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City, County Halt Urban Sprawl For Year to Allow Public Review

The Spokane mayor and the county commissioners have signed a joint development agreement that halts urban sprawl, for now. Their development agreement opens the door for public feedback on growth. Mayor David Condon says the agreement is effective April 1st and stands for one year.

Condon: “The city has agreed to stand down on annexation during this conversation. Likewise Spokane County has agreed to stand down on extending urban growth areas.”

This follows a squabble over whether contested developments outside city limits should have access to city utilities. The city council wanted to stop providing those utilities, which made county commissioners gripe, and Condon vetoed the idea. The council wants to try their proposal again, but put it on hold in light of this agreement. Meanwhile, county commissioner Al French loaded the city with a list of public records requests, mostly to access council member comments about growth. French has now dropped the requests.

Kitty Klitzke with the non-profit Futurewise is still reviewing the announcement. She says it may not mean much, since one county UGA expansion is being challenged and commissions likely wouldn’t have proposed another this year anyways. Mayor Condon says the new discussions will lead to a formal development agreement one year from now.

Condon: “Our discussion will focus on the city’s utility service area. The goal is to take a good hard look at where and how growth should occur, and most importantly what makes most sense for the citizens we serve.”

City and county discussions start with a meeting May 12th that’s open to the public.

Copyright 2014 Spokane Public Radio

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