Bluff Restoration

Latest on the Bluff

June 1, 2018: Purchase of the private property is finalized, allowing citizens to legally use the full span of trails and open space along the popular scenic area in perpetuity. Read details here in the press release. View the map of the area, and the system of trails.

January 12, 2018: The Park Board unanimously authorized purchase of nearly 50 acres of private property along the bluff as part of a settlement agreement related to the 2017 illegal road building. Parks and Recreation and the City of Spokane have long desired to obtain the property to allow for trail connectivity, increased recreational opportunities, and conservation of natural spaces. If the agreement is finalized, the land will be purchased for $270,000 (appraised value $480,000). As part of the agreement, the City will release claims it might have against all parties.

The restoration, funded by Avista, has been highly successful. Monitoring is ongoing, and re-seeding will take place as needed. Thank you to members of the restoration workgroup and contributors, including Friends of the Bluff who helped with hand watering during a hot summer. Read more.

Avista Transmission Line Rebuild and Hazard Tree Removal

Avista has two upcoming projects – a transmission line rebuild and hazard tree removals - that will be taking place in various sections of the South Hill bluff.

Decision and SEPA Determination Issued

NOTICE OF RIGHT TO APPEAL: Appeals of the Planning Director's decision are governed by Spokane Municipal Code 17G.060.210. Any aggrieved party may file an appeal of this decision. Decisions of the Planning Director regarding administrative permits (Type II) are final. They may be appealed to the City of Spokane Hearing Examiner within fourteen (14) calendar days of the date of this decision. The date of this decision is the August 8, 2017. In the case of Shoreline Substantial Development Permits, an additional appeal period occurs following filing of the Shoreline Substantial Development Permit with the Department of Ecology. Such appeals may be made to the Shorelines Hearings Board.

The date of the last day to appeal to the City of Spokane Hearing Examiner is the 22nd day of August, 2017 at 4:00 P.M.

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

Restoration Schedule

Bluff Restoration Final Plan (PDF 11.1 MB)
June 9 update (PDF 163 KB)

Plan Schedule:

  • The restoration schedule is aggressive, primarily to allow the new vegetation to get established during the spring and summer growing seasons. This will also reduce weed invasion in the damaged areas, which would be aggravated if the restoration effort is postponed.
  • The Draft Restoration Plan was sent out on Friday May 5.
  • The Core Team held a meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, May 8 at Sacajawea Middle School to discuss the restoration efforts and go over the Draft Plan.
  • Feedback on the Draft Restoration Plan was due back by Thursday, May 11 at 5:00 p.m.
  • A final plan was distributed May 12. Plan implementation began May 15.

Construction Schedule:

  • Pre-construction, which includes construction staging, fencing, etc. began the week of May 8.
  • Field work began the week of May 15.
  • The plan is to be finished by the first week in June.
  • Monitoring and re-seeding will take place as needed, and in accordance with the plan.

Previous Meetings

When: Monday, May 8
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Where: Sacajawea Middle School, 33rd Avenue S. and Lamonte
Who: Stakeholders and interested parties
Agenda highlights: To discuss the restoration efforts and go over the Draft Plan

Bluff Stakeholder, Planning and Update meeting
When: Wednesday, April 26
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Where: Avista, 1411 E. Mission
Who: Stakeholders and interested parties
Agenda highlights: Current status of erosion control and surveying, restoration planning, anticipated follow-up work
Meeting Minutes April 26 (PDF 121 KB)

April 2017 Overview

We continue to gather information as quickly as possible about the actions that resulted in a road constructed along the south hill bluff on Parks conservation land, an Avista utility easement corridor, and private property.

In preparation for proposed construction of a youth three hole golf course directly adjacent to Qualchan, Parks issued a tree removal permit to The First Tee of the Inland Northwest for the 6 acre site only. The permit includes a map of the site. The permit does not include construction of an access road, and the pending agreement with First Tee to build the youth golf course did not contemplate the building of an access road.

Avista, in collaboration with the City of Spokane and The First Tee of the Inland Northwest, plans to take the lead to develop a proposal for remediation of the conservation land along the bluff on the South Hill.

We have outlined the following next steps and welcome input:

  • Erosion prevention measures are in place and appear to be effective. To date we have not seen any evidence of erosion or runoff that has occurred since the measures were installed. The road is monitored at least three times a week and any measures not effectively working will be fixed.
  • Restoration workgroup - a group of experts and stakeholders to participate in restoration plan development. The plan will go through permitting with local and state agencies.
  • Continued collaboration with the Friends of the Bluff and neighborhood councils to inform restoration efforts.
  • Agency surveys - the Department of Ecology and Department of Natural Resources were on site April 14, and will continue to inform the restoration.
  • Damage assessment - the parties and an independent consultant are assessing the damage to inform the site restoration efforts and environmental mitigation plans. The City intends to determine liability and accountability, and pursue reimbursement for damage and restoration.
  • Continued outreach to impacted land owners whose property is part of the road, to the stakeholders and to the larger community.
  • Continued investigation with First Tee, Swedberg Construction and Avista into the misunderstandings and miscommunications, and assessment of process changes to occur.
  • The youth golf course project is not moving forward, and the tree removal permit for the 6-acre youth course has been revoked.
  • Neither The First Tee nor Avista will make use of this newly-constructed road for their planned projects.

Media Statements and Communications


Related Documents

Contact Information

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