Jeff Humphrey, Media Content Coordinator, 509.625.6308
Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 11:32 a.m.
It’s still pretty easy to get briefly stuck in rush hour traffic so the Spokane City Council is trying to create more housing choices in areas where you don’t necessarily need to get into a car to get what you need.
“And we are seeing younger people who prefer that mode, they don’t necessarily drive. We want to encourage people, especially the millennials, to move into our neighborhoods and enjoy what we have to offer,” said city councilwoman Lori Kinnear.
In the Cliff-Cannon neighborhood a new blend of housing is taking shape; one that includes condos and apartments alongside traditional housing.
“We want to create environments, neighborhoods that are a little denser and people don’t have to go to the far reaches to get what they need,” Kinnear explained.
Abby McChesney is the wine and beer manager at Huckleberry’s and because she lives in a Cliff-Cannon house, converted to apartments, Abby spends more time on foot than behind the wheel of her car.
“I like that I can walk to work, meet a friend for a beer and pizza at Bennidito’s. Go down to Polly Judd, take a hike, walk downtown. There are days I don’t even use my car,” McChesney said as she strolled down Monroe Street.
Spokane is trying to promote alternative forms of transportation by focusing infill housing development near arterials.
“People have choices when they live on an arterial about how to get from point A to point B and I think it’s important to give people these choices,” the councilwoman added.
So now Spokane wants to make it easier for someone to stand up new housing opportunities inside our established neighborhoods.
“I think I want people to understand that we can have responsible infill, in our historic neighborhoods without destroying the character. I think it’s important to know that you can have structures that blend in, that are useful and provide choices for everybody,” Kinnear said of improving Spokane’s housing stock.
Kinnear feels when infill development can take advantage of existing roads, water and sewer lines, new housing becomes more affordable for working-wage families.
“We want to avoid sprawl. When we have sprawl it’s more expensive. It’s more expensive to the City, it’s more expensive for the taxpayer,” Kinnear warned.
Kinnear worries without easing infill regulations, developers will look beyond the city limits and divert property and sales taxes away from Spokane.
But not everyone welcomes higher density living unless it’s compatible with existing neighborhoods.
“We wanted to make sure, that when we started down this road, we included as many people as possible so that we have all voices that are making these decisions. Not just the council, not just the administration, that we have neighborhood voices in this because they are the people living here. They have to have a say in how their neighborhood looks and changes,” pledged Kinnear.
For more information about the housing opportunities Spokane is trying to create for its residents go to the City of Spokane webpage.