFC's to a level that barely matches the inflation rate. Also, though higher transportation impact fees were adopted they did not rise to the highest level possible so that developers would actually pay something more akin to the true cost of their endeavors.The email also makes it seem that it's our responsibility to mobilize the other agencies like schools and parks when the city - city council and mayor's office - should be doing this already. The good thing here is that Councilwoman Kinnear believes in the need for a moratorium and is committed to doing more for the Latah Valley. She gets it right when she says, "...The only way forward is for the City to fund necessary improvements, which means the administration needs to make it a priority. Right now, it is not."

Thank you for the email. I understand your neighborhood’s frustration and I am glad to see you organizing for better outcomes. I suggest also contacting Spokane Parks, Schools, Libraries, and Transit to make your voice heard. The moratorium that I sponsored last year was a first step toward making sure your neighborhood has the resources it needs to grow sustainably. The moratorium allowed us to make long-overdue updates to impact fees and GFCs in your neighborhood so that future development pays the true cost of their projects. I know that your neighborhood is a high priority for our planning department moving forward. Frankly, I do not have support – either from other Council Members or Legal – to pursue another moratorium. Additionally, future development projects that are conditioned on infrastructure improvements will be necessary to fund improvements in the area, especially those concerning 195. WSDOT also has a role to play when it comes to safety and congestion along this corridor - they have said repeatedly that they will take action to mitigate their concerns. Meanwhile, I will be working with City Planning to move a sub-area plan forward. I want to remind everyone that these are concerns 20 years in the making when development first occurred and people started moving into the area none of these amenities were provided for. We are being asked to turn back the clock to create a plan in hindsight, which is an impossible task. I’ve been involved with this issue since I have been on Council and have been meeting with WSDOT regularly. The only way forward is for the City to fund necessary improvements, which means the administration needs to make it a priority. Right now, it is not.
 
Lori Kinnear
Spokane City Council
District Two 

Please continue sending emails and making phone calls, it really does work!

https://my.spokanecity.org/citycouncil/members/
nwoodward@spokanecity.org
editor@spokesman.com
marcus.riccelli@leg.wa.gov
timm.ormsby@leg.wa.gov
andy.billig@leg.wa.gov


LEAVING REAL MONEY ON THE TABLE

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - March 30, 2023


LEAVING REAL MONEY ON THE TABLE

Despite powerful testimony by many Latah Valley residents and supporters of CALV, the Spokane City Council is making the wrong moves regarding the future of Latah Valley. On Monday evening, under tremendous pressure imposed by the development community of Spokane, the council revisited the raising of general facility charges (GFC) which is about the design, cost of H2O infrastructure, and materials for water + sewer hookups.

The city council voted to drastically reduce those fees after having just raised them to match true costs (these fees haven't gone up in 21 years). Sure, they said they will revisit this in a year but just like lifting the moratorium, development gets to move ahead with the cost of those impacts still largely being shouldered by residents of Latah Valley and Spokane taxpayers.

Because of YOU the moratorium was put in place. Because of YOU the transportation fees were increased to better match the needs of Latah Valley. And because of YOU those GFC fees had also risen to a true cost level. A tremendous feat we should not forget, but unfortunately with the city council letting the moratorium lapse, their reduction of the GFC fees to marginally higher than they were before, and zero action on addressing the multitude of other infrastructure and quality life concerns and issues of the Latah Valley, we now need to double down on our efforts to advocate and protect our community.

We have power, so let's keep exercising it for the sake of Latah Valley and the City of Spokane! Fortune favors the bold!

KEEPING UP THE PRESSURE!
Let's keep talking, planning, and acting in the best interest of Latah Valley. We'll need to do more to figure out how to navigate the road ahead but what we can do, right now, is let our neighbors know (knock on doors), the city (email, call, and/or ask for a meeting), the media (write a letter to the editor), other Spokane residents (spread the word however you can), and state elected officials (contact them) ask for the following:
Continue to call for a reinstated moratorium on development.
Advocate for other needed impact fees in Latah Valley district to include Fire Dept, Schools and Parks.
Advocate for broader and deeper planning
Advocate for new development rules that are about community need not developer greed.
And stay tuned for an upcoming CALV Town Hall with invited Council Members, County Commissioners, Mayor and Mayoral Candidates

https://my.spokanecity.org/citycouncil/members/
nwoodward@spokanecity.org
editor@spokesman.com
marcus.riccelli@leg.wa.gov
timm.ormsby@leg.wa.gov
andy.billig@leg.wa.gov

SEE ABOVE FOR WHAT IS NEEDED - KEEP GOING IF YOU NEED THE DETAILS
The last two city council meetings dealt with fee increases - transportation impact fees and general facility charges. They both ended up with fragmented discussions and not easy to track. To simplify things regarding those two items here is how it breaks down:

Transportation impact fees: Spokane has had transportation impact fees for new development city wide for several years now. Those fees along with the impact fee districts hadn't been adjusted in many years. The September 2022 moratorium directed changes to both the fee schedule and districts. The result of that work was the adoption of higher fees (reflecting the truer cost of the impacts caused by development) along with redrawing boundaries of the districts. From that, Latah Valley now has the highest transportation impact fee in the city (it also has the most needs) and is designated as an independent district, thankfully including the Grandview/Thorpe neighborhood with the Latah-Hangman neighborhood. The fee was set as the maximum proposed, ~$7000 for a single-family new build. However, that fee calculation left out (ignored) the cost of expanding/rebuilding the two Thorpe tunnels, which are extremely expensive ~$14 million. Also keep in mind that the fees collected by developers only represent about 50% of what the true costs are which means the city must come up with the difference in order to pay for road improvements. Lastly, the fees are collected at the time of permitting and the city has 6 years to make the improvements.

