Potential Plans for Hillyard Neighborhood Improvements in Spokane

Potential Plans for Hillyard Neighborhood Improvements in SpokaneFor a little over a year, the city of Spokane has been formulating a plan for the future of the Hillyard neighborhood. The city has been working with the Northeast Public Development Authority and residents living in Spokane's Hillyard neighborhood to see how they can help improve the area the plan has been named the Hillyard Subarea Plan.

About the Hillyard Subarea Plan

The Hillyard Subarea Plan was constructed to help address the need for revitalization in Spokane's Hillyard neighborhood. The plan addresses needs in housing, infrastructure, economic growth, placing brownfields, community, and better use of underutilized spaces. The project also offers protections for current local businesses and residents from displacement as improvements are made over the course of several years in the area. 

The Subarea Plan is a document that outlines the plans of the committee and residents for the improvement of Hillyard through a vision for the future of the neighborhood and its potential. It includes plans for land use, transportation, utilities and drainage, open spaces to enjoy nature, business growth, and most importantly an action plan to help the vision become a reality. 

The plan maps out six different smaller "Plan Areas" that make up the entire neighborhood. The area in the plan encompasses land within the boundaries of Crestline on the west, East Wellesley and Garnet on the south, South Havana and North Fancher Beacon Lane on the east, and East Francis on the north. 

The plan is for the project to be funded through American Rescue Plan Act Funds, a grant from EPA Brownfields, and an integrated planning grant through the Washington Department of Ecology. There will also be help from a direct investment through the Northeast Public Development Authority. Some planning work for Northeast Spokane that is already underway will act as a sort of launching point for Hillyard improvements. For more details about the plan check out the link at the beginning of this section to the City of Spokane Website.

City Officials Toured Hillyard to Discuss the Plan

On March 27th, 2024, members of the City of Spokane Plan Commission and the NEPDA executive director Jesse Bank in the company of Spokane City Council members Michael Cathcart and Kitty Klitzke took a tour of Hillyard to learn about the current state of areas in the plan and how the proposed plan would help to improve the Hillyard Neighborhood. 

After hearing an overview of the Subarea plans the committee and other guests visited key areas of Hillyard. Some of these spots included current empty lots with the potential for development to increase economic activity in the area and bring a higher community atmosphere to the area. After seeing the potential for growth in an easily changeable location the group stopped by several flourishing local businesses in Hillyard in what is referred to as "The Yard" on the east side of the North-South Corridor. The group finished their tour of the neighborhood on Market Street, Hillyard's charming historic hub—the home of Hillyard's notable collection of antique stores. 

Next Steps for the Hillyard Plan

Jacqueline Churchill, Planner I of Spokane shared in an article on a Spokane City news blog that:

"Before the end of the year, the Hillyard Subarea Plan will go before the Plan Commission in a public hearing, and the Plan Commission will make its recommendations to City Council. City Council will then weigh in and make its own recommendations before adopting this plan"

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