Peye Creek Park center of controversy
By The Independent Staff
Nearly 30 people got a first look at the city’s new Hearing Examiner system Wednesday morning, Jan. 11 where several residents argued against a proposal by the City of Chewelah to amend its comprehensive plan and rezone a piece of land currently zoned Community Facilities (C-F) to Single Family Residential (R-1).
Chewelah contracted with City of Spokane for Hearing Examiner services after the city council voted to abolish the citizen-led Planning Commission last August. According to the ordinance that established the new system, the impartial Hearing Examiner will “make quasi-judicial decisions on land use applications, hear appeals, and provide recommendations to City Council on land use proposals.” Spokane’s Brian McGinn presided over Wednesday’s hearing.
The land being considered is Parcel No. 0256490, commonly known as Peye Creek Park in the Pinebrook subdivision, located in the northwest area of Chewelah on Tamarack Lane. The 4.9 acre parcel was originally reserved as future park space by the Pinebrook Estates developers in 1992 and later sold by a subsequent developer to the city in 2007 for $5000. If the rezone is approved, an environmental checklist completed by the city in October indicates that the park parcel would be divided into three residential lots. In an email to The Independent in August, City Administrator Mike Frizzell estimated that the value of the lots could be as high as $120,000. More