City of Spokane

Spokane Municipal Code

Title 17G
Chapter 17G.020
Section 17G.020.030

Title 17G Administration and Procedures

Chapter 17G.020 Comprehensive Plan Amendment Procedure

Section 17G.020.030 Final Review Criteria

The following is a list of considerations that shall be used, as appropriate, by the applicant in developing an amendment proposal, by planning staff in analyzing a proposal, by the plan commission and by the city council in making a decision on the proposal.

  1. Regulatory Changes.

Amendments to the comprehensive plan must be consistent with any recent state or federal legislative actions, or changes to state or federal regulations, such as changes to the Growth Management Act, or new environmental regulations.

  1. GMA.

The change must be consistent with the goals and purposes of the state Growth Management Act.

  1. Financing.

In keeping with the GMA’s requirement for plans to be supported by financing commitments, infrastructure implications of approved comprehensive plan amendments must be reflected in the relevant six-year capital improvement plan(s) approved in the same budget cycle.

  1. Funding Shortfall.

If funding shortfalls suggest the need to scale back on land use objectives and/or service level standards, those decisions must be made with public input as part of this process for amending the comprehensive plan and capital facilities program.

  1. Internal Consistency.
    1. The requirement for internal consistency pertains to the comprehensive plan as it relates to all of its supporting documents, such as the development regulations, capital facilities program, shoreline master program, downtown plan, critical area regulations, and any neighborhood planning documents adopted after 2001. In addition, amendments should strive to be consistent with the parks plan, and vice versa. For example, changes to the development regulations must be reflected in consistent adjustments to the goals or policies in the comprehensive plan. As appropriate, changes to the map or text of the comprehensive plan must also result in corresponding adjustments to the zoning map and implementation regulations in the Spokane Municipal Code.
    1. If a proposed amendment is significantly inconsistent with current policy within the comprehensive plan, an amendment proposal must also include wording that would realign the relevant parts of the comprehensive plan and its other supporting documents with the full range of changes implied by the proposal.
  1. Regional Consistency.

All changes to the comprehensive plan must be consistent with the countywide planning policies (CWPP), the comprehensive plans of neighboring jurisdictions, applicable capital facilities or special district plans, the regional transportation improvement plan, and official population growth forecasts.

  1. Cumulative Effect.

All amendments must be considered concurrently in order to evaluate their cumulative effect on the comprehensive plan text and map, development regulations, capital facilities program, neighborhood planning documents, adopted environmental policies and other relevant implementation measures.

    1. Land Use Impacts.

In addition, applications should be reviewed for their cumulative land use impacts. Where adverse environmental impacts are identified, mitigation requirements may be imposed as a part of the approval action.

    1. Grouping.

Proposals for area-wide rezones and/or site-specific land use plan map amendments may be evaluated by geographic sector and/or land use type in order to facilitate the assessment of their cumulative impacts.

  1. SEPA.

SEPA review must be completed on all amendment proposals and is described in chapter 17E.050.

    1. Grouping.

When possible, the SEPA review process should be combined for related land use types or affected geographic sectors in order to better evaluate the proposals’ cumulative impacts. This combined review process results in a single threshold determination for those related proposals.

    1. DS.

If a determination of significance (DS) is made regarding any proposal, that application will be deferred for further consideration until the next applicable review cycle in order to allow adequate time for generating and processing the required environmental impact statement (EIS).

  1. Adequate Public Facilities

The amendment must not adversely affect the City’s ability to provide the full range of urban public facilities and services (as described in CFU 2.1 and CFU 2.2) citywide at the planned level of service, or consume public resources otherwise needed to support comprehensive plan implementation strategies.

  1. UGA.

Amendments to the urban growth area boundary may only be proposed by the city council or the mayor of Spokane and shall follow the procedures of the countywide planning policies for Spokane County.

  1. Demonstration of Need.
    1. Policy Adjustments.

Proposed policy adjustments that are intended to be consistent with the comprehensive plan should be designed to provide correction or additional guidance so the community’s original visions and values can better be achieved. The need for this type of adjustment might be supported by findings from feedback instruments related to monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the comprehensive plan. Examples of such findings could include:

      1. growth and development as envisioned in the plan is occurring faster, slower or is failing to materialize;
      1. the capacity to provide adequate services is diminished or increased;
      1. land availability to meet demand is reduced;
      1. population or employment growth is significantly different than the plan’s assumptions;
      1. plan objectives are not being met as specified;
      1. the effect of the plan on land values and affordable housing is contrary to plan goals;
      1. transportation and/or other capital improvements are not being made as expected;
      1. a question of consistency exists between the comprehensive plan and its elements and chapter 36.70A RCW, the countywide planning policies, or development regulations.
    1. Map Changes.

Changes to the land use plan map (and by extension, the zoning map) may only be approved if the proponent has demonstrated that all of the following are true:

      1. The designation is in conformance with the appropriate location criteria identified in the comprehensive plan (e.g., compatibility with neighboring land uses, proximity to arterials, etc.);
      1. The map amendment or site is suitable for the proposed designation;
      1. The map amendment implements applicable comprehensive plan policies and subarea plans better than the current map designation.
    1. Rezones, Land Use Plan Map Amendment

Corresponding rezones will be adopted concurrently with land use plan map amendments as a legislative action of the city council. If policy language changes have map implications, changes to the land use plan map and zoning map will be made accordingly for all affected sites upon adoption of the new policy language. This is done to ensure that the comprehensive plan remains internally consistent and to preserve consistency between the comprehensive plan and supporting development regulations.

Date Passed: Monday, August 21, 2017

Effective Date: Saturday, October 7, 2017

ORD C35536 Section 5