GFC fees: General Facility Charge (GFC) fees are designated for water/sewer hookup for new development and are city wide. There are tables for the fees based on the size of the water supply line and type of construction (single, multi, etc). The fee increases adopted a few weeks ago reflected a large increase from the current fee but one that accurately reflected the costs involved. On Monday, March 27th, after much debate, the city council voted to increase the fees 66% above the current rate and revisit this decision in one year. Please keep in mind that these fees have not gone up in over 21 years and that a 66% increase only equals the average rate of inflation for that time period. IT DOES NOT actually match the true cost which means the shortfall will be picked up by the city and Spokane taxpayers. We are, in a very real way, subsidizing developers.


LEAVING REAL MONEY ON THE TABLE

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - March 30, 2023


LEAVING REAL MONEY ON THE TABLE

Despite powerful testimony by many Latah Valley residents and supporters of CALV, the Spokane City Council is making the wrong moves regarding the future of Latah Valley. On Monday evening, under tremendous pressure imposed by the development community of Spokane, the council revisited the raising of general facility charges (GFC) which is about the design, cost of H2O infrastructure, and materials for water + sewer hookups.

The city council voted to drastically reduce those fees after having just raised them to match true costs (these fees haven't gone up in 21 years). Sure, they said they will revisit this in a year but just like lifting the moratorium, development gets to move ahead with the cost of those impacts still largely being shouldered by residents of Latah Valley and Spokane taxpayers.

Because of YOU the moratorium was put in place. Because of YOU the transportation fees were increased to better match the needs of Latah Valley. And because of YOU those GFC fees had also risen to a true cost level. A tremendous feat we should not forget, but unfortunately with the city council letting the moratorium lapse, their reduction of the GFC fees to marginally higher than they were before, and zero action on addressing the multitude of other infrastructure and quality life concerns and issues of the Latah Valley, we now need to double down on our efforts to advocate and protect our community.

We have power, so let's keep exercising it for the sake of Latah Valley and the City of Spokane! Fortune favors the bold!

KEEPING UP THE PRESSURE!
Let's keep talking, planning, and acting in the best interest of Latah Valley. We'll need to do more to figure out how to navigate the road ahead but what we can do, right now, is let our neighbors know (knock on doors), the city (email, call, and/or ask for a meeting), the media (write a letter to the editor), other Spokane residents (spread the word however you can), and state elected officials (contact them) ask for the following:
Continue to call for a reinstated moratorium on development.
Advocate for other needed impact fees in Latah Valley district to include Fire Dept, Schools and Parks.
Advocate for broader and deeper planning
Advocate for new development rules that are about community need not developer greed.
And stay tuned for an upcoming CALV Town Hall with invited Council Members, County Commissioners, Mayor and Mayoral Candidates

https://my.spokanecity.org/citycouncil/members/
nwoodward@spokanecity.org
editor@spokesman.com
marcus.riccelli@leg.wa.gov
timm.ormsby@leg.wa.gov
andy.billig@leg.wa.gov

SEE ABOVE FOR WHAT IS NEEDED - KEEP GOING IF YOU NEED THE DETAILS
The last two city council meetings dealt with fee increases - transportation impact fees and general facility charges. They both ended up with fragmented discussions and not easy to track. To simplify things regarding those two items here is how it breaks down:

Transportation impact fees: Spokane has had transportation impact fees for new development city wide for several years now. Those fees along with the impact fee districts hadn't been adjusted in many years. The September 2022 moratorium directed changes to both the fee schedule and districts. The result of that work was the adoption of higher fees (reflecting the truer cost of the impacts caused by development) along with redrawing boundaries of the districts. From that, Latah Valley now has the highest transportation impact fee in the city (it also has the most needs) and is designated as an independent district, thankfully including the Grandview/Thorpe neighborhood with the Latah-Hangman neighborhood. The fee was set as the maximum proposed, ~$7000 for a single-family new build. However, that fee calculation left out (ignored) the cost of expanding/rebuilding the two Thorpe tunnels, which are extremely expensive ~$14 million. Also keep in mind that the fees collected by developers only represent about 50% of what the true costs are which means the city must come up with the difference in order to pay for road improvements. Lastly, the fees are collected at the time of permitting and the city has 6 years to make the improvements.

