The South Hill Coalition planning process included Cliff Cannon, Comstock, Lincoln Heights, Manito/Cannon Hill, and Rockwood Neighborhoods. In 2015, the Southgate Neighborhood joined the Coalition as the sixth member.
In 2012, five South Hill neighborhoods pooled their City neighborhood planning dollars to develop a connectivity plan for all five neighborhoods. The connection of neighborhood leaders and a commitment to working together toward a shared vision led to the establishment of the South Hill Coalition (SHC). The SHC's Steering Committee includes representatives from all five neighborhoods, a Project Lead (Deb Barnes) and a staff liaison (Jo Anne Wright) from the City of Spokane's Planning and Development Services.
After the formation of the SHC, the planning process kicked off in June of 2012. The planning consultant for the process, MIG Portland, was hired to assist the SHC in the creation of a South Hill Coalition Connectivity and Livability Strategic Plan. The highly collaborative effort included hundreds of hours of volunteer time to promote and convene meetings, share information, conduct surveys and intercept events, develop plan elements and review other plan content.
The major plan elements include a vision, goals, and strategic actions; a prioritized set of projects and accompanying map; conceptual level designs for the highest priority projects; and a project implementation toolkit. Three plan recommendations are built around a greenway network that connects the neighbors, commercial nodes, parks, and schools on the South Hill. The greenway network will be supported by crossing improvements, way finding signage, and several new connections to close gaps in the network. Other streetscape improvements to make Comprehensive Plan-designated centers more walkable and attractive to reinvestment were also a high priority for the SHC.
The plan clearly implements the goals and policies of the City of Spokane Comprehensive Plan through an emphasis on improving the pedestrian/bicycle/transit modes of transportation within and between all five neighborhoods while also improving the connections to downtown Spokane and other south hill neighborhoods. The plan is also consistent with and implements many other comprehensive plan goals and policies – maintaining the south hill tree canopy and open spaces, promoting long-term and ongoing neighborhood outreach, and traffic safety. South Hill citizens, as well as city residents, will enjoy the benefits of this plan through an improved quality of life.
The planning process itself is unique in that five neighborhoods developed one communal plan, rather than developing five individual neighborhood plans. The outcome of this successful collaboration is a plan that greatly benefits the community as a whole. The process also demonstrates that exceptional leadership at the neighborhood level encourages and fosters successful partnerships and good planning. The City Council adopted the plan in June, 2014.
Project Lead and Community Liaison for the South Hill Coalition