Definition of a Household – Spokane Municipal Code Amendment

Proposal Description

In November 2015 the City passed an emergency interim zoning ordinance clarifying the status of foster children as they relate to the definition of a household (see SMC 17A.020.080). In November, 2015 the City’s Planning Director received a request for an administrative interpretation of the City’s zoning code, and particularly SMC 17A.020.080(P), which defines “household.” On November 10, the Planning Director issued an interpretation, indicating that the City’s zoning code does not limit the number of foster children that may reside in a foster family home. On November 23, on behalf of several residents, an attorney appealed the decision to the City’s Hearing Examiner.  Prior to the hearing before the City’s Hearing Examiner the City Council adopted an Interim Zoning Ordinance that makes it absolutely clear that foster children are considered identical to biological children in the Spokane Municipal Code and that the City does not limit the number of foster children that can reside in a residence.

Interim Zoning Ordinance C35329 will expire May 30, 2016, necessitating a permanent Zoning Ordinance to replace it. This proposal seeks to adopt the same changes made in the interim Ordinance as a permanent change to the Spokane Municipal Code.

Past Action

The proposed Ordinance was discussed at a Plan Commission Workshop on April 13, 2016. No changes were made to the Ordinance during the workshop and the Plan Commission President indicated that the Plan Commission would hold a hearing on the proposed Ordinance at their next scheduled meeting.

Upcoming Events

  • The Plan Commission will hold a Hearing regarding the proposed Ordinance on April 27, 2016 at 4:00 PM. Public input will be taken at the Hearing.
  • Following the Plan Commission Hearing, the proposed Ordinance will be considered by the City Council, dates to follow.

Related Documents

Contact Information

Written comments should be sent via mail or email:

Planning and Development Services
Attn: Kevin Freibott
Assistant Planner
808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
Spokane, WA 99201-3329