GFC fees: General Facility Charge (GFC) fees are designated for water/sewer hookup for new development and are city wide. There are tables for the fees based on the size of the water supply line and type of construction (single, multi, etc). The fee increases adopted a few weeks ago reflected a large increase from the current fee but one that accurately reflected the costs involved. On Monday, March 27th, after much debate, the city council voted to increase the fees 66% above the current rate and revisit this decision in one year. Please keep in mind that these fees have not gone up in over 21 years and that a 66% increase only equals the average rate of inflation for that time period. IT DOES NOT actually match the true cost which means the shortfall will be picked up by the city and Spokane taxpayers. We are, in a very real way, subsidizing developers.


Great news for Latah Valley!

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - March 17, 2023


Impact Fees and GFCs
Thank you to all the people who took time to write letters, attend council meetings and testify. We were successful! The council voted Monday night to increase the transportation impact fee for new development in the Latah Valley to include Grandview/Thorpe increasing the fee from $1200 to $7500 for each new home. These fees will go directly to our neighborhoods and help build and pay for the needed road infrastructure within the city. However, keep in mind that the fees are only collected once permits are applied for and the money collected only equals about 50% of the funding actually needed. What this means is the city needs to find (e.g. state and/or federal grants) or generate (i.e. taxes, levies, bonds) funds to make up the cost difference and with that the actual road construction is likely 5+ years out from occurring.

General Facility Charges (GFCs) were also increased city-wide. This is a bit more confusing and the final rate increases are stated to be amended at the Mar 27th Council meeting. Since 2002, the water connection fee has been $1,232 and the sewer connection fee has been $2,400 for a 1-inch water pipe smaller. In this new ordinance, water connection fees have been split into two zones, lower and upper depending on elevation which drives costs. In the upper zone, the south and northwest part of Spokane, fees will increase to about $10,000 (combined water and sewer). In the lower zone, downtown, the north and east part of Spokane, the fees will increase to only $2800. This has created a lot of turmoil therefore the council agreed to discuss and possibly amend this fee to a lower rate in two weeks. This ordinance left out important incentives for affordable housing and will likely be revised.
And finally, the moratorium was not extended but we expect developers will wait to see how the GFCs are amended which will determine project feasibility or pull any permits. WSDOT will continue to place restrictions on development until infrastructure is in place to reduce traffic on US 195/I-90. So even with the moratorium lifted, developers have numerous factors to consider prior to initiating construction.

So where do we go from here?

The letters and phone calls were very effective. We need to keep this up including our advocacy for a new moratorium.
1. Look for an email next week outlining our direction from here.
2. We will be meeting with our Legislators from District 3 in May and have provided updates on the key issues facing our neighborhoods.
3. We are also meeting with some key political figures in the next two weeks.
The fight is not over, in fact we are gaining momentum!


City Council Meeting Mar 13th

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - March 11, 2023


Infrastructure Before Development!
City Council Meeting Monday Mar 13th

On Monday, the council will do the first read of the impact fee ordinance. It would be great to get 5-10 people to testify. The city council need to hear from you! CALV is recommending that you relay the following:
· Make the Latah Valley its own impact fee district (Option 7)
· Apply the highest impact fees allowable for the West Plains and Latah Valley districts
· Do not allow impact fees to be phased in
AND
The development moratorium for the Latah Valley is set to expire. CALV finds that unacceptable. Though work has been done in the area of transportation impact fees the following items have not be addressed and in most cases not even discussed:

· Impact fees for schools, parks, and fire
· Construction of an adequate Latah Valley based fire station
· Coordinated planning for schools, parks, and public transportation
· Coordinated comprehensive planning for the future of Latah Valley
· Fixing existing transportation issues
· Addressing the future of water for the Latah Valley
· Considerations for a community center, library, preserving farmland & wild spaces
5pm – 6pm Sign up to speak on the ordinance. (This is different than open forum and you get 3 minutes, no limit on how many can speak and phone in comments are allowed)
Speak or just be there to show support!
If you have questions, please email or call and RSVP so we can get an idea of how many people are attending
We need everyone to come together, share ideas, & move effective action protect the Latah Valley!


City Council Rally Mar 6th 5-6pm

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - March 2, 2023


Infrastructure Before Development!
“City Council Rally” Monday Mar 6th @ 5pm

Citizen Action for Latah Valley is inviting ALL residents from Grandview Thorpe, Vinegar Flats, Eagle Ridge, Qualchan Hills, Overlook at Qualchan, Talon Ridge, and others from across the city to make it known that development before infrastructure will be devastating for Spokane.

1. 5pm - Rally by City Hall - Meet outside the Mobius Discovery Center, 331 N Post 99201, across from the skating ribbon at Riverfront Park

** If you plan to speak, sign up @ 5pm to speak at the council meeting **

2. 6pm – Speak up with common sense/your own two-cents: City Council meeting (open forum is the first event. You get two mins to talk and only 15 people get to talk.)

MORE DETAILS
● Please include extending the current moratorium or creating a new one.
● You must sign up for the public comment period between 5-6pm.

Speak or just be there to show support!
If you have questions please email or call
We need everyone to come together, share ideas, & move effective action protect the Latah Valley!


Protecting Latah Valley - Full Court Press for the Next Four Weeks!

