Revitalization | Real Solutions for Spokane

"As Mayor, money would be invested on

revitalizing and improving areas

inside the City of Spokane.

The city is NOT going to subsidize development

that adds nothing to the tax rolls and

creates infrastructure issues by building on the edge of town."

 

I have spoken about housing more often and in more detail than any other mayoral candidate. I have talked about it in the forums, in press interviews, in my newsletters, with my supporters and with my critics. I want to be clear, I am an urbanist who embraces a variety of housing solutions, and I am an advocate for smart growth.

It is reasonable to assume that in the future, housing will be built both inside the city and outside the city of Spokane. But, where it is built matters, and who pays for it matters. Growth makes sense in certain places, and it absolutely creates problems when done in the wrong places. (For example, we have a shortage of apartments, but approving a rezone in Indian Trail and making an awful transportation situation even worse makes no sense.)   

As Washington Association of Realtors pour an unprecedented amount of money into the primary election to support Woodward, ask yourself why. The most shocking quote is ""Woodward suggested she might use city resources to encourage developments outside the city’s borders.” If new housing is in the water and sewer service area, and the land is in the urban growth area, developers can sprawl out and build - but the developer needs to pay for the line extension and transportation costs, not City of Spokane taxpayers. Tax dollars should not be diverted to benefit real estate developers outside the city.

As Mayor, the City of Spokane is NOT going to subsidize development that adds nothing to the tax rolls and creates infrastructure issues by being built on the edge of town.

When I interviewed with the local real estate association, they were not even aware of the quarterly report their national association distributes in partnership with Smart Growth America. These reports suggest that investing in better, walkable neighborhoods is where the future is.

The future is NOT endless sprawl that creates issues for generations to come. The choice is: Sprawl or Revitalization.


As Mayor, money would be invested on revitalizing and improving areas inside the City of Spokane.
Ben’s Housing Plan

1)    Immediately expand the Multi-Family Tax Exemption incentive to include centers and corridors throughout Spokane that already have the right zoning and transit access.

2)    Work to expand the Multi-Family Tax Exemption to include light industrial-zoned land.

3)    Pilot density projects in Perry and Monroe corridors to include rezoning and transition blocks. 

4)    Continue to look at decreasing parking requirements in areas of density that have transit and are near centers and corridors.

5)    Examine downtown surface parking. How can we build more structures and decrease reliance on the street parking? Is a highest and best use downtown property tax feasible? Work on State law changes.

6)    Implement House Bill 1406 which will put $10 million into low income housing subsidy. We have a need for more affordable low-end units (there were 800 people in 2018 had housing vouchers but could not find housing).

7)    Implement the rental relocation program. This is funded, but needs a staff person dedicated to implementing.

If we affect both the subsidy of low-income housing and increase our supply of market rate housing, we can make a difference.

As Mayor, I will continue to work hard to ensure that rents are not rising so fast that people get pushed into the streets. I will work to make sure those who need housing have it available.    

Thank you for your support,

Ben