State seeking to review Spokane Urban Growth Areas expansion

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For the past couple of months, myself and Councilmembers Waldref and Stuckart along with organizations such as Futurewise have been voicing our concerns about the Urban Growth Area expansion that was voted on by the Spokane County Commissioners on July 18, 2013. We believe that the 6,000 acre expansion will only increase unnecessary sprawl within our City, further strain finances and resources and was justified using shaky population estimates that did not fall in line with either the Spokane County PTAC (Planning Technical Advisory Committee) report or the Office of Financial Management’ estimates. Well, we just received some good news about this development.

Yesterday, Governor Inslee authorized the Washington State Departments of Commerce and Transportation to file a petition to review the UGA Expansion voted on by the Spokane County Commissioners. Among the State’s concerns are potential encroachment on Fairchild Airforce Base and the cost to taxpayers for property acquisition and building up infrastructure in the area. Governor Inslee has requested that all development in the UGA area stop until all Hearings and Appeals are resolved; something that is fair to both developers and taxpayers. The hearing will be held by the Growth Management Hearings Board and the hope is that this issue can resolved in such a way that we can avoid the constant cycle of UGA expansions that end up increasing sprawl and costs to all of our citizens.


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