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - Feb. 26, 2023


First off, a huge thank you to all of you who made the CALV neighborhood meeting and to all who made generous donations (It's not too late to donate - www.contactcalv.org/donate). The energy was high and the justification for doing what we are to protect the integrity of the Latah Valley was solidly reaffirmed. We have got our work cut out for us, so let's get to it!

SPEAKING UP/OUT AT CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS
For the next four weeks we need to be at city council to testify. Here is what we suggest (specifics found under Moratorium and Impact Fees below):
Monday, February 27th - Let the city council know that they must extend the moratorium
Monday, March 6th - Let the city council know that they must extend the moratorium - This is CALV rally day at city council. Let's get 100 of us there!
Monday, March 13th - Let the city council know that they must extend the moratorium + have the highest possible impact fees specifically for the Latah Valley
Monday, March 20th - Let the city council know that they must extend the moratorium + have the highest possible impact fees specifically for the Latah Valley
City Council meetings start at 6pm so get there at least 20-30 minutes early in order to put your name on the list(s) to testify. They are limiting testimony to 15 people.

SPEAKING DIRECTLY TO CITY COUNCIL, MAYOR, MEDIA, AND FRIENDS/NEIGHBORS
We have to constantly keep our reality, our future in full view which means we have to do all we can to keep the pressure on and to spread the word as to the situation in the Latah Valley. This means doing any and all of the following along with anything else you can think of to support protecting the Latah Valley.
Email, call, and/or ask for a meeting with the city council
Email, call, and/or ask for a meeting with the mayor
Submit a letter to the editor to the Spokesman-Review and Inlander
Contact the media to push for coverage on the Latah Valley [CALV can be of help here if you need it]
Reach out to friends and neighbors to make sure they are aware of the situation in Latah Valley and encourage them to get involved

EXTEND THE MORATORIUM
The current moratorium is set to expire in mid-March. That moratorium is centered on transportation impact fees (see Impact Fees below for more info) and with that work ending we need a new moratorium that is justified for the following reasons:
City needs to assess levels of service - Are the roads really safe? Is fire protection really at where it needs to be?
Planning - The Latah Valley needs a sub-area plan and for considerably more coordination between the city, county, state, and other agencies
Funding - Where is the money for an actual fire station, sidewalks, community center, parks, library, preservation of wildlands, etc.? Without more effort in either establishing additional impact fees, sourcing money from elsewhere, and accurate forecasting for what is actually needed for the Latah Valley, the area is prime to be overdeveloped and under serviced.
Infrastructure Before Development not only means actual physical infrastructure it also means planning properly for the future. The Latah Valley has serious problems that will only get worse unless, collectively, we take a different approach to protecting the quality of life of this amazing part of the city. There is tremendous potential to do something great for this area!
TRANSPORTATION IMPACT FEES - HIGHEST AMOUNT TOWARDS THE HIGHEST NEED
The action that came out of the adoption of the moratorium was to reassess the amount developers must pay regarding transportation impacts and if the list of city transportation projects should be associated to specific districts within the city. After work from an ad hoc committee and the review of that work by the city's Plan Commission it is now up to the city council to decide what action, they will take. Currently the city council is to consider an ordinance change to transportation impact fees on March 13th (first reading) and March 20th (second reading + vote). Based on the city's list of transportation projects the Latah Valley has the most projects commanding the need for the most funding.

For the people of Latah Valley and supporters of CALV our message is simple:
The Latah Valley needs to be its own impact fee district
Impact fees need to be the highest amount possible (developers need to pay to play)
Keep in mind that even if developers pay their fair share at 60%+ that still means the city will need to find the additional funding somewhere else. We also need to be aware that the impact fees will only be collected once permits are issued which means it could be 5, 10, 15 years before the needed Latah Valley transportation projects are addressed in part or full via transportation impact fees.


Making it Count - Transportation Impact Fees + Extending the Moratorium

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - Jan. 26, 2023


Making it Count - Transportation Impact Fees + Extending the Moratorium

Bottom line up front – Contact/email your city representatives and officials (see address links below) to advocate for appropriate impact fees and express the need to fix the current issues in Latah Valley prior to reauthorizing additional development. The current six-month building moratorium is expiring unless extended in mid-March

Background:
Thanks to you, Citizen Action for Latah Valley was able to activate a development moratorium for the Latah Valley to confront the onslaught of development coming long before the needed infrastructure. This practice of allowing development before infrastructure is a reality, we live with everyday whether it be about traffic, the lack of sufficient fire protection, the efforts to get our kids to school, or being cut off from the rest of the city because of the absence of public transportation or safe pedestrian and bike paths. We love where we live but we don't love the level of daily challenge nor the reality of more pressures and real-life possibilities of tragedy coming to the Latah Valley because of poor planning and neglect to deal with infrastructure before development.

We have our work cut out for us in 2023 to do all we can to protect the Latah Valley with our allies in the city, county and WSDOT. We were successful before; we can do it again!

