In 2001, the City of Spokane adopted its first Comprehensive Plan under the Growth Management Act. This followed several years of community outreach and planning in a process called “Spokane Horizons.” The citizen involvement throughout the city that shaped this plan was impressive. Citizens and appointed and elected officials evaluated several possible growth patterns but identified a growth pattern called Centers and Corridors as the preferred option. This option identified specific Centers and Corridors as sites for intensified commercial and residential development.
Upon adoption of the Comprehensive Plan, all the neighborhood plans adopted prior to GMA were repealed. New neighborhood planning efforts were then directed to the implementation of the Centers and Corridors concept. This began with planning for four “pilot” centers and then, with lessons learned from the pilot processes, broadened to include the rest of the city neighborhoods. Neighborhoods were required to use an established neighborhood planning process and to work with City Planning Staff to plan for their centers and corridors and other areas of their neighborhoods. In 2004, this process was cut short due to City budget constraints, but planning staff continued to work with some neighborhoods on a very limited process to determine the land uses and boundaries within the remaining centers and corridors. Again, this process ended before work could be completed in all the centers and corridors because of City budget constraints, so some centers identified in the Comprehensive Plan have yet to undergo the required public process to evaluate land use and boundary issues.
In 2007, the City Council allocated $550,000 for another opportunity to initiate neighborhood planning. The funds were divided 26 ways with each neighborhood receiving approximately $21,000 (the City has 27 neighborhood councils, but the Riverside Neighborhood Council opted out of the process). Due to the limited funds, the Community Assembly Neighborhood Planning Action Committee (CA-NPAC), worked with Planning Services and the Office of Neighborhood Services to develop an “Abbreviated Planning Process.” This process is designed as a way for neighborhoods to identify their issues and solutions and then take them to the Neighborhood Action Committee (NAC). The NAC is composed of representatives from City Departments who help the neighborhoods resolve their issues, if possible. The NAC process itself is fairly short and does not require full use of a neighborhood’s planning funds, so neighborhoods can then use their remaining funds to focus on planning for a specific neighborhood plan or project.
Six neighborhoods began the planning process in January of 2009.
Watch the May 21, 2009 presentation at the Neighborhoods USA Conference entitled "Then and Now: Neighborhood Planning in Spokane." (2,470 KB)
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