Thousands of New Acres Open For Development

By Steve Jackson

Spokane County commissioners have opened thousands of new acres for development.

The unanimous vote by the three Republican commissioners expanded the county’s urban growth area by 6,000 acres for residential development and another 1,000 acres for commercial and industrial development

The plan is based on estimates that Spokane will grow from 472,000 residents today to 612,000 residents by 2031.

But opponents to the expansion, like Spokane city councilman Jon Snyder, have said Spokane has enough room inside the existing urban growth area to accommodate 100 years of growth.

The expansion will also cost an estimated $1 billion dollars to build new schools and add services like police and fire protection.

Those who testified in favor of expanding the urban growth areas include speculators who look to make a profit when their land is rezoned for urban development.

A possible appeal to the expansion may come from the group Futurewise, a group that fights urban sprawl.  Spokeswoman Kitty Klitzke, believes the population growth estimates are overinflated.
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