TRANSPORTATION IMPACT FEES
The directive with the development moratorium enacted in September 2022 required the city to reassess the transportation impact fees and fee districts for developers in Spokane. In fact, the moratorium was worded almost solely about transportation impact fees, which of course ignores the multitude of other needs and realities in the Latah Valley (more to come here in the section labeled Keep the Moratorium). In the area of transportation impact fees alone developers have never paid their fair share. It's high time that they do.

Over three months the city convened an advisory panel of different stakeholders which included city staff, developers, city council people, and citizen advocates (CALV was on the committee). The result of those meetings were recommendations on impact fee districts and impact fees for the downtown core and south side of Spokane.

From here the planning commission will review those recommendations (two meetings in February) and then make their own recommendations to the city council who will then consider adopting new transportation impact fees and districts (two meetings in March). You can find full information on the city's website. https://my.spokanecity.org/bcc/committees/transportation-impact-fee-advisory-committee/

We Need Your Voice!

The planning commission and the city council need to hear from you! CALV is recommending that you relay the following:
• Apply the highest impact fees allowable for the West Plains and Latah Valley districts
• Make the Latah Valley its own impact fee district (Option 2) https://static.spokanecity.org/documents/bcc/committees/transportation-impact-fee-advisory-committee/materials/2023/01/impact-fee-option-2-20-year-projects-layout-2023-01-10.pdf
• Do not allow impact fees to be phased in
Get this: CALV knows for a fact that west side developers (Seattle area) interested in doing business in Spokane/Latah Valley have said that charging the maximum transportation impact fee is not an issue. The Spokane development community - developers, Spokane Home Builders, Spokane Realtors, and others - are crying chicken little that no development will happen if the fees are too high. It's time all developers - regardless of where they are from - pay for their impacts and not you and I as taxpayers in Spokane.

Please take the time to contact the planning commission and city council relaying the three points above. Below are links to the emails you will need along with those of city staff who need to be kept in the loop:
• Plan Commission plancommission@spokanecity.org
• City Council https://my.spokanecity.org/citycouncil/members/
When you email the plan commission and city council be sure to cc these city staff members:
• Inga Note - inote@spokanecity.org
• Marlene Feist - mfeist@spokanecity.org
• Spencer Gardner - sgardner@spokanecity.org
KEEP THE MORATORIUM
The development moratorium for the Latah Valley is set to expire mid-March. CALV finds that unacceptable. Though work has been done in the area of transportation impact fees the following items have not be addressed and in most cases not even discussed:
• Impact fees for schools, parks, and fire
• Construction of an adequate fire station
• Coordinated planning for schools, parks, and public transportation
• Coordinated comprehensive planning for the future of Latah Valley
• Fixing existing transportation issues
• Addressing the future of water for the Latah Valley
• Considerations for a community center, library, preserving farmland & wild spaces
It is feeling like the Latah Valley, once again, will be swept under the rug with the powers that be saying they "fixed" things by charging more transportation impact fees. From the beginning, CALV called for the moratorium it was for infrastructure before development that required these three things:
• Comprehensive planning for the Latah Valley
• Acquiring and/or identifying the necessary funding for infrastructure needs
• Reassessing the approval process for development
Besides one area around funding all the other items have yet to be addressed at all or not adequately enough. Keeping the moratorium will keep development from happening before its time.

Feel free to let the city council and mayor's office know your mind but stay tuned for more on how we need to build the pressure to keep the moratorium.




NEIGHBORHOOD RALLY TO PROTECT THE LATAH VALLEY - Thursday, February 23rd at 6pm St John’s Lutheran Church. 5810 E Meadowlane
Please block out Feb. 23rd at 6pm for a neighborhood rally. We'll have plenty to go over and plan for with transportation impact fees in the mix along with continuing our effort to keep the moratorium in place.


TALKING POINTS FOR MORATORIUM EXTENSION

1. I am asking you to extend the current moratorium on major development in the Latah Valley until comprehensive planning can be undertaken and funding sources identified for needed infrastructure.

2. Road infrastructure in Latah Valley is unable to safely handle the current traffic loads; increasing car and truck traffic that will come with increased housing and commercial development will only increase congestion, accidents, and the potential for serious injury or death.
3. The Latah Valley currently has inadequate to zero community services needed to be a functional and intact region of the city. Deficiencies range from public transportation, fire response, police response, library services, schools, and a community center. Adding more commercial and housing development will only amplify those inadequacies and disparity in this part of the city. I am asking you to extend the current moratorium on major development in the Latah Valley until comprehensive planning can be undertaken and funding sources identified for needed infrastructure.
4. Agricultural land and wildlife corridors in Latah Valley will be directly affected and undermined by adding more development. Citizens of the Latah Valley have a strong interest in wanting to protect farmland and wildlife habitat from unwarranted development. I am asking you to extend the moratorium on major development in the Latah Valley until comprehensive planning can be undertaken and funding sources identified for needed infrastructure.


