Joint statement from City of Spokane Parks and Recreation, Avista Utilities and The First Tee of the Inland Northwest.

April 10 and 11, a contractor built a road and removed trees on Parks conservation land along the bluff on the south hill (below Bernard and north along the bank of Latah Creek), adjacent to and across an Avista utility easement corridor, and on private property.

There was an apparent misunderstanding regarding the authorization of construction of the access road and tree removal. The City did not receive or authorize a permit request for this work, which would involve property designated as conservation land.

The contractor has been told in writing and verbally to stop all work. The City of Spokane’s risk management department is assessing the damage.

Spokane Parks and Recreation, Avista and The First Tee of the Inland Northwest are committed to learning all the facts and to communicate that information with the public.

We’re also committed to learning from errors that lead to this unplanned damage to Park conservation property to ensure they don’t happen again, and to working with stakeholders to follow all appropriate processes to ensure restoration, mitigation and communication internally and with the community take place.

Related Project – The First Tee of the Inland Northwest Youth Golf Course

Parks and Recreation and The First Tee of the Inland Northwest, a private non-profit, are considering an agreement to build a 3-hole youth golf course adjacent to The Creek at Qualchan golf course.

Parks issued a tree removal permit to The First Tee of the Inland Northwest for the 6-acre 3-hole youth golf course only. The agreement does not contemplate a building of the road along the bluff or tree removal on the road. The road work done was outside the scope of the potential agreement.

Avista entered into a verbal agreement with The First Tee of the Inland Northwest to cost share an access road that could benefit both parties. Avista anticipates needing access to their utility corridor along the bluff Parks property through their easement in the fall of 2017 to replace power poles. The First Tee of the Inland Northwest anticipated using the access road instead of accessing the construction site through Qualchan golf course.

City Legal is investigating utility easements across all Parks property in this area.