Southgate received a notice yesterday about a SEPA comment period for a proposed 13-home subdivision along Freya Street called Moran South Estates. You’ll remember this project held a Community Meeting back in August.
The project is very similar to the developments on 45th Court and 47th Avenue directly to the north and south of this area. A couple comments related to pedestrian accommodation that I would supply would be to ask if the right-of-way improvements along Freya Street will be completed per Spokane Municipal Code. As you can see, the sidewalk ends as the cul de sac goes out to Freya. Anyone living on the east side of Southgate knows how unaccommodating Freya is to pedestrians and bikes. If we don’t ask developers to fill in the sidewalk between 44th and Palouse Hwy it will never be built.
Another pedestrian accommodation (supported by the SMC, the City Comp Plan, and our Southgate Neighborhood Connectivity Plan) would be to add some non-motorized connection to the west. A mixed-use Centennial/Ben Burr style trail punching out at the end of the cul de sac or out of the southwest corner of the development across a County-owned stormwater swale would allow residents easier and safer access to the shopping area of our neighborhood’s District Center via Palouse Hwy. It would take some discussion between the developers and the owners of Clare House or the County, but it would be a great amenity and help prevent the continuation of the pervasive lack of east/west connectivity in our neighborhood. Without this type of connection residents would have to walk a 1/3 mile south or 1/4 north to find a route towards the District Center.
The SNC Land Use Committee will draft and submit comments as well, we will upload those here when we have them drafted. In the meantime, please send in your comments so the City knows what you think.
Last night at our neighborhood council meeting, we were introduced to the City’s new Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Neighborhood Project Menu.
The CDBG program provides funds to neighborhoods for community-oriented improvement projects based on income. Traditionally, Southgate has not received any CDBG funds. However, a new dispersement formula put in place a few years ago results in us now receiving about $1800 annually. The minimum cost of a CDBG project is $10,000, so we don’t get enough to do anything with that money except donate it other neighborhoods for their projects.
This year, instead of directing the money at a neighborhood, the City has developed another option called the Neighborhood Project Menu to provide area non-profits the opportunity to have their projects considered for CDBG funding. If you follow the links on the Project Menu document, you will see a collection of local non-profit projects vetted by the City to meet HUD requirements for use of CDBG funds.
Please review the list of projects and come prepared to vote for where SNC’s $1800 should go at the next neighborhood council meeting on December 14th.
Every year Southgate Neighborhood Council votes for its officers for the upcoming year. This week we opened up the nomination period for 2017 with the vote to take place December 14th at the next neighborhood council meeting.
The officer positions are as follows: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and Community Assembly Representative. All positions have a one year term. Descriptions of the duties for each position can be found in the SNC Bylaws.
The nomination and voting process follows the policies laid out in the SNC Bylaws. Eligible nominees need to be voting members of the council as defined by the bylaws (a resident of the Southgate neighborhood 16 years or older having attended two consecutive neighborhood council meetings).
Last night the council moved to nominate all existing officers for another term. We will take nominations from the floor during the next meeting and conduct our vote then.
If you want to have a say in the development in our neighborhood, if you want to work to improve the quality of life for our area, please consider volunteering for one of our officer positions.
Last night the City Council approved the KXLY Comp Plan amendment in a unanimous 7-0 after hearing a presentation from staff and supporting comments from the developer’s representative and the Chair of the Southgate Neighborhood Council.
The proposed amendment would change the zoning of a 2-acre parcel of city-owned land along Regal Street next to the Southeast Sports Center. The current zoning is single-family residential and the new zoning will be Center and Corridor Core (CC-2), similar to KXLY’s existing property in our District Center. The Southgate Neighborhood Council voted to support this amendment back in June and provided supporting comments during the SEPA comment period back in July. For deep background on this amendment, look at the City’s website on the amendment.
Of broader implication for the neighborhood is the proposed sale of this small parcel to KXLY by the City. By purchasing this land, KXLY will gain access to the new stoplight at the intersection of Palouse Highway and Regal Street. This will unlock their 15-arce District Center property for rapid commercial development. The approval of the Comp Plan amendment is the first domino in a line of many land use actions needed to begin development.
Next the developers will sign agreements with the Park Board for a perpetual easement across part of the soccer center for their access road, a shared parking agreement where users of the Southeast Sports Complex can park in the future parking lots of the KXLY development, and a ground lease to develop a new soccer field near the radio tower on the western side of KXLY’s property. After those agreements are signed KXLY will begin the process of applying for building permits.
These conditions (approved comp plan amendment, CC-2 zoning, and easement) are part of the purchase and sale agreement between KXLY and the City. There are other conditions proposed by the neighborhood that are part of the agreement as well. Namely settlement of the Regal Plaza Appeal dealing with road design and implementation of the Integrated Site Plan in the Southgate District Center, commitment from the developer to “guaranteed substantive input/collaboration” with the neighborhood on the design of the KXLY development, and $300,000 from the sale price of the land to help develop multi-use trails around the Southgate Neighborhood.
This was the first domino to fall in a rapid chain of events that will culminate in the development of the next large commercial center in our neighborhood sometime next year. Our hope is that the proactive communication that has taken place so far between the developer, the City, and the neighborhood will continue as KXLY moves into the building phase of their project. I encourage all of you to follow Southgate Neighborhood on Facebook and Twitter for updates on this process.