TEMPLATE LETTER FOR MORATORIUM EXTENSION
Dear [city council member; mayor]

I am contacting you today to call to extend the current moratorium on major development in the Latah Valley (Grandview/Thorpe, Latah/Hangman, Eagle Ridge). Due to an acknowledged lack of planning and monitoring by the city the last 20+ years, any level of major development cannot be adequately, responsibly, or safely absorbed by this part of the city until comprehensive planning is complete. Increasing traffic impact fees are important but still insufficient. Latah Valley requires dedicated city funding and action now for needed infrastructure.

There is a pathway to balance the integrity of the Latah Valley, protect the agricultural and wildlife corridors, manage traffic movements, and allow for smart development adequately, safely, and mindfully. That can only happen by pausing more major development in an area that lacks community resources and appropriate infrastructure and is in jeopardy of losing key community-wide attributes such as the inventory of viable agricultural land and critical wildlife habitat.

The pressure to grow Spokane should never come at the expense of preserving what makes Spokane a wonderful place to live. Please do the right thing – extend the current moratorium on major development in the Latah Valley until comprehensive planning can be undertaken and funding sources identified for needed infrastructure.


¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬

Mailing address - 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd., Spokane, WA 99201

* Emails are best sent individually addressed, but if not possible include the following addresses

Nadine Woodward = mayor@spokanecity.org nwoodward@spokanecity.org
Breen Beggs = bbeggs@spokanecity.org
Michael Cathcart = mcathcart@spokanecity.org
Jonathan Bingle = jbingle@spokanecity.org
Lori Kinnear = lkinnear@spokanecity.org
Betsy Wilkerson = bwilkerson@spokanecity.org
Zac Zappone = ZZappone@spokanecity.org
Karen Stratton = kstratton@spokanecity.org


First Steps, More to Come - Let's Protect the Latah Valley

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - Nov. 21, 2022


FIRST STEPS

Thanksgiving is a week away, and we are thankful for all the effort you and others have put into protecting the future of the Latah Valley. A little over a year ago Citizen Action for Latah Valley put out a call to action to adopt a moratorium on major development in the Latah Valley and in September, the Spokane City Council did just that. Thank you for your amazing support and action! We are most definitely thankful for this!



THE NEXT STEP

Now it is to time to make sure the job gets done right.


MAKE THE MORATORIUM COUNT

The moratorium is in effect from September 2022 to March 2023. The focus of the moratorium is on transportation impact fees. The Latah Valley needs those fees, but those fees alone are nowhere near enough to make up for lacking infrastructure or to prepare for future infrastructure. The city council and the mayor's office need to hear from you on keeping the moratorium in place for as long as it will take - Make the Moratorium Count!

The reasoning for the moratorium was three-fold:

· PLANNING - We need better comprehensive planning before any development can proceed

· FUNDING - We need infrastructure improvements first and a better sense of who is paying for it - taxpayers, developers, government?

· PROCESS - We need to improve the development approval process for Latah Valley and the rest of Spokane

The current moratorium addresses FUNDING, but only in part. The focus of the moratorium is to update transportation impact fees. These fees, to be paid by developers, are meant to address such needs as roadways and roadway improvements. These impact fees are also used to help leverage state and federal money to help make up the difference of what is not collected from the developers. An updating of the impact fees and the need to have developers pay more for their impacts is a good thing. We are most definitely thankful for this.

However, the issues of the Latah Valley go beyond just roads. The constant refrain from CALV has been "Infrastructure Before Development". This means fire services, police services, schools, parks, public transportation, and so on. The current and future situations of the Latah Valley will not be solved by transportation impact fees.

At the city council meeting on November 7th, the mayor, the city council, the developers, and the people of Latah Valley, all pointed to the fact that past planning missed the mark to say the least where the Latah Valley is concerned. As we have identified from the beginning there needs to be truly comprehensive planning before development can proceed.



Please contact the city council and mayor's office and tell them to extend the moratorium on major development to undertake deep planning for the Latah Valley. Let's make the moratorium count!

Breen Beggs = bbeggs@spokanecity.org

Michael Cathcart = mcathcart@spokanecity.org

Jonathan Bingle = jbingle@spokanecity.org

Lori Kinnear = lkinnear@spokanecity.org

Betsy Wilkerson = bwilkerson@spokanecity.org

Zac Zappone = zzappone@spokanecity.org

Karen Stratton = kstratton@spokanecity.org



Nadine Woodward = mayor@spokanecity.org





IMPACT FEES AT THE POINT OF IMPACT

A city committee was appointed to assess transportation impact fees for the city including the Latah Valley. Members of the committee include city staff, city councilors, other community groups/agencies, neighborhood advocates, and developers. CALV is also on that committee. The charge of that committee is to decide what the impact fees should be for the different parts of the city and how to divide the city into impact fee districts. CALV will keep you posted on where things sit along with actions, we will need you to take. The two important pieces for the Latah Valley are:

1. Impact fees that make sense - The impact fees need to match the needs of the Latah Valley - our area is targeted for the most development therefore fees should be equal to the impact they will have. Latah Valley is playing both catch up for the lack of infrastructure in the past as well as preparing for the future.

