The city of Spokane Valley is poised to award a portion of Alki Avenue to the developers of a gated community for 55-and-older residents.
The motion passed a first reading unanimously at Tuesday night’s council meeting in a 6-0 vote. A second and final reading is scheduled for next Tuesday.
New Council Member Bill Bates recused himself from the vote as he was on the Planning Commission when it unanimously backed the request.
The piece of land in question is a section of Alki Avenue right-of-way that is 19 feet wide and about 167 feet long east of McCabe Road. The property is intended to be used for an additional exit from the housing development and allow for additional access for emergency vehicles, said Christina Janssen, city planner.
While council members were supportive of the move – which would pave the way for the 5.8-acre, 42-unit project by Conrad and Hill Development LLC to move forward – there were some concerns raised by Dennis Scott, a former director of Spokane County Public Works. Scott’s wife owns property in the area, which is east of McDonald Road and south of Broadway, which he believes could become clogged with traffic when students are coming and going from nearby schools.
“I didn’t come with any illusion that any change is going to be made,” Scott said, adding that experience has taught him that street vacations ultimately are “a gift for a developer.”
Deputy Mayor Arne Woodard said he had similar concerns, but believes since the development is for senior residents such traffic would be minimized. He added that the neighborhood could be safer.
“There will be senior eyes watching for the kids,” he said. “That’s probably a good thing.”