South University District Sub-Area Planning

What's Happening Now

On July 8, 2020 (and continued to July 22, 2020), the Spokane City Plan Commission held a virtual online public hearing on the South University District Subarea Plan and proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Plan Land Use Map, Zoning Map, and overlay zone maps. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Plan Commission voted 9 to 1 to recommend that City Council recognize the subarea plan and approve the map amendments.

City Council will hold a Public Hearing to consider the actions recommended by Plan Commission on Monday, August 24, 2020 during the City Council Legislative Session, starting at 6:00 pm.

The ordinance recommended by the Plan Commission recommends the zone change shown in the map below, as well as corresponding changes in the same area to the Comprehensive Plan Land Use Map and several overlay zone maps.

South U-District Sub-area Zone Change Map

Read the Draft Subarea Plan, Proposed Zone Changes, and Staff Report

A draft of the South University District Subarea Plan, which provides a vision for future development of a 214-acre area just east of the downtown core. The subarea plan includes a vision statement, goals, and policies to guide future development in the South University District, and proposes specific zone changes in a 90-acre area focused on the frontages of E. Sprague Avenue and S. Sherman Street.

The draft subarea plan is now available for review using the link below.

Please send written comments on the draft plan to

Share Your Comments in Writing or at the Virtual City Council Hearing

Spokane City Council will hold a Public Hearing Monday, August 24, 2020 during the City Council Legislative Session, starting at 6:00 pm, to take public testimony regarding the South University District Subarea Plan and proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Plan Land Use Plan Map and Zoning Map. This hearing will be conducted in a virtual on-line format. Please email to receive the login information, or refer to the meeting agenda when posted on the City Council meetings web page.

The following documents provide more information about the Plan Commission, City Council, and State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review processes for this proposal.

Comments can be submitted to Christopher Green, Assistant Planner at or by mail to 808 W Spokane Falls Blvd., Spokane, WA 99201.

About the South University District

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:

  • Just east of the Downtown core
  • Just south of the University District campuses of Gonzaga, WSU, and EWU
  • Just north of the concentration of medical services and hospitals on the lower South Hill
  • Just west of the Sprague Union district

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 upcoming 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, additional planned connections to regional trail systems such as the Ben Burr Trail and the Centennial Trail, 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.

South University District area

Previous Activities

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

A few of the key previous plans that have focused on the South University District:

  • East Sprague
  • South University District area by the Gateway Bridge

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.

Christopher Green
Assistant Planner, Neighborhood & Planning Services

Items of Interest

Other Downtown and Subarea Planning Processes

Planning for Parking