2. Impact fees where the impact is - The city is currently broken up into impact fee districts. There are a few different proposals on changing impact fee district boundaries including having a Latah Valley specific impact fee district. There is also a proposal to fold the Latah Valley into other districts which makes it questionable that the fees charged will be adequate for the Latah Valley let alone be directed to the road improvement needs of the Latah Valley

We'll keep you posted on what we learn and how you can help in making sure the fees make sense and that they go to where the impacts are.


With deep gratitude, Happy Thanksgiving!

Kai, Adam, and Molly

Citizen Action for Latah Valley


Save the Date Nov 7th @ 6pm

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - Oct. 26, 2022


The Latah Valley moratorium on major development has been in place nearly 2 months now. As part of adopting the moratorium the city council is required to hold a public meeting. That meeting is taking place on Monday, November 7th at City Hall. You are the reason the moratorium was adopted and we need you now to show your support for the substantive actions that need to come out of putting a pause on major development in our valley.

SAVE THE DATE
SUPPORTING THE LATAH VALLEY MORATORIUM
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7TH @ 6PM
SPOKANE CITY HALL

LET'S SHOW NUMBERS
It's important that the city council and the city itself sees that residents of the Latah Valley are serious about protecting Latah Valley. Pencil November 7th into your calendar and show up to City Hall to show your support for the adoption of the moratorium and the substantive, positive actions that should come out of freezing development here.

LET'S SPEAK UP
The refrain leading up to the adoption of the moratorium was "Infrastructure Before Development". The reasoning for that was three fold:
We need better comprehensive planning before any development can proceed
We need infrastructure improvements first and a better sense of who is paying for it - taxpayers, developers, government?
We need to improve the development approval process for Latah Valley and the rest of Spokane
During the city council meeting on November 7th each of us is allowed to provide testimony on the moratorium. CALV will be circulating talking points next week but the basic message is, "Thank you for the moratorium and let's make it count!"

It was our collective voice that got the moratorium put in place and it's going to take our collective voice to make sure that real action comes out of the moratorium period.


Spokesman Review article on the moratorium

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - Sept. 15, 2022


https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2022/sep/14/spokane-city-council-implements-six-month-moratori/


Krem 2 newscast on the moratorium Sept 13, 2022

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - Sept. 15, 2022


https://www.krem.com/article/money/economy/boomtown-inland-northwest/building-moratorium-passed-city-council-excites-residents-highway-195/293-cec20bb3-f055-47d1-95f8-209e3da24089


We did it! Spokane adopts a development moratorium for Latah Valley

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - Sept. 13, 2022


Congratulations Latah Valley you did it! In an unannounced move the Spokane City Council put forward and adopted a development moratorium for Latah Valley at last evening's city council meeting. The moratorium is for 6 months and can be renewed for additional 6 month periods if needed.

The moratorium is what CALV has been calling for since day one. Without pausing development proposals coming into the pipeline we would have no chance to address the serious issues that face this area. The moratorium allows for time for the city, agencies, organizations, and the people of Latah Valley and elsewhere in the city to tackle the following:
Review of comprehensive and holistic planning for the Latah Valley
Securing and identifying funding sources for needed infrastructure - roads, schools, parks, fire protection, etc.
Reviewing and changing the process for how development projects get approved in the first place

Let's celebrate what is really a huge win for Latah Valley, the city, and citizen activists. It was a long, hard slog to get here but we made it. Enjoy this moment for sure but just know there is more work to be done to make sure we maximize the time the moratorium is in play.

Stay tuned for more to come on making sure we protect the Latah Valley to its fullest.

Well done everyone!


Open Letter of Support for Latah Valley Moratorium

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - Sept. 10, 2022


The Latah Valley has been a largely forgotten region of the City of Spokane when it comes to development.
Bounded by High Bridge Park to the north, Hatch Road to the south, the Bluff to the east, and ponderosa pine
forests to the west, the numerous developments that have emerged over the last few decades had been nearly
undetectable. A shift occurred when the Eagle Ridge and Qualchan Hills developments were built. In
anticipation of more development down the road, plans were drafted and approved to add the infrastructure
required to support this influx to the Latah Valley, but the improvements were never completed.
A series of fatal accidents along US 195 over the last 15 years highlighted the impact of the missing
infrastructure promised years before. Traffic deaths at the Cheney-Spokane Road, US-195 and Thorpe Rd, put
neighborhood advocates on high alert. The Latah-Hangman Neighborhood Council produced a comprehensive
neighborhood plan charting the course of this region, balancing development with preserving farmland, wildlife
corridors, and heritage sites. This thoughtful plan laid out various kinds of development that would work within
this geographically challenged area hoping to avoid irreversibly changing the landscape. In addition, the
Washington Department of Transportation generated a report telegraphing the critical need for road
infrastructure along US-195, I-90, and city roads.

