Cheney Free Press -

Two spots remain vacant on Airway Heights Planning Commission



Staff Reporter

The Airway Heights Planning Commission held a quick meeting Monday, July 9, largely consisting of dealing with vacant commissioner positions.

Commissioners Mary Henson and Rosemary Combs vacated their positions due to time commitments and other personal issues, city planner Derrick Braaten said. As a result, two of the five-person commission spots are open for application.

Vice chair Rita Osborne advanced into the chair position formerly held by Henson, and Commissioner Laura Brown was unanimously elected as vice chair.

Braaten said the city was still in discussions with other jurisdictions to get the Joint Land Use Study worked out. Airway Heights hasn't adopted any formal position regarding the document, although it sent a letter to the county commissioners' office stating it wouldn't be adopting the regulations as a whole. The city adopted the 1995 Air Installation Compatibility Use Zone document in 2008. Sound contours in the 1995 version are larger than the current mission profile, which reflects the flight patterns of the KC-135 tankers.

Discussions between Spokane County, the city of Spokane, Fairchild Air Force Base and other organizations continue to develop.

“We're getting ready to go into a standstill period,” Braaten said.

During the standstill period, Airway Heights wouldn't do anything that would potentially affect the JLUS influence areas.

Braaten also said the STEP project was moving forward, with the final Environmental Impact Statement expected in the near future.

“We don't know exactly yet, but it will be soon,” he said.

A National Environmental Policy Act study would be performed on the area, as opposed to one conducted through state channels. Under a state investigation, Airway Heights would have been the lead agency. With the federal process, the city will be a cooperating agency during the comment period, but won't oversee any of the survey itself.

“It's still moving, it's not just sitting,” Braaten said. “But I don't really know much more than that, just because it's the nature of the process.”

Those interested in joining the planning commission can pick up applications at the Airway Heights City Hall; located at 1208 S. Lundstrom St. Meetings for the planning commission take place once a month, unless an urgent matter develops. Braaten is available for questions in the planning department, at 244-2552.

Applicants need to live in Airway Heights or be a landowner in Spokane County with a particular interest in the city.

James Eik can be reached at


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