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Meeting Minutes :
Jan. 10, 2006 Meeting Minute
North Indian Trail Neighborhood Council

Meeting Minutes for

January 10th, 2006





Welcome and Introductions, by Jeff Oas



Jeff welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained that Craig Culbertson (co-chairman) was not able to attend this evening. He explained the objectives of the NITNC are to acquaint the residents with their neighbors and inform them of changes which will be affecting our neighborhood. He drew everyone’s attention to the maps at the back of the room describing the plans for the two new developments which will be going in along Barnes Road soon.



Next month Chuck Moser will be talking about the plans for the spring cleanup of our area.



Prince of Peace Lutheran Church is conducting a blood drive Jan. 27th and flyers are available near the back of the church with detailed information about this drive.



Nancy Johnson, of the Master Gardners group told the members about the educational opportunities that will be available for residents to successfully beautify their yards next summer.

She explained that classes will be made available for a small charge which is minimal when compared to the amount of material that is made available during the two hour classes. Information on the subject of growing your own food is to be a topic this spring with classes scheduled for Feb 9th and 23rd and March 9th and 23rd from 6:00 – 8:00PM. The cost is $10.00 per class or $35.00 for the series and are located the County Extension Office Bldg. Additional information could be obtained be calling 509-477-2048.



Jeff introduced Jim Bakke who reported on the progress of the impact fee ordinance and the future plans for Barnes Road. The developer in that area was originally petitioned to build out Barnes Road to provide an alternate route. Since that was apt be a multiyear process, an alternate proposal has been originated that the city, county and developer share the cost of that project. The projected cost of this would be paid as follows ½ million dollars by the developer, ¼ million by Spokane City and ¼ million by Spokane County. A meeting has been held between the three parties involved which resulted in agreement to this plan. At this point, the City would like to include this proposal in the six year road plan and hopefully build it out this year, however no City funding has been properly identified for this year. Action would be required by the City Council to allocate funds for this plan.



Jim told the members he is working on a committee to create a permanent nonvoluntary development impact fee ordinance to replace the current ordinance which states that development impact fees are voluntary. These fees would help fund needed infrastructure improvements as any area is developed and housing becomes more dense. Software has been developed by SRTC (Spokane Regional Transportation Council ) which will make transportation studies able to provide more accurate trip data. Trip data will be based on land use and the demographics of the area such as number of persons occupying each residence. This will be helpful in determining future needs. There is an effort by the planning people to encourage Spokane County to implement a similar impact fee ordinance so there would be no advantage to a developer to locate in the County rather than the City. The SRTC will be shepherding that process and also reviewing the concurrency issue. The concurrency issue would implement requirements that infrastructure be created in concert with development to deal with impacts of greater density.



Jim reported briefly on the street improvement vs. tree removal issues which are occurring on Spokane’s south hill.



He also discussed the property tax abatement program which grants developers in areas designated as centers and corridors a 10 year property tax exemption which applies to the value of the improvements. One argument for allowing this exemption is that it there is no loss of tax revenue to the City. It is apparent that all other property taxes will be increased to balance the present and future budgets. The City Council will decide in March 2006 as to whether to change the boundaries of the areas in which these tax exempt developments will be allowed If members have comments or concerns, Jim urged them to contact the Council members by letter or e-mail and to express those concerns with communications that are reasonable, courteous, factual and state what action you would like to have Member questions and comments followed.



Jeff reported that a committee is working to deal with the care of the trees which have been planted along Indian Trail across from the shopping center. Originally the Parks Dept. was supposed to be responsible for the care, but experienced budget cuts which didn’t allow for that service.



Council President, Joe Shogan, addressed the group stating that the Council now has the challenge of balancing the budgets without raising taxes again. One partial solution would be annexation which will be pursued. Another solution would be to entice new business to locate in the City.



Joe informed the members about the ten year property tax exemption program which is now in place. This program was an option allowed by state law and Spokane elected to participate. The only control the Council has when an application is made for this exemption can be the area in which qualifying properties are constructed. The sunset provision on the exemption allowance comes up the end of March, first of April 2006. At that time the Council could exert control over the areas in which the exemptions will be allowed.



A council representative for this area will be chosen soon to fill the vacancy left by Joe Shogen when he was elected council president. Applications are now being solicited from persons who reside in the 3rd district and the council will select someone from the applications.



A discussion followed about the construction that will be completed before a permanent impact fee ordinance can be implemented. Developers still have to pay connect fees and provide proper traffic planning for access to streets.



One of the members was asking why there has been no notification of meetings in which decisions about our neighborhood are being made by City officials such as the Hearing Examiner’s Office. A short discussion followed about the road issues for both this area and Five Mile. Joe told the members that the request for a building moratorium for this area is not likely to be enacted due to the fact that there are no engineering studies to prove overloading of the transportation system at the present time. Without specific studies, developers could sue the City for taking away their rights to use their property as they see fit. The City could still exclude an area from the tax exemption building if enough residents in an area notify the Council that this is not desirable The Council could redraw the areas in which the exemptions can be allowed.



Neighbors on Patrol Report: Walt Jones



Walt reported that there has been very little crime with the exception of some nuisance crimes over the Christmas vacation period.



Two new volunteers are going to be helping out very soon.



He is seeing success in the campaign to have people keep their garage doors closed as much as possible and to lock doors which allow access to the house from the garage.



Treasurer’s Report: Dwayne Jantz



Beginning Balance. Nov, 2005 $2,811.74

Receipts $ 49.00

Expenses: $ -0-

------------

Ending Balance $ 2,860.74



Meeting attendance was 43.



Next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 21, 2006. This is a week later than the usual schedule because of the Valentine’s Day holiday.



Respectfully submitted, Jo Shaw, Secretary
 
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