2020/2021 Unified Development Code Maintenance


The Planning Services Department completed several City-initiated amendments to the Unified Development Code, more commonly known as the Spokane Municipal Code (SMC). Code amendments are conducted periodically to ensure the code is responsive to changes in development and trends, regulations are understandable, and that cross-references be updated as necessary. The currently proposed amendments are the fifth such effort over the past two decades.

Code amendments are generally categorized under three types of revisions. The types are:

  • Minor: These include changes such as corrections to cross references from Title 11, typically repealed sections of chapter 11.19 found in Title 1. In some cases, the amendments include striking redundant phrasing or inaccurate word choice without changing meaning or substance.
  • Clarification: These include changes such as fixing conflicting provisions within the code or fixing code provisions that were either oversights or mistakes when the code was adopted.
  • Substantive: These include changes such as adjusting permitted uses, adjusting a development standard, or improving the practical application of the code.

Summary of Proposed Amendments

The proposed code amendments are considered maintenance revisions, or “clean up.” The changes are intended to remove references to repealed SMC chapters or sections, redundant phrases, or other minor clean up actions such as typographical errors. The proposed amendments are categorically exempt from SEPA.

  • Amend Section 04.13.015 to replace “development standards” with “design standards.”
  • Amend Section 17C.110.100 to replace “Design Criteria” with “Decision Criteria.”
  • Amend Section 17C.124.110 to remove redundant phrasing regarding Limited Industrial uses are allowed, striking through a second phrase stating that “only limited industrial uses are allowed.”
  • Amend Section 17C.220.060 to update and remove obsolete cross reference to 10.08.020 and replace with SMC 10.08D.090 Public Disturbance Noise.
  • Update Section 17E.050.080 to replace the term “special use permit” with current conditional use permit terminology.
  • Update Section 17F.010.050 to remove reference to repealed Chapter 11.11 and update references to department names to reflect current Developer Services department.
  • Amend Section 17F.040.140 Building Code to remove reference to obsolete International Building Code regarding awnings.
  • Update Section 17G.040.040(B) Design Review Criteria to amend location of Design Review Application Handbook and summary of contents.
  • Update Section 17G.060.020(A)(3) Director of Planning Services to accurately reflect SMC Title names and remove cross-reference to repealed Title 11 chapters.
  • Revise Section 17G.060.070(B)(5)(c) Planned Unit Developments with amendments removing cross reference to repealed chapter 11.19 and replacing with reference to Title 17.
  • Update Section 17G.070.220(A) Planned Unit Developments, vesting with amendments removing cross reference to repealed Title 11 and replacing with reference to Title 17.
  • Update Section 17G.080.070(C)(5) Design of Lots and Blocks with amendments removing cross reference to repealed chapter 11.19 and replacing with reference to Title 17.


Please contact Amanda Beck, Assistant Planner, with Planning Services if you have questions about the adopted code changes. You can email her at abeck@spokanecity.org, or by mail to Attn: Amanda Beck, 808 W. Spokane Falls Boulevard, Spokane, WA 99201-3333.

Legislative Process

Plan Commission

  • Briefing 1 - September 23, 2020
  • Briefing 2 - November 11, 2020

City Council

Public Hearings

City Council Adoption

On March 29, 2021 the City Council adopted Ordinances C36023, C36024, C36025, C36026, and C36027 which became effective May 6.

Contact Information

Amanda Beck, AICP
Assistant Planner