601 W. Mansfield – Opposition Form Letter

601 W. Mansfield – Opposition Form Letter

Thank you for your willingness to share your feedback on the proposed “Grocery” store on 601 W. Mansfield. Below you will find a sample letter to help you in reaching out to elected officials and Spokane City Planning staff. Feel free to edit or adjust your letter to highlight your own concerns and align with your opinions on the matter. For a comprehensive list of concerns, please reference OPPOSITION: 601 W. Mansfield
PLEASE NOTE: Comments are DUE by 5/15/24 (This Wednesday).
Please send your personalized email to the following individuals:
Kitty Klitzke, District 3 City Council Member; Zack Zappone, District 3 City Council Member; Betsy Wilkerson, President of City Council; Spencer Gardner, Director of Planning Services; Steven Bafus, Project Planner

To: sbafus@spokanecity.org

Cc: bwilkerson@spokanecity.org, zzappone@spokanecity.org, kklitzke@spokanecity.org, sgardner@spokanecity.org 

Subject: Written Comment of Concerns Regarding Conditional Use Permit for 601 W Mansfield

Text: 

Mr. Steven Bafus,

My name is (insert name) and I am an owner/a resident of (insert address). I am reaching out to you  in regard to the proposed Mansfield “Grocery Store” project located at 601 W Mansfield Ave, as it pertains to the city’s conditional use permit application. 

[Location: 601 W Mansfield Ave. Parcel no. 35074.2512, SHANNONS 2ND L12 B6 File/Application Number: Z24-217CUP2]

I would like it to be recorded that I am opposed to this project for several reasons that stem from a list of concerns compiled by myself and other members of the Emerson-Garfield community who would be the most negatively impacted by the approval of this permit. 

This site is located along a primary walking thoroughfare for both children and families, it is predominantly a residential area, and is near multiple schools. The area has plenty of existing businesses within a brief walking distance that provide convenience food and beverages, such as Indiana Market and the 76 station. Unfortunately, the area also has struggles with crime and loitering being present. Based on the precedent set by this developer’s other businesses, Broadway Mini Mart and Amerimart, they are wholly misrepresenting their plans. The documentation calls this a “grocery store”, but would more accurately be described as a convenience store, not a neighborhood grocery store. An additional convenience store in the area would exacerbate the current challenges and is not likely to add value in a meaningful or beneficial way. A “neighborhood serving” business would not reduce property values or cause unnecessary stress upon a neighborhood and its neighbors. The most recent previous use onsite was a dental office, a business with far less impact (traffic, noise, light pollution, parking issues, etc.) to a residential or family oriented environment than a convenience storefront would have. 

There is also concern about improper filing of the land use application, as a grocery store must sell fresh produce and the owner has indicated that the intended store plans to only sell pre-packaged and processed foods, as well as tobacco products and alcoholic beverages. An additional concern is that local neighbors were not properly notified via mail as is the standard process for a land use adjustment. This was confirmed via verbal testimony from multiple residents during the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council meeting held on 5/8/24, City Council Member Zach Zappone and ONS staff member Gabby Ryan were present. 

Lastly, this project has been processed as a type 2 Conditional Use Permit- a procedure that does not require public hearing. Type 2 CUPS are appropriate for buildings smaller than 3000 square feet. However, according to the submitted site plans, the build sq ft exceeds 3000 sq. ft. (3480 sq ft.). WIth this discrepancy, we request that the project follow type 3 conditional use permit procedures: requiring a community meeting hosted by the application and a public hearing. This misstep significantly limits the options and opportunity for the neighborhood to speak out about this application. 

If you choose to allow this adjusted use to proceed, I would request that you consider a few contingencies to be put into place, perhaps via a legal covenant between the owner and the City:

  • Require the store to close at 9pm. If it is truly meant to be a neighborhood grocery store, most people have done their grocery shopping by that hour and it will be closed in time for Spokane residential noise ordinance.
  • Require the site to use/ install “dark sky” compliant exterior lighting, to the benefit of local wildlife and the neighbors. 
  • Prohibit the property from receiving permits for the sale of hard alcohol, lottery tickets, and tobacco products. Again in support of a “neighborhood serving” grocery store.
  • Do not permit extensive change of the building’s facade, in keeping with the existing design precedence, and in an effort to maintain the look and feel of the residential area. 

My opposition to this project comes from the fact that it is operating in bad faith, which implies knowledge of the negative impact it will likely cause. I would gladly advocate for a community-oriented project that enhances the neighborhood’s quality of life. However, this proposed project does not meet those requirements. 

I kindly request that you carefully consider these points of concern raised by the Emerson-Garfield community when evaluating the permit application for the Mansfield “Grocery Store” project.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

(Your Name)
[Your Position]
Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood resident

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