South University District Sub-Area Planning

The amendments to the Comprehensive Plan Land Use Map, Zoning Map, and overlay zones proposed in the subarea planning process were approved on August 24, 2020 and became effective on September 30, 2020.

South University District area by the Gateway Bridge

On August 24, 2020, Spokane City Council passed Resolution 2020-060 which recognizes the South University District Subarea Plan and work of the community in developing the plan. Following a public hearing, City Council also passed Ordinance C35925, implementing Downtown land use, Downtown University zoning, and related overlay zone designations for a 73-acre area centered on the intersection of Sprague Avenue and Sherman Street, as recommended by the subarea plan.

Thank you to everyone who participated in subarea planning for the South University District. Your comments and participation in surveys, focus groups, workshops, and open houses were key to developing this plan. In addition to the land use and zoning changes adopted in August 2020, the South University District Subarea Plan provides a vision for the future of the district, including a vision statement, goals, and policies to guide future development.

Project Description

The South University District area, within the East Central Neighborhood Council boundary, is experiencing new growth and investment, and emerging as a true “gateway,” with close access to many of the fastest-changing parts of Spokane. Public and private projects to revitalize the University District have been underway for more than a decade and the recent opening of the University District Gateway Bridge marks the beginning of a new chapter for the district, particularly the area south of the bridge landing. The Catalyst Building, with 150,000 square feet of research and classroom space, the investment by the City and University District Public Development Authority in Sprague Phase II streetscape improvements, additional service by Spokane Transit Authority, and the potential for several more public and private development projects in the vicinity of the south bridge landing are making the South University District a destination in its own right.

Growth of the student enrollment and research activities at adjacent university campuses and increased demand for centrally located places to live, work, and play should drive additional growth over the longer term. Taking place amidst these investments, subarea planning for the South University District provides a timely opportunity to ensure that development and redevelopment occurs within the district as envisioned by key stakeholders and the community at large.

In particular, this planning process will make sure that development regulations in the subarea align with goals for increased housing and innovation sector employment, while allowing for the continued growth of the legacy businesses that have anchored the district over the years.

Previous Activities

City Council Public Hearing
August 24, 2020 – held online
Resolution 2020-060 recognizing the South University District Subarea Plan
Ordinance C35925 enacting land use, zoning, and overlay map changes

Plan Commission Public Hearing
July 8, 2020 (continued to July 22, 2020) – held online
Plan Commission Findings, Conclusion, and Recommendation (PDF 517 KB)

Plan Commission Workshop
June 24, 2020 – held online

Plan Commission Workshop
November 13, 2019 at the Council Briefing Center in City Hall

Design Review Board Workshop
October 23, 2019 at the Council Briefing Center in City Hall

Plan Commission Workshop
October 23, 2019 at the Council Briefing Center in City Hall

Open House on Draft Vision, Goals, and Policies
October 2, 2019 at PRIDE Prep Public Charter School
Draft Vision Statement, Concept Plan, Zoning and Parking Options
District Context and Existing Zoning

Community Design Workshop
July 30, 2019 at PRIDE Prep Public Charter School
Community Engagement Summary
Report on Results of Community Design Workshop

Stakeholder Focus Groups
July 30-31, 2019 at PRIDE Prep Public Charter School

Online Survey
June 22 – August 11, 2019
Report on Results of Online Survey

Related Documents

  • East Sprague
  • South University District Workshop

Contact Information

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information or with questions. Our dedicated South University District subarea planning staff are listed below.

Amanda Beck

Items of Interest

Other Downtown and Subarea Planning Processes

Planning for Parking