The saga of St. John Vianney and the little green signs will turn the page to its latest chapter on Tuesday.
That’s when the Spokane Valley City Council is expected to hear an administrative report from planning staff. The meeting takes place at 6 p.m. June 28 at Spokane Valley City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.
No public comment will be taken at that time on the controversial issue, which has pitted neighbor against neighbor in the area of Walnut, Herald and Farr roads between Sprague and Broadway avenues. However, a public hearing on the matter is currently scheduled for July 12.
First and second readings of a proposed ordinance and amendment to the city’s comprehensive plan are set for July 26 and Aug. 9, respectively.
Last month, the council granted city staff an additional 60 days – after a previous 30-day extension – to work through a developer’s agreement submitted by Catholic Charities for a potentially 40-unit low-income apartment complex for senior citizens. The structure would be located in the 500 block of North Walnut, near St. John Vianney Parish, which owns the land.
The purpose of the compromise is to mitigate possible negative impacts feared by some neighborhood residents, such as building height or the number of parking spaces.
However, during the original 30-day postponement of the action, neighborhood representatives dropped out of the negotiations, leaving city staff members and the developer to try to come to terms on their own. The last time the council took up the topic, only one neighborhood resident even offered any testimony – and that was to tell cities officials to hurry up and come to a decision.
Rather than work with the city and property owner, many neighbors in the affected area have expressed their displeasure with the proposed apartments by posting green signs with black lettering in their front yards, emblazoned with calls for “No Rezone,” “Love Thy Neighbor?” and “No Means No!”
The city Planning Commission voted 4-2 for the zone change to be denied in March, with the majority of the members saying the proposed structure would not be a good fit for the neighborhood.