The Hearing Examiner for the City of Spokane issued his decision and approved the application to build a 94 unit gated community on prime farmland. Barring appeal, which seems unlikely, the Conditional Use Permit application now goes to the Department of Ecology which must agree that the development will not present an adverse impact on the delicate shoreline which it would be built adjacent to. In addition, Ecology must sign off that the plan for development has adequate provisions to restore and maintain the state-designated shoreline, which currently is in a degraded state. Ecology might also have questions about the ecological impact of the replacement of the access bridge and measures to be taken to minimize ecological impact from it construction.
On a hopeful note, discussions, led by City Council President Ben Stuckart, are continuing to explore a public purchase option that would be acceptable by the landowner that would prevent the housing development and keep the land for public open space and agriculture.
Here's the local newspaper's report on the decision.