Mr. John Mercer
Mr. Steve Haynes
City of Spokane Planning Services
808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
Spokane, WA 99201
RE: Proposed Ashland Estates Development – parcel number 25251.1429
Our Committee has carefully examined the matter of the proposed development. We are opposed.
It represents a potential legal liability to the City, developers, builders and real estate agents. According to Geologists Michael Hamilton and Chris Miller, the area shows classic erosion and angle of repose difficulty. The sand and clay makeup of the soil is void of solid bedrock basalt. It is not a matter of eroding, but a matter of when this bluff will fail. Also voicing concern is Retired Civil Engineer, Howard Pettybone, an expert in foundations.
To review their reports, enter http://www.saveourbluff.org/documents.
The foot prints of houses, asphalt roads, driveways, concrete patios, “sport courts”, sidewalks, and watering lawns, washing cars etc. will cause water to be drained off the bluff in a concentrated manner, resulting in accelerated erosion. The property is “layered” in such a way that water goes to various levels and must make way to the open bluff area. Other sites along this bluff are noted for severe erosion. See the damage at 21st and High Drive and Qualchan.
If department approves this development, homes are built, agents sell them and one if not more homes start to slide, home owners will look to the City, the developers and real estate agents for compensation.
By law, real estate agents and are obligated to inform the buyer/client of the reality of the property fragility. Friends of the bluff will erect signs, media coverage and a direct letter writing campaign to warn buyers, developers, agents and the general public. This will undermine the stature of the planning department.
The benefits of having the property along the bluff declared historical and not developed are noteworthy and in the long run more economically viable for the city. Rand Wentworth and Chris DeForest writing in the Spokesman Review pointed out that: “Property next to conservation lands skyrockets in value, with homes selling for 10 to 20 percent more than comparable homes without access to parks. A survey by the American Association of Homebuilders concluded that new homebuyers want trails and natural areas above any other amenity. In Spokane, homes around parks designed by the Olmsted brothers, such as Manito and Cannon Hill, sell for more than similar homes neighborhoods without a park.
"Saving land from development is often the best way to reduce government spending and avoid increases in property taxes.
"Many jurisdictions believe they will make money from the property taxes on new subdivisions, ignoring the true cost of new schools, roads, police, water and storm water management. Studies show that it costs between $1.04 and $2 in new government spending for every dollar of new tax revenue to provide services to a typical new subdivision. So current taxpayers end up subsidizing outsiders, who bring increased traffic, crowded schools and the loss of the community's individual culture.”
To see the entire article enter: http://www.saveourbluff.org/documents/030210/index.html
For years residents have used the bluff area as a way to commune with nature. The natural trail system is a resource for all of Spokane. One can hike from Polly Judd Park for miles on the system. The “Ashland Invasion” disrupts this priceless resource.
Steve Spickard, Chair – Historic Cannon’s Addition Community Development Steering Committee.
My address is 918 S. Cedar, Spokane, WA 99204 – Phone 747-5745
John Amarant, Izzy Hawkins, Virginia Schurra, Ted Barnwell,
Tom Hemken, John Simanton, Gene Bronson, Pacti Krafft, Marcia Simanton,
Mary Bronson, Wayne Krafft
Steve Spickard, Edward Brown, Susan Marion, Ted Wert, Jackie Brown, Edna Meyer, Shirley Wilson, Sheila Collins, Laura Mincks, Diane Zahner, John Downes, Joanne Moyer, John Zahner, Susan Downes, John Moyer, George Pigman, Barbara Freeman, Betty Nichols