Staff Reporter 

ML council has first look at zoning regulations


The Medical Lake City Council approved the first read of an ordinance amending portions of regulations within the city at its Tuesday, April 2 meeting.

The regulations, discussed by the Planning Commission last week, corrected some spelling errors, outdated material and updated building codes throughout the chapter. Major revisions were only made to the section regarding adult entertainment in city limits.

Among the changes include increasing the distance an adult entertainment establishment must be from areas like schools, libraries, churches, establishments serving alcohol and other facilities that provide a substantial amount of their services to youth. The distance increased from 800 to 1,000 feet in the current draft.

Also in the document the commission added language for mixed-use zones.

City planner Glenn Scholten said the document went through two public hearings and also passed through its required 60-day comment period by the state.

“Outside of the adult entertainment ordinance, really reading through it looks more like word changes and semantics, really,” City Administrator Doug Ross said.

Scholten added that the commission wanted to increase the distance a home is from the road, along arterial routes in Medical Lake. An example of a building that would fall under the new ordinance, if constructed, would be an apartment complex like the Lakeside Apartments.

“If we had a zone butting up against a minor arterial, the Planning Commission wanted to increase that setback,” Scholten said.

Mayor John Higgins said he and Ross would be meeting with Fairchild Air Force Base leadership next week to discuss the Joint Land Use Study. The City Council was poised to hear about a new memorandum of understanding presented by the board of Spokane County Commissioners, however the county asked that the discussion be tabled until a future meeting.

The City Council approved a renewed contract with the state Department of Corrections, retaining the same figures from previous years. The cost, Ross said is $250 per day for each crew providing their services.

“They do provide the supervisor, the corrections officer and they also provide the equipment,” he said.

Medical Lake will also receive an additional crew from Airway Heights, resulting from the corrections center using the gun range.

“Now, it’s not going to be very often, it’ll probably be once a month,” Ross said regarding the additional crew from Airway Heights. “So it’s not a lot, but it’s some addition that we’re getting.

The City Council recommended the removal of weight restrictions on the city streets, effective Wednesday, April 3. Ross said it appeared that water levels were back down to normal and that excess moisture had left the ground.

During the public safety committee report, Councilman A.J. Burton said the Fire Department received 49 calls in March, 42 of which were EMS-related. The department is training in Cheney with Spokane County Fire District 3 this Saturday, and Fire District 10 will cover for them in the morning.

Also at the meeting, Medical Lake resident Wayne Ueda was appointed to the Planning Commission, filling a vacant seat on the organization. Ueda said he is appreciative of the opportunity to serve on the commission.

Toward the end of the meeting, Ross said a discussion on the city’s recycling center will first take place at the public works committee level, and will elevate to a City Council meeting in the near future.

James Eik can be reached at


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