Despite tragedy, visioning, and planning, proper infrastructure was never put in place and we now find that the
Latah Valley is operating in an overstressed environment on the cusp of more tragedy. The current roads
cannot handle traffic loads safely which affects other services like fire and police protection. Response times
are increased by the congestion of traffic and limited by low bridges and tunnels. One small fire house with
one pumper truck is located in the Latah Valley, for bigger responses, fire protection comes from downtown.
There are no schools in the Latah Valley, children are bussed using this unsafe corridor. There is no public
transportation, public libraries or community centers and no safe walking/biking route connecting to the city.
The lack of critical infrastructure to handle safe transportation is now stressing other infrastructure.
More than 2000 homes are in the permitting process with the city. In the next 5-10 years, the Latah Valley will
see more than 4,000 new homes built without the planning or funding set aside to address these critical
shortfalls. Developments are moving through the permitting process rapidly without considering the
interconnections of these developments and their impact. With no adopted neighborhood plans, robust
comprehensive plan for the Latah Valley, or sub-area plan, development is happening piecemeal, with only
utility related infrastructure considered. Impact fees are minimal or non-existent placing the burden of
infrastructure on the taxpayer and the city. There is no serious consideration for the preservation of
sustainable available agricultural land or wildlife corridors or the preservation of water quality and quantity for
both humans and wildlife.

The most current US-195 corridor study for the Latah Valley carries a price tag of $100 million to address
“temporary” fixes to the interface of City of Spokane roadways to US-195. To date the only funding
pledged/secured is $300,000 for a study on reconnecting Inland Empire Way with US-195. Funding for parks,
fire protection, police protection, schools, public transportation, and library services, to name a few essential
services, all lack sufficient budgets for current needs in many cases and most definitely for future needs.
Taking all this into careful consideration we, the undersigned, support the adoption of a moratorium on
major development in the Latah Valley until the following can be adequately addressed:
● Planning: Better assessment of the attributes, characteristics, needs, and potential for the Latah
Valley in the future
● Funding: Securing, identifying, and/or forecasting funding for infrastructure needs in the Latah Valley.
This should include the adoption of impact fees for fire, parks, schools, traffic, etc. applicable to new
development
● Infrastructure: Determining and then completing the construction of baseline infrastructure
improvements
● Development approval process: Review and adopt changes to the development approval process
that address the lack of infrastructure in the Latah Valley. Preserve unique characteristic of the area,
parkland and other land related to needed infrastructure and regulate the pace and breadth of
development

In the last two years, we have seen a tremendous influx of people from outside of the area, attracted to
Spokane for its beauty, community, and affordability, having left places that are unaffordable, unattractive, and
ultimately untenable for the very issues facing the Latah Valley today. There is a real opportunity here for
Spokane to merge conservation, preservation, and innovation to protect these very characteristics that make
the Latah Valley and Spokane so unique.


Community meeting Recap

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - Aug. 26, 2022


Councilmembers Kinnear and Wilkerson Support a Development Moratorium; Work to be Done to Get the Rest of the City Council to Vote YES!


60 Latah Valley residents turned out on Tuesday night to listen, assess, and plan for the enactment of a development moratorium and Latah Valley district impact fees for new developments.

Highlights from the neighborhood gathering include:

DEVELOPMENT UPDATES
Currently 16 significant development projects are in the pipeline for Latah Valley:
● 2 Construction in Progress
● 6 Approved
● 8 Various stages of the development process

This amounts to a staggering total of 2289 new homes!

POLITICAL CANDIDATES
Three political candidates shared views and support to the Latah Valley. Please see the video link supporting the Latah Valley
● Jenny Zappone
● Al French
● Maggie Yates

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMl8rVhheZc

SPOKANE CITY COUNCIL

Spokane City Council representatives Kinnear and Wilkerson provided updates on:
● Drafting a moratorium
● Updating impact fees to pay for infrastructure from development
● Creating a new impact fee district for Latah Valley
● Answered questions

The council members agreed that they were both in support of a moratorium, but a super majority (5 of 7 voting members) would be needed to see the moratorium become a reality. This means 3 more city council members are needed to join Councilmember Kinnear and Wilkerson in voting YES to the moratorium.

CALV has been busy!
● Outreach efforts to organizations and groups
● Canvassing of neighborhoods - Come help connect with your neighbors
● Online petition (1400+ signatures) - Pushing for 1500!
● Neighborhood Rally (raised $1300+) and CALV established as a Non-Profit
● Launching of CALV website and marketing – through signs/banners/Facebook/Change.org * www.contactcalv.org website now able to accept on-line donations
● Rally at City Hall
● Open letter effort - Looking for individuals, organizations, and agencies to join us!

ACTION IS THE ANTIDOTE!
We are looking for volunteers to tackle projects related to:
● 1. Fundraising
● 2. Outreach/Events
● 3. Media/Communications

Join us on Wednesday, August 31st at 6pm (Zoom meeting) to learn more about how you can help. Please email contactcalv@gmail.com for the Zoom link.


Community Meeting Aug 23rd at 6pm

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - Aug. 20, 2022


Join us as we discuss development in the Latah Valley. Council members Kinnear and Wilkerson will be in attendance


Maggie Yates for Latah Valley

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - July 30, 2022


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMl8rVhheZc


Salmon release-Hangman Creek(Latah Creek)

Author: Adam Marshall - uncategorized - July 29, 2022


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCgvSOLqZCA&feature=youtu.be


© 2022 Citizen Action For Latah Valley