Nathan Gwinn, Assistant Planner II, 509.625.6893
Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 12:54 p.m.
What a difference a couple of months can make. Many people are balancing the significant disruption in their work, home, education and social circles because of COVID-19. The pandemic arrived in the middle of the process of updating the Spokane Downtown Plan.
As a refresher, the City of Spokane and Downtown Spokane Partnership are partnering to update the Spokane Downtown Plan. This plan was lasted updated in 2008 and just like the last several weeks, much has changed.
The process of updating the plan began in the Fall of 2019 with a community survey and the first public workshop. In early February, a second public workshop was facilitated to gather your feedback on the vision, guiding principles, and planning concepts developed for the Spokane Downtown Plan update. Feedback was summarized to share in March when the COVID-19 disruption began. This brings us to today as we move to conduct City business while reacting to and recovering from the pandemic. It has also given us an opportunity for additional reflection while “on pause.” It is time to revisit the plan update.
Consultants from Framework facilitated the February public workshop, which incorporated early results of an online survey. Citizens responded at the workshop to a new set of five strategies and policies developed to assist growth in Downtown as a regional destination for shopping, entertainment and employment, as well as the needs of additional residents and businesses. The project team received input from the public on an updated map, highlighting potential investment areas, and several interactive boards. We also heard from 640 survey respondents who shared feedback on and rated the proposed strategies.
Public input from the workshop was largely positive across all goals and strategies. To read more about how input was collected and see the comments and reactions for the workshop, check out the Public Workshop 2 Summary and other information at the City’s Spokane Downtown Plan project page.
We are in uncertain times, however it is important to move the Spokane Downtown Plan forward to strengthen our community as we navigate unchartered waters. The planning team is using your input to further improve the new strategies that will guide development and investment Downtown for the next decade. A draft is being prepared with input from a 20-member steering committee, representing the various interest groups Downtown. A final public meeting is expected in late spring 2020 to present the full draft plan. The City encourages everyone to continue providing feedback through the process as leaders consider these important decisions about future development Downtown.
You are invited to participate by providing written comments and attending upcoming events scheduled throughout the process. See contact information and watch for the announcements at the City’s project page.