Activating Existing Neighborhood Commercial Structures

City will host open house events on May 4 and May 9.

Nathan Gwinn, 509.625.6893,

Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 10:29 a.m.

Corner stores provide historic residential neighborhoods with character and convenience. But many that were later abandoned, converted, or rezoned, struggle with maintenance and repair as they are now prevented from restoring a former commercial activity.

To assist an investigation into whether such structures might again be permitted to contribute to the community as a reestablished commercial use, or small multifamily building or office, the City Planning & Development Department will conduct open houses Thursday, May 4 and Tuesday, May 9 to engage in community discussion about a proposed revision to the Spokane City Zoning Code.

This initiative would expand an area where pre-existing commercial structures in residential zones may be reused for low-impact neighborhood scale and neighborhood serving businesses. An existing pilot code allowing sites that were historically stores or other commercial uses to reopen as a new commercial use is currently limited to West Central Spokane.

This initiative is meant to increase the diversity of options for small businesses in a manner that has a minimal impact to neighbors, while encouraging active, walkable retail and other commercial uses. Changes to West Central would include new specifications for limited expansions to existing structures.

The City of Spokane will host two open houses to invite citizens to provide input before the proposal is considered by the Plan Commission and eventually the Spokane City Council. The first event will be held on Thursday, May 4, from 4:30-6 p.m. at West Central Community Center, 1603 North Belt Street. The second open house will be held on Tuesday, May 9, from 5-7 p.m. at East Central Community Center, 500 South Stone Street.

Documents related to the project can be found on the City of Spokane website.