Spokane Journal of Business

Douglass family members request five comprehensive plan amendments

Changes seek to increase levels of land development

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Prominent Spokane developers Harlan Douglass and his sons, Harley and Lanzce, are seeking a total of five amendments to the Spokane County comprehensive land-use plan.

One request seeks to tweak language to clarify that development of access from major multifamily developments to arterials could be a condition of approval rather than a precondition.

Three comprehensive plan amendment requests seek changes in land-use zoning designations to allow big apartment developments.

The other request seeks a comprehensive plan amendment to allow commercial development in an area currently zoned for low-density residential development.

All five requests will be heard next Thursday, June 29, by the Spokane County Planning Commission.

The developers couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.

Stone Horse LLC, which is headed by Harlan Douglass, is requesting a comprehensive plan amendment to change the land use to medium-density residential on 14 acres of land just northeast of Northwood Middle School, at the northeast corner of Center Road and Pittsburg Street.

John Pederson, Spokane County planning director, says that proposal would have up to 211 living units.

The parcel currently is zoned for low-density residential uses, which would limit the density to around 85 single-family or duplex units.

The Stone Horse request is seeing some early opposition.

Neighborhood residents Matt and Ambre Sturm, who have three children attending the school, say they’re concerned that the complex will add too much traffic too close to the school.

Sturm says he wouldn’t be opposed to the parcel being developed as single family homes or duplexes, but he contends that increasing the density in an area where there are no other multifamily developments would be a “classic example of spot zoning.”

The text amendment request, which is submitted by Harley Douglass, is related to a comprehensive plan amendment request, which seeks to change the land use-designation to medium density residential on 22 acres of land on the north slope of Five Mile Prairie, adjacent to both North Five Mile and Waikiki roads.

Douglass had submitted a similar land use proposal in 2011, but eventually it was denied because the development didn’t provide access to an arterial, Pederson says.

As part of the current request, the developer proposes to construct an interior road that would connect to Waikiki Road, which is an arterial, he says.

Pederson says the county has issued a mitigated determination of nonsignificance regarding the request. The determination limits the number of living units on the parcel to 99 units unless the developer provides additional access.

In what would the largest of the comprehensive plan amendment requests in terms of potential residential units, Lanzce Douglass is requesting a land-use change to high-density residential development on 25 acres of land on the northeast corner of Nevada Street and Magnesium Road.

Pederson says Douglass proposes to develop 250 senior-living units, up to 960 multifamily units, and up to 549 ministorage units on the property.

The land currently is zoned for industrial uses.

Secure Self Storage LLC, a Harley Douglass company, is requesting the zoning map amendment to regional commercial on 42 acres of land west of Highway 2, across the highway from the planned new Costco Wholesale Corp. warehouse store.

Pederson says the requested change would allow up to 212 peak-hour vehicle trips to and from the property, whether it’s developed for commercial or multifamily uses.

The planning commission hearing will be held in the Commissioners Assembly Room in the Spokane County Public Works Building, at 1026 W. Broadway.

The Planning Commission will forward its recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners for a final decision.

Mike McLean
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Deputy Editor Mike McLean has worked his entire journalism career in the Inland Northwest. Mike, who also lives to reel in fish and crank up music, has worked for the Journal since 2006.

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