Citizen Resource Center
This page is intended to be an easy-to-understand summary of planning and land use within the City of Spokane. Included are frequently-asked questions (coming soon), informational presentations, and information about the application and public hearing processes. It is meant to be a tool of wide-ranging information for the public and should not be used as a replacement for the complete text when exact regulations and detailed information are required.
Land use planning affects almost every aspect of life in Spokane. It helps decide where homes and businesses should be built; where parks should be located; and where essential public services should be provided.
Land use planning helps our community to set goals about how it will grow and how to reach those goals while maintaining vital social, economic and environmental concerns in mind. At the same time, land use planning must balance the interests of individual property owners with the interests of the wider community. Good land use planning affects all of us and helps to achieve the kind of community we want.
Public participation is one of the most essential elements of the Washington State Growth Management Act (RCW 37.70A). Inputs from the citizens can be provided at various stages of land use planning process. The City of Spokane encourages all citizens to participate in the land use decision making processes because such decisions affect them and the citizens generally have the best ideas as to what works best for their own community.
However, it often seems confusing and we don't always see how it affects our lives and property each day. This site is intended to help you understand how the planning process works in Spokane.
Did you know?
- The Comprehensive Plan provides the overall scheme of city development – the major land uses, transportation systems, parks, recreation, and open spaces, and centers of shopping and employment. This plan establishes the framework for all other planning activities and documents. By law, decision makers and managers in city government must follow the direction of the Comprehensive Plan.
- The City of Spokane consolidates all of the development regulations and guidelines into a Unified Development Code (UDC) found in Spokane Municipal Code Title 17.
- The Zoning Table contains the descriptions of the City's zoning categories and the uses allowed in them.
- The Land Use and Development Documents page is a good place to start if you have questions about land use application process requirements. The page compiles in one place the information and forms for requested land use applications.
- The Planning Documents and Code Reference page compiles in one place adopted plans and related documents.
- The Office of the Hearing Examiner acts on behalf of the City Council in issuing written documentation and recommendations on land use applications for variances, conditional use permits, rezones, subdivisions, and other permits. Recent decisions on land use matters issued by the Hearing Examiner are available online.
- The Plan Commission holds public hearings and makes recommendations to the City Council regarding amendments to the Comprehensive Plan, development regulations, and changes in the corporate limits of the City. Information about the Plan Commission meetings in available online.
- The Urban Design Office and the Design Review Board are advocates for design excellence in Spokane and work to protect and enhance Spokane’s quality of life by helping applicants interpret the spirit and intent of the City’s adopted codes, policies, and design guidelines for projects requiring design review.
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