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Spokane land trust presents housing options to Airway Heights

 

July 12, 2012



City Council approves some modifications to public works project

By JAMES EIK

Staff Reporter

The Spokane Community Land Trust spoke to the Airway Heights City Council regarding its ongoing mission to provide reasonably priced housing to potential homeowners in the area.

The organization is set up to provide equitable and affordable housing for people in the Spokane area. Project coordinator Jessica Glenn said the target group is first time homeowners, but that any person with a qualifying income can work with the land trust to purchase a home.

Under a final agreement, the Land Trust takes ownership of the land. Homeowners, however, can make changes to the property as they wish. If they choose to move on to a different home, they then sell the home at a rate lower than the regular housing market.

“We ask that they sell the home at an affordable price to an income-qualified buyer,” Glenn said.

A typical savings with a Land Trust home comes to nearly $35,000. Homeowners, though, do pay a $30 lease fee each month.

The state has a total of 19 land trust organizations, but the Spokane area has yet to take advantage of the program.

Mayor Patrick Rushing asked if the Land Trust would be a possible resource in the density reduction project currently in development toward the southern end of the city. Glenn replied that the land trust would be happy to help out where needed.

At its next meeting, Monday July 16, the City Council will hold a workshop on a memorandum of understanding relating to Spokane County's Joint Land Use Study.

The land use regulations document also ties into Airway Heights' pursuit of updating its general commercial zones and a mixed-use development overlay in that area.

City attorney Stanley Schwartz was working to craft the memorandum, which will be discussed at length at the next meeting.

“It (JLUS) has, in a nutshell, the effect of a growth moratorium in Airway Heights,” he said.

It was suggested that the document could help open a door for coverage of Medical Lake as well.

Also at the City Council meeting, an “Unanticipated Discovery Plan” was built into the wastewater treatment plant. The plan doesn't add any cost to the project, but if implemented, it would increase the number of working days.

A change order on the water reservoir and transmission project along Hayford Road was approved. The contract price would increase by $12,161.57 and take into account thrust blocks, additional insulation, and a vapor barrier among other items. The project will extend an additional four and a half working days, for a total length of 95.5 days.

Rushing said he received some questions about the city's fireworks regulations, specifically about vacant lots. Fireworks in the city were allowed on private property, but weren't allowed on vacant lots, due to fire danger.

Two ordinances received their second reading at the City Council meeting. The first focused on purchasing, allowing the city to more easily change some processes if wording changes from the state level. A resolution was approved after the ordinance, establishing a vendor list for purchasing supplies, materials and equipment.

Another ordinance regarding a small works roster was approved.

James Eik can be reached at james@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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