A Spokane County judge has ruled in favor of a neighborhood group opposed to development of a sports complex in its southeast Spokane neighborhood.
The victory is just one step in the efforts by the Glenrose Neighborhood Association to stop a 20-acre sports complex planned by the Spokane Youth Sports Association.
The neighborhood group had challenged in court a ruling by the county's planning director, John Pederson, that would have allowed the project to continue.
Attorney Rick Eichstaedt, working on behalf of the Glenrose Association, says the giant complex doesn’t fit the definition of a “community recreation facility” because it would be used by people coming from all around Spokane, rather than just the Glenrose community.
The planning director had said it did fit that definition. But he based that on a previous ruling he made on a different project proposed at the same site several years ago.
Eichstaedt says when asked to reconsider, Pederson chose not to respond, and defaulted to his previous ruling.
“It's not a win that will stop the complex from being built, it's going to force the county to make a reasoned legal decision as to why the facility can be built there that if the neighborhood is not pleased with that can then be appealed,” Eichstaedt said.
Superior Court Judge Julie McKay says the planning director must make a specific determination on the current project plan. Eichstaedt that could come in the next 30 days.
Pederson offered no comment on the ruling.