Proposed Browne's Addition Local Historic District Overlay Zone

Project Description

The Browne's Addition Neighborhood Council initiated the process to create a historic district overlay in fall of 2016. The overlay created a Spokane Register Historic District and implemented Historic Design Review for properties located within the district. The overlay applies design review for any new construction as well as for additions to existing buildings. This proposal does not include public rights-of-way within the district. A map is located below.

The district will help maintain the historic character of Browne's Addition while allowing contributing properties within the district to take advantage of incentives for owners of historic properties, including Special Tax Valuation and the Façade Improvement Grant program.

There were many steps to approval for this historic district overlay. In spring of 2019 a draft of the Browne's Addition Design Standards and Guidelines was made available for public review and comment. The City of Spokane Plan Commission held three workshops to look at the proposed guidelines and district overlay zone. The Plan Commission held a public hearing on June 12, 2019 at which they recommend the formation of the Browne's Addition Local Historic District Overlay Zone to Spokane City Council.

The adoption of the overlay was also subject to review by the Landmarks Commission of the City of Spokane. The Landmarks Commission approved formation of the district at a public hearing on August 28, 2019.

The overlay district was also subject to a vote of current property owners within the district. By city code, a vote of over 50% of property owners of developable lots was required for the overlay district to move forward to City Council for potential adoption. The voting period ended on August 22, 2019 and over 54% of owners of properties within the district showed their support for formation of the overlay zone.

The overlay was passed by Spokane City Council as Ordinance C35810 by a vote of 6-1 on September 23, 2019. The Mayor of Spokane, David Condon, signed the ordinance on October 4, 2019 and the ordinance went into effect on November 3, 2019.

If you have comments or questions regarding the project, please email

Upcoming Events

  • Ordinance C35810 goes into effect November 3, 2019 – City of Spokane Mayor, David Condon, signed Ordinance C35810 on October 4, 2019 and it will go into effect on November 3, 2019.


You may be thinking “I thought that Browne's Addition was already a historic district – why are we talking about doing this again?” Well, you are right, Browne's Addition was listed as a National Register Historic District in 1976, but that is very different from what a Spokane Register Historic District would mean for the neighborhood.

Local Historic District designation is one method of ensuring that changes to your neighborhood occur thoughtfully, preserving the fabric that people love – homes with history, vital dwellings that preserve the past, while acknowledging modern lifestyles. Historic district designation can preserve the essential features of a neighborhood, while permitting contemporary improvements and additions that contribute to the historic character of the area.

This proposal would form the Browne's Addition Local Historic District and Overlay Zone in the Browne's Addition Neighborhood of Spokane, Washington.

The intent of these efforts are to keep historic buildings in use and the historic character of the district intact through listing on the Spokane Register of Historic Places and forming an overlay zone; incentivizing rehabilitation; and reviewing changes to historic properties, demolitions, and new construction.

Why in Browne's?

  • The neighborhood has been a National Register Historic District since 1976
    • The only “protection” in a NR District in Spokane is a review of demolition
    • In the past, as long as there was a replacement structure, HPO had to sign off on the demolition – without design review of the replacement structure
  • After several demolitions in the neighborhood in 2015/16, the BANC asked the HPO and City Council for some additional protections for the historic neighborhood
  • CM Kinnear implemented a moratorium on demolition in Browne's in 2016-17
  • A revision of SMC 17D.040 (Historic Preservation) was undertaken to allow for the creation of large-scale historic districts in Spokane
    • Revision passed City Council in February of 2018
  • In June 2015, Browne's Addition Neighborhood Council (BANC) was presented with options to give them more protection/control of the changes in the neighborhood:
    • Options included an overlay zone or a local historic district
  • BANC asked for the creation of a local historic district in order to:
    • Give more protection to the neighborhood's historic resources through design review of existing and new construction
    • Offer incentives to “contributing properties” within the district (Special Valuation and Façade Improvement Grants, amongst others)
    • Review of demolitions within Browne's
    • Maintain the historic nature of the district
  • In July of 2017, HPO received grant funding from the DAHP for $22,000 for the project ($17,000 from Federal pass-through, $5,000 cash match).


Previous Public Outreach/Internal Process:

June 3, 2015: Initial BANC Meeting
November 30, 2016: HPO published Pro-Browne's Addition Historic District website with FAQs, all other info on district formation
June 7, 2018: BANC Meeting Presentation to Neighborhood
September 13, 2018: BANC Meeting Presentation
October 5, 2018: Mailing sent to all property owners within the district boundaries
October 18, 2018: #1 Browne's Addition Workshop – Compatible New Construction in Browne's
November 7, 2018: #2 Browne's Addition Workshop – Frequently Asked Questions
March 14, 2019: Postcard mailing to all property owners announcing availability of docs, workshop
March 20, 2019: SHLC Preliminary Approval for Browne's Addition documents
March 27, 2019: #3 Browne's Addition Workshop – Overview of Completed Documents/Discussion
April 8, 2019: Urban Experience City Council Committee update on BA District
April 24, 2019: Plan Commission Workshop #1
May 8, 2019 2 p.m.:Plan Commission Workshop #2
May 16, 2019 6:30 p.m.: Browne's Addition NC Meeting – Process Update
May 22, 2019 3 p.m.: Plan Commission Workshop #3
June 12, 2019 4 p.m.: Plan Commission Hearing – Browne's Addition Local Historic Overlay Zone
June 19, 2019 3 p.m.: Landmark Commission Hearing – Browne's Addition Local Historic District Nomination & Design Standards and Guidelines
June 20, 2019: Ballots are sent out to property owners marking the beginning of the voting period for the Browne's Addition Local Historic District
July 17, 2019: Notice Signs Posted for Landmarks Commission Public Hearing on August 28, 2019 – signs located at corners of W. 2nd Ave. & S. Chestnut St. and W. Riverside Ave. & S. Maple St.
August 22, 2019: Browne's Addition Local Historic District voting period ended – there were 371 possible votes and 201 were "yes" votes (54%) in favor of forming the district. In order to move the proposal forward, 186 (50%+1) affirmative votes were required.
August 28, 2019: Landmarks Commission Hearing – Browne's Addition Local Historic District Nomination & Design Standards and Guidelines – Final Approval by vote of 8-0
September 23, 2019: Spokane City Council Meeting – Ordinance C35810 forming the Browne's Addition Local Historic District Overlay was passed by City Council by a vote of 6-1
October 4, 2019: City of Spokane Mayor, David Condon, signed Ordinance C35810
November 3, 2019: Ordinance C35810 goes into effect


Project Documents

Additional Information

Historic Buildings Photo collage

Contact Information

Logan Camporeale
Historic Preservation Specialist