Unified Development Code Maintenance Project

Amendments to the City of Spokane Unified Development Code


Since the passage of the Comprehensive Plan in 2001, the process of adoption of development standards to implement the plan has been ongoing. The compilation of the latest development standards are found in Title 17 of the Spokane Municipal Code, the "Unified Development Code" (UDC).

After the UDC was adopted by the City Council in 2006, it was understood that the standards would be analyzed for necessary adjustments following their usage over a period of time. As the various standards have been used to guide growth and development of the city, staff has been keeping track of items that should be addressed to improve the various standards. This program has been designated the "Unified Development Code Maintenance Project."

What's Happening Now

The Plan Commission held a workshop on October 14, 2015 to approve the 2015 and a portion of the 2013 UDC Maintenance Package to proceed to Public Hearing. The Plan Commission asked that the section on time extensions, 17G.080.020, return for further discussion at the next available workshop time. The Plan Commission held a public hearing on November 11, 2015, and voted to approve the packet as is for City Council consideration.

Notice of Plan Commission Public Hearing

The City Council will hold a public hearing on these proposals on Monday, January 11, 2016 at 6 p.m. in the lower level of Spokane City Hall, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA 99201. This hearing may be continued at the discretion of the Plan Commission to a later date. Any person may submit written comments on the proposed actions or call for additional information:

City of Spokane Planning & Development, Attn: Tami Palmquist
808 West Spokane Falls Boulevard
Spokane, WA 99201

Description of Proposal

The proposed code amendments are intended to encourage development and redevelopment consistent with the goals, policies and land use plan map of the Spokane Municipal Code and the Comprehensive Plan. Changes to Chapter 7 include the update of functions that have been reassigned from the director of engineering services/building services to the development service center manager. Changes to the Sidewalk Café codes are being recommended to encourage compliance, promote sidewalk cafés to local businesses, reduce processing time for new applicants, and provide correct references and code clarification. Adding a fee for Shoreline Exemptions. Removing a fee for encroachments easements. Updating references from the director of building services to the building official. Update the name of the department which was changed from “building services” to “development services center”. Clarify the city’s policy for extensions on obstruction permits. Update bond and insurance requirements for obstruction permit contractors. Removing duplicate sections of code. Adds an upper limit to the definition of Clear View Triangle for overhanging vegetation such as trees within a clear view triangle. Adds Clear View Triangle to Definitions to provide a consistent application of the SMC. The 9th Edition is the latest version of the Trip Generation Manual. Make it easier for property owners to obtain permits and eliminates redundancies between the Spokane Municipal Code (SMC) and the Revised Codes of Washington (RCW) that govern contractor registration requirements. Update building code references from UBC to IBC. Repealing section 17F.070. Changes to development standards are proposed for the Downtown zones to allow more flexible lot standards. Table 17C.110-1 was amended by Ordinance #C34717 to change Daycare to an outright permitted use in the RMF and RHD zones.  Table 17C.110-1 was incorrectly amended by Ordinance #C34911 to change Daycare from an outright permitted use to a limited use in the RMF and RHD zones. Table 17C.110-1 is proposed to be corrected to allow Daycare as an outright permitted use as amended by Ordinance #C34717.  Amendments to Table 17E.060-4 Shoreline Primary Uses are intended to correct a conflict between “Boating Facilities” and “Water Enjoyment Recreational Facilities” for launch ramps in the WWTP Shoreline Environment. “Water enjoyment recreation” includes boat ramps. Therefore, the two categories were in conflict in the WWTP Environment. The change will treat both “Launch ramps for small non-motorized water-craft” and “Water-enjoyment recreation” as a conditional use (CU).

SEPA: A Determination of Non Significance was issued on October 15, 2015 under WAC 197-11-340(2) for both proposals; the lead agency will not act on these proposals for at least 14 days. Comments regarding these DNS's must be submitted no later than 4 p.m., October 30, 2015 if they are intended to alter either DNS.

Project Documents


  • 01/11/2016 – City Council Public Hearing (opportunity for public testimony)
  • 01/04/2016 – First Reading with City Council (no testimony will be taken at this meeting)
  • 11/16/2015 – Planning and Economic Development Meeting
  • 11/11/2015 – Plan Commission Public Hearing (2015 Packet & 2013 Packet, less the time extension modifications)
  • 10/28/2015 – Plan Commission Workshop (Time Extension Packet)
  • 10/14/2015 – Plan Commission Workshop (2013 UDC Packet)
  • 09/23/2015 – Plan Commission Workshop (Building Code Packet)
  • 08/26/2015 – Plan Commission Workshop (2015 UDC Packet)

Other Helpful Links

Contact Information

Written comments should be sent via mail or email:

Planning and Development Services
Tami Palmquist
Associate Planner
808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
Spokane, WA 99201-3329