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Shaping Spokane 

by MICK LLOYD-OWEN & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & A & lt;/span & nyone who wants a say in how downtown Spokane should look, feel and operate in the future is invited to a community workshop -- "Fast Forward Spokane" -- on Thursday, Nov. 29. The Downtown Spokane Partnership (DSP) is soliciting input from the public as it updates the 1999 "Plan for a New Downtown."





"It becomes the blueprint of downtown development," says DSP Steering Committee member Jim Kolva.





The plan encompasses strategies for improving employment opportunities and residential living as well as cultivating arts and culture in the downtown core. The issue of low-income housing and displaced homeless people is also on the agenda. Kolva says the plan will become integrated with long-range city facilities' planning for water, sewer and street improvements.





The DSP wants feedback from the community on how pedestrian traffic should be channeled and whether or not bicycle pathways should be created. Do people want a street-car line downtown? Should street trees be required around all new structures downtown? The plan guides policy about public art and how major arterial streets into downtown should -- or shouldn't -- be beautified to serve as "gateways" to the city.





Kolva says that the appearance of the American West Bank building and property on Riverside between Division and Browne streets was forged by the guidelines established in the original plan. How tall should buildings be? Should the city regulate their appearance? What kind of skyline do people want, and how should things look at street level?





The plan can also generate leverage with lenders, Kolva adds. "If it's in the plan and has the support of the City Council, it makes it easier for projects to get built."





"Fast Forward Spokane" community workshop & middot; Thursday, Nov. 29, from 6-9 pm & middot; The public is welcome & middot; Next to WSU Spokane's Bookie (or bookstore) & middot; 412 E. Spokane Falls Blvd. & middot; Visit: www.downtownspokane.com & middot; Call: 456-0580
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