The Spokane Valley City Council on Tuesday tentatively unleashed a new zoning category for animal shelters to operate in.
In a unanimous vote, council members approved the first reading of an ordinance that would allow animal shelters to operate in corridor mixed-use zone classifications throughout the city, which could make it easier for location for a new regional facility to be found.
Spokane County officials have eyed a former Harley Davidson dealership in the 6800 block of East Trent – which is located in the CMU zone category -- as a potential site for a shelter to replace the 40-year-old facility on Flora Road.
Mayor Tom Towey reminded the council that the zone change would apply to CMU zones throughout the city, not just at a specific location.
While council members struck a provision that such a shelter would “have to be owned and operated by a public entity” from the ordinance language, they did agree with Planning Commissioner recommendations that no outside dog runs be allowed; the structure must be soundproofed; and city parking, landscaping and signage standards must be complied with.
The council is contemplating signing a long-term contract for animal control either with current-provider Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service or SpokAnimal, which serves the city of Spokane. No date has yet been set for the council to make a final decision.
Currently, animal shelters are only allowed in industrial zones. A second reading and final approval of the code amendment is set for Sept. 11.
In other action, the council:
- Set public hearings on the city’s 2013 budget for Sept. 25 and Aug. 9. The city manager will break down the budget on Sept. 11 for the council. Final approval is expected on Oct. 23.
- Unanimously approved an interlocal agreement for emergency-management with other local municipalities and Spokane County during periods such as natural disasters.
- Heard a report on establishing a memorandum of understanding with the Washington State Department of Transportation, city of Spokane, city of Liberty Lake and Spokane County to coordinate “gateway improvements” along the Interstate 90 in order to coordinate and design common themes, along with partner for any potential funding opportunities for such improvements.