A West Central neighborhood resident has appealed to Spokane County Superior Court a Spokane City Council decision to allow development of a 10-story office tower about a block west of the Spokane County Courthouse.
The appellant, Brad Chinn, is an elected Spokane County District Court commissioner, and because of that Superior Court judges here have recused themselves from the case, which has been moved to Colville, where Superior Court cases for Stevens, Pend Oreille, and Ferry counties are handled, says Stacy Bjordahl, the Spokane attorney who represents the developer, West Central Development LLC, of Spokane.
Both West Central Development, which is owned by Dr. Marcus DeWood and Luann Padgham-DeWood, and the city of Spokane are named as respondents in the appeal. Bjordahl says a hearing will be held June 27 to set the schedule for the case.
In the appeal, filed May 19, Chinn contends the city misinterpreted land-use regulations, and that the proposed project is incompatible with current neighborhood use and density. Chinn, who is handling the appeal himself, declines to comment on it.
The Spokane City Council had overturned city Hearing Examiner Greg Smiths denial of a rezoning request for the project earlier last month. The DeWoods first proposed the office tower two years ago, but their plans had been on hold as the City Council considered their appeal of Smiths Nov. 30, 2007, denial of their request for a rezone.
The eight lots where the proposed development would be built were zoned previously for buildings no taller than 35 feet, and Smiths decision to deny the zone change cited the proposed buildings greater density and intense use compared with uses on surrounding sites.
He concluded the zone change wasnt consistent with the citys comprehensive plan and should have been considered in a review of that plan or as part of the West Central Neighborhood planning process. The DeWoods had argued that the nearby Spokane County Courthouse is on land zoned for 150-foot-tall structures.
Bjordahl says if the court finds in favor of Chinn, it could reverse the City Councils decision outright or direct the council to reconsider the matter. Until then, West Central Development is free to move forward with its plans.
Padgham-DeWood says plans for the property, which currently is vacant, still are preliminary.
She says West Central Development will proceed, but cant move full tilt yet, because the company still is awaiting a letter of approval from the hearing examiners office following the City Councils decision last month.
The tower would be constructed at the southwest corner of Mallon Avenue and Adams Street, next to county property, and a parking garage would be erected just west of the tower.
Two of the development sites lots face Broadway Avenue and would be used for a public plaza.
Contact Jeanne Gustafson at (509) 344-1264 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
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