Local Improvement Districts

Many of us would like to enhance the safety, quality and value of the neighborhoods where we live, work and play. If your neighborhood or business district needs street lights, paved alleys, or water and sewage systems, the Local Improvement District (LID) Program can help. This is a great opportunity to improve your neighborhood, increase your property value and cut down on dust pollution, all at a reduced cost.

Forming an LID: A Step-by-Step Guide

Evaluate the Support of Your Neighbors

Paving a street can cost between $550 and $900 per foot of length, per side. Paving an alley can cost between $150 and $250 per foot, per side. For example, if your property frontage along the street is 60’, your costs would be in the range of $33,000 and $54,000. If your property frontage along an alley is 60’, your costs would be in the range of $9,000 - $15,000.  These figures are estimates only.

The first step in the LID formation process is to contact your neighbors, let them know you are exploring forming an LID, let them know the possible cost range and determine if they are interested. Are at least 60% of your neighbors willing to participate in an LID given this cost range? If so, please call Engineering Services at 509.625.6700 and ask for the LID Coordinator to discuss your next steps.

A broad overview of the next steps is given below.

The Petition

The LID coordinator will provide you with a district map, a property ownership list and a petition to gather neighborhood signatures. For a successful project, the petition must be signed by property owners representing a majority of the area in the assessment district. The assessment district typically includes property that has frontage on the improvement or within one half block. When circulating the petition remember it may only be signed by the property owner, and if there is more than one property owner (e.g. husband and wife) it must be signed by both.

Return the Petition

When the petition has been signed by a majority of property owners in the assessment district, return it to the City Clerk's Office on the Fifth Floor of the Municipal Building.

Estimated Cost

The City Clerk will send the petition to the Department of Engineering Services for an estimate of the project's cost. All concerned property owners will receive information about the estimated cost of the project.

Public Hearing

Two public meetings will then be held to measure the need and support for the Local Improvement District: a meeting for property owners at the Department of Engineering Services, and a public hearing before the City of Spokane's Hearing Examiner. All people sharing the cost of the proposed project will be notified of the meetings.

Project Approval

If the LID is approved by the City Council, the project will be designed by the Department of Engineering Services and sent out for competitive bids. Construction begins when a successful bid is received.

Depending on the size and scope of the project, LIDs are usually finished within an 18-month period.

Final Assessment

When the project is finished, the City will notify property owners of the final assessment. A date will be set for a hearing before the City's Hearing Examiner; property owners may voice objections to their assessments at that time.

Payment

After the City Council confirms the assessments, the City Treasurer will bill property owners. At that time, any or all of the balance due may be paid without interest.

The dollar amount not paid on the first billing date will be divided into annual payments over ten years, plus interest. Interest rates vary pending market purchases of construction bonds but are usually between 4% and 8%. Once the bonds are purchased, your interest rate is locked in for the 10-year period.

View the Local Improvement District brochure (PDF 1.6 MB).