City Council gives green light to big box store development on Spokane's South Hill - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

City Council gives green light to big box store development on Spokane's South Hill

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane City Council approved three ordinances Monday night approving a development agreement that will allow construction to begin on Spokane's South Hill. The council passed the ordinances 6-1, with council member Richard Rush casting the only 'no' vote.

Developing the land has been a long standing debate with South Hill residents arguing more stores bring more traffic.

Last week, the Southgate Neighborhood Council on the South Hill agreed with the development of three parcels of land near S. Regal and the Palouse Highway.

The vote took place Wednesday night in a town hall meeting. Many residents say they're not happy with what the city council did by turning their neighborhood into a big box center, but think the neighbors did the right thing voting for it.

Last July, the city made a zoning change that potentially cleared the way for the construction of big box stores like Target and Home Depot.

Home Depot was the first to express interest, but the neighborhood council fought the proposal and Home Depot dropped their plans.

The land has been sitting vacant with no concrete plans for its development.

At issue is whether the addition of big box stores and other commercial development would violate the state's growth management plan. The neighborhood council says it would, but the Growth Management Hearings Board has previously ruled it would not.

In July of 2008, Mayor Mary Verner chose not to sign a veto ordinance that would have halted plans to build big box stores in that area.

Her statement read in part, "I regret I am left without a viable option to exercise my veto authority in the best interest of the community."

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