Attorneys for a south Spokane neighborhood organization have filed a suit against the Spokane County Planning Department’s director for allowing a large development to go forward.
The Spokane Youth Sports Association has plans to construct a 20-acre sports complex in the Glenrose neighborhood.
Neighbors say that project would bring increased traffic, congestion and lights to the area and hurt its rural character.
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.
He says they asked Spokane County Planning Director John Pederson to issue an administrative determination to decide whether that community definition would apply to the complex.
“Instead of issuing the determination, he pointed to some notes from 2008 and said, 'We decided it there. We’re not going to decide it now.' He sent back the check to the Glenrose Association and simply issued no decision,” Eichstaedt said.
Pederson referred to a determination of a previous development that was being pursued back in 2008 that was never built. Pederson was out of the office Wednesday and not available for comment.
Glenrose Association Chief Bob Hyslop says he is upset the planning director is not addressing both sides of the issue.
“I think the county planning department should represent the people that are for development, and they should represent the people that are against the development. But that doesn’t seem to be the way this works, and as a result, we are being forced to hire an attorney to get them to respond to our request,” Hyslop said.
Eichstaedt says a judge will make a determination on the lawsuit. He says it is possible an appeal could be filed if the judge upholds the planning director’s actions.