Amendment to Characteristics of Downtown Complete Street Designations

Project Proposal

The City Council, after a recommendation from the Plan Commission, is considering the addition of a provision to Spokane Municipal Code (SMC) Section 17C.124.035 "Characteristics of Downtown Complete Street Designations" to allow for the vacation of right-of-way designated as a Complete Street if City Council finds doing so accommodates a public purpose.

Project Activity

City Council's Public Infrastructure, Environment, and Sustainability Committee (PIES) was briefed on the proposal to determine what direction should be taken with regards to the Plan Commission. The Plan Commission was then briefed on the proposed amendment in a workshop session during the Plan Commission's September 25, 2019 meeting. Subsequently during the October 9, 2019 Plan Commission Hearing, the Plan Commission by a vote of 4 to 2 recommended to the City Council the approval of the proposed amendment.

If you would like to be notified by email of actions related to this proposal, please contact Shea Suski, Assistant Planner at or 509.625.6965 and you will be added to the notification list.

What's Happening Next

A draft ordinance to implement the proposed amendment is scheduled for a first reading in front of the City Council at its October 28, 2019 meeting at 6:00 pm in the City Council Chambers. A final reading of the ordinance and action by City Council will occur during the November 4, 2019 meeting at 6:00 pm in the City Council Chambers. Public testimony will be accepted on the proposed amendment during this meeting prior to any City Council action.


Effective since January 2010, Section 17C.124.035 of the Spokane Municipal Code (SMC) states that right-of-ways designated as a Complete Street in Map 5.1 of the 2008 Downtown Plan Update cannot be vacated. In order to allow some flexibility for public purposes, added language is proposed to allow for vacation of part or all of a Complete Street right-of-way if City Council finds it would accommodate a public use. Below is text from SMC Section 17C.124.035, with the proposed amendment text in bold and red color:

“The downtown zones are complemented by the complete streets designations map (described in detail in the downtown plan) that further guides public and private development within the downtown. The different complete streets designations set different street standards and desired amenities based upon the intended use and desired qualities of the street. The complete streets designations are depicted on Map 5.1 "Streetscape Improvements" in the downtown plan and zoning layer. Right-of-ways found on the complete streets map shall not be vacated as the space is needed to incorporate the elements described in the complete street designation; provided, upon a finding that a vacation is needed in order to accommodate a public use, the City Council may approve a request to vacate such right-of-ways or portions thereof. Curb to property line and the sidewalk width shall not be reduced in order to allow for future complete street elements.”

Informational Links and Documents

Other Related Resources

Contact Information

Shea Suski
Assistant Planner
Planning and Development Services
808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
Spokane, WA 99201-3329