South Hill Housing Project Causes Controversy - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

South Hill Housing Project Causes Controversy

SPOKANE, Wash. - A housing controversy continues to build in one South Hill neighborhood. A contractor is building rental properties and neighbors say their concern is these new homes will turn into low income housing.

Visible from the backyard of Susie Klemme's home on 35th and Regal along Southeast Boulevard, there is construction underway for a cottage housing project. This project has been in the works for some time. The city's planning department initially approved it, but the neighborhood appealed the decision all the way to Spokane County Superior Court. The court sided with the builder, allowing the project to move forward, giving the builders permits for the first 6 of 24 units.

But neighbors continue to say they don't want more rental property, afraid rentals will bring in a lack of pride for the area, and possible crime.

 "To plop 24 units down on less than two and a half acres. I simply feel it is unnecessary, it will degrade the value of the present day homeowners," said Susie Klemme who lives near the construction site.

The builder and property owner, Konstanin Vasilenko, says he has the right to build because it's his property.  The city agrees he can build if he's within zoning regulations and not breaking the law.

The neighbors have one more shot to stop the construction and that's going to the Court of Appeals. They can also seek a stay for construction. There is no stay currently so the City must allow construction to move forward. Neighbors say they filed an appeal on July 7th and are waiting for a decision.

In the mean time, the cottage housing project goes on. Construction crews poured concrete Tuesday.

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