Governor to present Spokane with Smart Communities Award

Erin Hut, Communications Director, 509.625.6740

Tuesday, January 30, 2024 at 3 p.m.

Mayor Lisa Brown and Council President Betsy Wilkerson will welcome Governor Jay Inslee to Spokane Wednesday as he presents the city with the 2023 Smart Communities Award.  

Spokane was among 11 communities recognized for exceptional land use planning and development, as well as effective implementation of the state’s Growth Management Act. More specifically, Spokane was recognized for its approach to housing through the “Building Opportunity and Choices for All” (BOCA) program. 

Members of Spokane’s Planning and Economic Development departments worked closely with members of the Spokane City Council to bring the BOCA ordinance forward. The Council first passed the ordinance in 2022 as a pilot program. In November 2023, the Council voted unanimously to extend the interim ordinance to update development standards and amendments that increase housing diversity in the city.  

The BOCA Act modifies residential zoning to accelerate the construction of more housing in neighborhoods across Spokane. It diversifies and enhances affordable housing choices while increasing homeownership opportunities for those previously finding it out of reach. It has been applauded as an innovative approach that increases housing options and supply while meeting the demands of an evolving housing market.