Planning Commission survey gains momentum
Residents in Medical Lake could be seeing a survey coming their way in upcoming months, asking about their vision for the city in the near future.
Continuing on its discussion from the February meeting, the Planning Commission further developed its ideas for a potential survey of Medical Lake residents regarding the direction of the city.
The last survey, performed in 2002, called for an improved downtown core among other items.
Commissioner Mark Hudson admitted that compelling private businesses to strongly consider locating their business in the downtown area would prove difficult.
City planner Glenn Scholten said creating a plan to outline future growth was important to developing any part of the city.
“Plans don’t get accomplished if there’s nothing to guide them,” Scholten said.
Commissioner Peg James said she would like to know from developers why they may, or may not, pass over Medical Lake, instead choosing to locate in Airway Heights or Cheney.
“Are they finding stumbling blocks,” she asked.
The questions, she said, should be directed to the companies in order to lure them to the city.
“What can we do to make this more attractive for you?” James asked.
Hudson suggested that an indoor/outdoor water park would serve as a rallying point for the city’s residents and could also be an extremely profitable venture for a company. The park, he suggested, could tie in Medical Lake’s history as being a resort destination in the early 1900s, where people flocked to the city to the lake’s healing waters.
“We’re not that far from Spokane. Spokane is growing and Airway Heights is growing,” Scholten said. “There’s a need for entertainment.”
Scholten reiterated that the West Plains Chamber of Commerce gets a good amount of information from different companies that could potentially locate in the area. They’re aware of what companies are seeking when choosing a final location.
Hudson said a water park, or a similar large development, would be the big step in luring a private investment into Medical Lake.
A survey will likely go out to residents in their utility bill, mimicking the one mailed out in 2002.
The Planning Commission also reviewed regulations regarding subdivisions in Medical Lake. The discussion included how flexible zoning works and the processes involved with creating a subdivision in the city.
Also included in the discussion was how variances worked in zoning. A variance can be applied to land if it has slopes, hills, valleys or an irregular shape that prevents stable home construction. Scholten said it could also apply when a homeowner seeks to bring his or her property up to the level of a neighbor.
The Planning Commission also found a member to fill a vacant seat. Medical Lake resident Wayne Ueda was appointed to the position at the Tuesday, April 2 Medical Lake City Council meeting.
There won’t be a Planning Commission meeting in April, but it will be picked up Thursday, May 30. At that meeting, a public hearing on the subdivision review will take place, as well as other elements of the city’s comprehensive plan update.
James Eik can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.