KayCee Downey

Help Shape the Future of Housing Policy in the City of Spokane

KayCee Downey, Assistant Planner II, 509.625.6500

Monday, November 14, 2022 at 2:04 p.m.

Help Shape the Future of Housing Policy in the City of Spokane

Spokane needs more housing. Period.

The Building Opportunity and Choices for All interim ordinance was developed in recognition of this need, passed unanimously by City Council, and signed into effect by the Mayor this last July. However, the interim ordinance is an emergency short-term response to a long-term problem and is set to expire in July 2023. For long-term solutions, the City is looking at our community’s housing policies to ensure that housing is attainable and diverse. The Comprehensive Plan vision for the community already says that residents should have options to live in any neighborhood. It is more apparent than ever that some adjustments to City policy and code are necessary to achieve this vision.

This is where Building Opportunity for Housing comes in.

Building Opportunity for Housing seeks to create permanent changes to increase housing choice in Spokane. Right now, the primary options for housing are detached single-family homes or large multifamily structures. Townhomes, duplexes, and other modestly-scaled housing types are largely missing from the current development picture. This limits choice and causes housing to spread out, which then puts a toll on infrastructure.

To make lasting changes, the first step is to update Shaping Spokane, the City’s Comprehensive Plan. After working with the community on creating an updated vision for housing and making appropriate amendments to the Comprehensive Plan, the Municipal Code will be updated to implement that vision. Changes to permitted housing types, building coverage, minimum lot sizes, and other development standards will be considered, as well as effective design standards to ensure that new development does not conflict with what is already built.

We want to hear from you throughout this entire effort!

During the Building Opportunity for Housing project, the City will undertake a series of outreach and engagement activities to give the community a voice in creating the vision and lasting solutions to Spokane’s housing needs. From surveys to public meetings and pop-up events, our staff will be out in the community listening to residents. Options abound for you to lend your voice to this important effort. Building Opportunity for Housing is kicking off, so keep an eye out for coming engagement opportunities.

In the meantime, please visit the Building Opportunity For Housing website.

Sign up for the Shaping Spokane Housing newsletter to stay up to date on the project and to hear about opportunities to engage as they become available.

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