Council vote on ordinance siting City facilities pushed back two weeks

Spokane City Council
Credit: Spokane City Council

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane City Council will defer its vote on an ordinance that would determine the process and criteria for siting essential City facilities.

The vote will likely happen in two weeks.

The Council is looking to change the language that defines the processes and protocols for utility facilities.

“The City Utilities Division has requested that Council consider language changes that will better support the siting of utility facilities and Council will spend the next two weeks fine-tuning that language,” Council President Breean Beggs said.

The ordinance looks to codify public processes and criteria to fix important City buildings, such as police precincts or offices, fire stations, utility facilities, community centers and libraries.

It stems from multiple requests from the Council to allow the public to participate and have transparency on public buildings. This includes the placement of a Spokane Police Precinct in the former East Central Library, building a water tower at Hamblen Elementary in the Southgate neighborhood and the stormwater treatment facility near Gonzaga University.

“Council’s action to defer will provide an opportunity to hear from our utility department and learn more about siting utility facilities,” Council Member Betsy Wilkerson, who co-sponsored the ordinance with CP Beggs, said. “This deferment also allows for more community engagement regarding the appropriate location for a police precinct in East Central. East Central has over 4,400 households, including a large community of unhoused individuals to consider; therefore, a thorough community process is needed. I will continue to work toward the good of East Central and its residents.”

The Council is proposing that new and existing City facilities provide a summary of the facilities that don’t meet the requirements of the ordinance any later than 180 days after the effective date.

Council is working with utilities departments to change the language and bring it to a vote at the August 1 meeting.

READ: Spokane City Council approves two resolutions for East Central police precinct

READ: ‘Where’s the transparency?’ Mayor, Council at opposite ends of new East Central police precinct