Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

Business park project receives mitigated DNS ruling


During its May 10 meeting, the Airway Heights Planning Commission passed a resolution approving a recommendation regarding a State Environmental Protection Act review on a future project.

The SEPA review for a binding site plans for the West Plains Business Park — six parcels of approximately 36 acres — received a mitigated determination of nonsignificance.

The site is located south of U.S. Highway 2, east of Russell Road, west of Garfield Road and north of 19th Avenue. The proposal is to re-plat parcels into 14 that was zoned commercial and six industrial. The project will be market driven, mainly for the property owner to sell parcels to developers. As each development comes in, it will most likely undergo a separate SEPA review.

During the public hearing for the SEPA review, Development Services Director Derrick Braaten explained that staff initially gave the projects a determination of nonsignificance. However, staff withdrew the it after written comments from the state Department of Transportation and the Airway Heights Public Works Department cited concerns regarding traffic impacts if the area was fully developed. Braaten said there will be a minor traffic analysis for future mitigation.

In a letter to Braaten, Greg Figg, WSDOT Eastern Region Development Services Manager, wrote that the trip generation letter estimates the project will generate over 10,000 vehicle trips per day and improvements may be needed at other intersections not adjacent to the site along U.S. Highway 2. The analysis will look at the following Highway 2 intersections: Russell Street, Garfield Road and Hayford Road, as well as the 21st Avenue and Hayford Road intersection.

“They’ll be looking at these intersections to see what the worst case scenario is,” Braaten said.

Once the analysis is complete and the mitigation measures are known, staff will make a final determination.

The project is located in the Accidental Potential Zone 2 (APZ) flight path and Fairchild Air Force Base can provide written comments. In April, Fairchild requested a 30 day extension to provide comments.

Commissioner Sonny Weathers asked if there are documents in the city that would overrule the SEPA determination if the developer wanted to build a hotel on the property.

Braaten answered that documents like the city’s municipal code and the joint land use study are above the SEPA.

“In some of these properties, developers may build a hotel, but they wouldn’t be able to locate near the APZ,” Braaten said. “Maybe near the 65 (decibel sound) contour because it’s outside of the flight path.”

Al Stover can be reached at


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