Comments Requested for Gas Station on Regal Street

Back in April we posted about a gas station being planned for the corner of 44th and Regal Street. The developer has now submitted their State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA) Application and the  City is accepting public comments on the proposal. The comment period is open until Friday, August 26th and you can send your comments via email to Donna DeBit at the City Planning Department: ddebit@spokanecity.org.

A preliminary site plan for a gas station at 44th Ave. and Regal Street.
A preliminary site plan for a gas station at 44th Ave. and Regal Street.

You can review the SEPA Application here. It discusses potential impacts on the air, water, and land. It also covers impacts on transportation and surrounding services. I have also uploaded the Trip Generation Letter so you can see it as well.

Southgate Neighborhood Council has already submitted comments on this project during the Agency Comment Period that just closed yesterday. I have posted our comments here for you to review. The convered three main areas: 1) Review of the site plan and project design in accordance to an existing Hearing Examiner decision in effect on this property from 1997. 2) Concerns about placing a fuel station adjacent to a Department of Natural Resources identified stream and placing underground tanks below the water table as well as meeting additional conditions for stormwater management from the 1997 Hearing Examiner decision. 3) Concerns about the addition of a projected 5,400 daily vehicles trips on Regal Street an the impact to the broad transportation network around Southgate and Moran Prairie given the marked increase in high impact development in our neighborhood over the past few years.

We will post a summary of our submitted comments later this weekend to help you craft your own comments, but we wanted to let people know about this comment period right away.

Expansion Planned for Prairie View Park

The Spokane County Parks Department is moving forward with plans to expand the facilities at Prairie View Park at Freya and 61st. Currently the site of the Southside Family Aquatics Facility, the new expansion will develop softball field, a Little League baseball field, and a number of sand volleyball courts. The development will also include an 8′ wide pathway around the park and include approximately 35 new parking spaces.

Prairie View Park Improvements

The SEPA comment period for this project closed August 1st last week, so work on grading might begin in a few weeks. The project coordinator for the County Parkes Department is John Bottelli and he said he will still take comments from neighbors and is willing to answer any questions you may have. You can reach him at jbottelli@spokanecounty.org.

You can see renderings of the proposed improvement on the Prairie View Park page on the County website. Additionally we’ve uploaded the latest design documents provided by the County to our website.

Avista Power Pole Replacement Project

Last month we received a letter from Avista outlining the next phases of their ongoing program to replace a high-voltage power line that runs from 9th and Dickey below Glenrose over to a substation off of Highway 195. The line runs across Southgate along 53rd Avenue and then up Crestline to 57th Avenue. They will be replacing a 1950s era wooden poles with new metal ones.

If you have questions you can contact the project manager, Bryan Hyde, at bryan.hyde@avistacorp.com or 509-495-2990.

KXLY Development Concept Plan

At our last Southgate Neighborhood Council meeting the developers of the KXLY property presented a concept site plan highlighting their project’s connection to the Southeast Sports Complex and its enactment of the intent of the Center and Corridor zoning and Integrated Site Plan.

We’ve uploaded the full presentation here for people to look and review. Keep in mind a couple things: 1)These are just draft concepts and there have been no building permits applied for at this time. 2) The developer has not mentioned or listed any tenants of the buildings at this time. So any mention of a company or store is just illustrative.

You can catch a news story about this on KXLY News tonight at 5pm and 6pm.

Lastly, please make sure to comment on the proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment for the small city-owned parcel between the park and KXLY’s property. Comments are due July 11th and you can see more information about the proposal on the City’s Planning Department website. The comments period is just about the zoning change and purchase of the small city-owned parcel, not the development as a whole. The full development will get its own design review and comment period when the developers submit building permits. This proposal is the first domino that as to fall before any major development actions take place.

 

Last Day to Comment on Regal Drive Thru SEPA Application

Today is the last day for the public to comment on the SEPA Application for the drive thru restaurants Mr. Vaughn wants to put on Regal. Comments need to be in by 4pm today!

I know many residents around Southgate and Moran Prairie are concerned about the increase in traffic around the area and that this was a concern about the proposed development in the newly annexed area at 55th and Regal. SNC conducted a review of the traffic impacts included in the application and it seems the developer has vastly underestimated the amount of traffic that will be generated based on the proposed use. We want to share this with the neighbors right away so they can comment on the impacts of this development given the new numbers. Please bear with me as we run through the math…

The developer states that Phase 1 of the proposed development (2 drive-thru restaurants and 2 retail buildings) will create 1,175 new vehicle trips a day (known as Average Daily Traffic or ADT). He further states that full build out of the entire 8 acres would create a total of 3,097 ADT when it is completed. These estimates are based on Land Use Codes (LUC) from a book called the ITE Trip Generation Manual. In this case, the developer uses LUC #820 (Shopping Center) to determine the amount of traffic generated. They take the value of the LUC and multiply it by the thousands of square feet (ksf) in the development and get the ADT number.

So in this case, the developer is proposing to build 27,510 square feet of buildings and LUC #820 has a value of 42.7 ADT per 1,000 sqft of building. Thus 42.7 ADT * 27.5 ksf = 1,175 ADT. The trip numbers are rounded up to the nearest whole number.

However, two of the proposed buildings in his plan are actually Fast Food Restaurants, with Drive Thru Windows, a separate classification in the manual with a completely different ADT rate. They are considered under LUC #934 and the rate is 496 ADT per 1,000 square feet. Look closely at that: 42.7 ADT vs. 496 ADT. Over 10 times as much traffic per restaurant. The combined square footage of the proposed restaurants is 10,200 square feet.

Thus, the drive thru restaurants create the following traffic: 496 ADT * 10.2 ksf = 5,060 ADT. Add that to the remaining traffic of the retail buildings (42.7 ADT * 17.3 ksf = 739 ADT) and you get the new Phase 1 total ADT: 5,060 ADT + 739 ADT = 5,799 ADT! Adding in the projected traffic for Phase 2 (1,960 ADT) brings the final total new daily trips to 7,759 ADT.

Regal Street is classified as a Minor Arterial in the City of Spokane, that means it is designed to carry between 9,500 and 19,500 ADT. The last traffic count from 2015 showed this section of Regal had 15,900 ADT. If you add just the Phase 1 traffic to this you bring the ADT of Regal up to 21, 699. A full buildout of this property would completely overwhelm the Level of Service on Regal Street.

It is clear that South Regal Street is exceeding the capacity of a Minor Arterial with this project and will likely fall below its planned Level of Service. Several other large projects are on the horizon that will undoubtedly add to the capacity shortage and are not accounted for here: KXLY’s new development, the Palouse Trails Apartments, the gas station at 44th and Regal to name a few.

Southgate has submitted comments to the County outlining this shortcoming and asking that this project be given a Determination of Significance that will result in a full Environmental Impact Study of the the proposal that will result in substantive mitigation of the full impacts of the development. I encourage our neighbors to contact the County as well and voice their concerns for the underestimated impact that this project will have on traffic in and around Southgate and Moran Prairie. You can send you comments to Julie Shatto at the County: jshatto@spokanecounty.org. Comments need to be in by 4pm today.