Homeowners oppose new apartment construction - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Homeowners oppose new apartment construction

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More than 500 homeowners have signed a petition against a new apartment construction in the Wandermere neighborhood. More than 500 homeowners have signed a petition against a new apartment construction in the Wandermere neighborhood.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

More than 500 homeowners have signed a petition against a new apartment construction in the Wandermere neighborhood in North Spokane near Mead. The project is proposed near the intersection of Wandermere road and Elto Avenue. Right now there is a 17 and a half acre plot of land and 4 and half acres zoned as "Low Density" meaning the 354 unit apartment building being proposed would not fit zoning requirements. Several neighbors oppose the re-zoning, so much so that the Spokane County Planning Commission rejected the re-zoning proposal last Fall. "It was not a unanimous vote." Spokane County Commissioner Todd Mielke says. "Even some of the people who voted yes have contacted the board of county commissioners saying, that is not how I feel about this issue."

On Tuesday the Spokane County Board of Commissioners decided to re-visit the issue and hear from homeowners. "We want it to fit in the neighborhood, but it just doesn't fit." Tim Conley said who has lived in the Wandermere neighborhood for several years. "I don't think that anyone has really considered all the ramifications of putting that many people in that small of an area." Kirt Wilkinson says. He's lived in the neighborhood for more than 13 years and also has signed the petition. Neighbors are concerned that a high increase in traffic would be imminent and that the Mead School District would not be handle the influx of potential students and families moving in.

The construction is not something the school district is opposed to but Ned Wendle the Director of Facilities and Planning for Mead schools says new development is "always a challenge." Wendle says based on apartment complexes that are already in the Wandermere neighborhood a rough estimate would be about 40-70 new students the district could see based on the construction plans. Wendle says the rapid expansion is a concern but that the district will work with the county.

Spokane County Commissioners say they will consider input from the homeowners who live in the neighborhood on whether or not the 4.4 acre parcel should be re-zoned to fit the remaining 13 acres of land on the property.

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