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September 24, 2009     Cheney Free Press
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September 24, 2009
 

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Thursday, September 24, 2009 Free Press Page 9 Cheney commission to start code review, postpones wetlands decision Vote approving expansion of Miller Pond by 2,000 square feet is delaye t until next monthly meeting pending resolution of legal, financial issues for portions that need rewording, more detail or a minor error fix. She said a petition must be made to commtmity development staff who summarize and present the issue to the Planning Com- mission. The commission then discusses the merit of the petition based on "approval criteria and resources required." Rodriguez said she has a list of issues to present to the commis- sion for consideration. "It's an ongoing list," she said, estimating that there were 20 items on the list. The commission agreed to tackle the issues in smaller lists of three to five per meeting. Rodriguez proposed more regular effective dates for code changes. "The development Community would like some predictability," she said. "They don't want to be concerned with policy changes happening that they're not aware of, so they have to be constantly checking with the city." Commissioners discussed changing the current effective date of 30 days after a decision to a quarterly or twice per year date when all previous changes to the code would be imple- mented, Commissioners continued a discussion of the mitigation of a wetland that was wiped out by the construction of the Cheney Industrial and Commerce Park, En- vironmental consultant Dr. Robert Quinn outlined a plan that would reestablish native plants and expand the wetland at Miller Pond. The commissioners approved of the plan to remove about 12 inches of soil from an island in the pond tO be turned into wetland, a move that would add approxi- mately 2,000 squarefeet to replace the wetland displaced by park construction. By BECKY THOMAS Staff Reporter It's time for code cleanup at the Cheney Planning Commission. City planner Elisa Rodriguez spoke to the commission during their Sept. 14 meeting to request more maintenance of the city's municipal code. "We need to look at it regu- larly to make sure it's up to date," she said, adding that annual code maintenance would help in many areas of government. Rodriguez outlined the process of making amendments to the code Community voices are requ00.::sted on t.;noices for Cheney Quinn expressed his approval of the project. "In my opinion, what we've al- ready got and what we're going to get is going to be a demonstration project for Cheney," he said. "It's going to be an incredible example of a locally diversified habitat." Cheney's public works di- rector, Todd Ableman, said the department would use its own equipment and crews to move soft this fall, and planting could begin in the spring. He said it would cost approximately $10,000. Commissioners Randall Butler and Tillman Cart asked how the city could ensure that the mitiga- tion is working in the coming years. Rodriquez said the city would likely hire a consultant to monitor the wetland's prog- ress yearly. She said, though, that the city had no recourse if the consultant didn't submit the reports annually; there was only a financial guarantee that the work would be done at the end of five years. Commissioners agreed to wait until the next meeting to approve the project, giving Rodriguez time to consult with the city's attorney and financial departrnt on edit- ing the requirements. In other commission business, commissioners approved a two- year extension on the Golden Hills development project. Becky Thomas can be reached at becky@cheneyfreepress.com. By BECKY THOMAS Staff Reporter Choices for Cheney, the city's proposed comprehensive plan, will be the subject of the first of several public workshops on Sept. 30. The workshop, running from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday in the Viking Room of Betz Elementary, is open to everyone interested in shaping Cheney's fuzre. "We're trying to establish some planning priorities," com' munity development director Brian Jennings said recently. Jen- . nings is hoping for a big crowd at the workshop, which will focus on creating a vision for the future of the city over the next 20 years, Jennings invited citizens as well as those who work or own businesses in Cheney to help draft a community profile and develop priorities for the city's future. Cheney's current comprehen- sive plan was drafted in 1997, at a time when Jennings said "Cheney was very early in its growth." He said the plan doesn't outline a vi- sion for the future.' "It's been a challenge working with that plan," he said. Now he hopes people will get involved to make the new plan truly comprehensive. "We'll try to align what's be- ing accomplished in that work- shop to have some end results in the plan," he said. "This is an oppornity to provide input for what Cheney's going to be like in 20 years." More workshops are sched- uled for the next several months, and Jennings said city officials are willing to speak to "citizens one-on-one or in small groups at other times ff they are unable to attend. i "We're trying to get the word out now," he said, adding that the comprehensive plan web site, www.choicesforcheney.org, has more information. To schedule a meeting with city staff regarding Choices for Cheney, call Jennings at 498- 9240. Becky Thomas can be reached at becky@cheneyfreepress.com. CARPET SALE Position 1 continued from page 1 "It shows the type of team that. our city government has," he said of the plan. "And I would be hon- ored to be a part of that team." Webster also had good things to say about the current city gov- ernment. "More has been done in the past year, I think, since I moved here in 1989," he said. Webster, a retired military :officer, is currently a member,of , "the Planning Commission and said that if elected to City Council he would use his insight to help shape the future of Cheney. "I think I'm fairly cognizant of the issues the city has," he said. "The zoning of the city needs to be looked at and maybe needs Fred Pollard to be adjusted," he said. "There's no real pattern or balance: I think there could be a better zoning in certain areas." Webster also said he wants the ,Fields Graeme Webster city to seek more grants for city development. "We're getting them, but I think we have to be more aggres- sive in getting them," he said. continued from page 1 Simmons noted that if citi- zens vote down the bond for the 50-acre park, the funds would go toward improving current fields, since there is no room to build new fields in the current city parks. The money from Farmers will be placed in an account with Spokane Regional Sports Com- mission, per an agreement that was discussed at the Tuesday Cheney City Council meeting. SRSC would only use the funds for Cheney field projects. Simmons acknowledged the city's space limitations for grow- ing athletic programs, and said he hoped the money would go toward new fields. Photo by John McCallum Area officials pose with Little League players Monday afternoon, "This is a start," he said. Nixon and his staff in helping se- Simmons, Lee and others ac- cure the grant for Cheney. knowledged the work of local Becky Thomas can be reached at Farmers Insurance agent Doug becky@cheneyfreepress.com. o/ OWL PHARMACY CHENEY OWL 120 F Street, Cheney, WA TUESDAY OCTOBER 6 10 AM to 5 PM 509-235-8441 I MEDICAL LAKE OWL 123 E. Lake, Medical Lake, WA THURSDAY OCTOBER 8 10 AM to 5 PM 509-299-5113 18 years and older, only Cash or Medicare part B Please bring Medicare card He also wants to develop a partnership with Eastern Wash- ington University to employ students for project work and research, which he said would save the city money on consultant fees. Overall Webster said he wants to promote fiscal discipline and expand the city's reserve fund while seeking new businesses and industries. "We have a lot to attract," he -o,said, pointing to the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, new Holiday Inn Express and the in- dustrial park. Cheney residents can vote for their choice in the Council Posi- tion I race on Nov. 3. Becky Thomas can be reached at becky@cheneyfreepress.com. DOWNTOWN AUTO LICENSING 613 S. 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