Public Participation Process

What is Next?

At its meeting on Wednesday, August 30, the Planning Commission will start reviewing a draft of the recommendation for the use of the South Riverway property. The commission has decided that it has received a wide range of comments representative of the various concerns and ideas from the community, and is not currently entertaining additional comments.


In November, 2016 the Millwood City Council authorized the purchase of two unimproved parcels on South Riverway. This was in response to on-going discussions on ways to improve public access to the Spokane River. The Council's reasons for purchasing the property are explained in Resolution #2016-17 (see below).

Council Actions

In February, 2017, in response to concerns expressed from property owners along the Spokane River and other citizens, the Council requested that the Millwood Planning Commission undertake a study of the best uses of the property, to include a meaningful public participation process.  The Council's request is included in Resolution #17-02

Planning Commission

The Planning Commission has planned a series of meetings to develop the recommendation on the use of the property requested by city council.

March 29      Site Conditions

April 26         Needs and Concerns

May 31           Technical Assistance from Agencies and Organizations

June 28         Alternatives for Use

July 26           Approve Recommendation to City Council

Written Comments

Petition Submitted In Opposition:

Concerned that city purchased property without public input or notice. Concerned about environmental issues, permitting issues, potential litigation from opposition, and cost. Concerned about crime, traffic parking, noise and other nuisances. Concerned about increase river usage in this area historically used by powerboats. Concerned about devaluation of adjacent property values and litigation due to devaluation of private property values. Concerned about cost to build/maintain a park. Concerned about increase in crime and financial/community costs of a riverfront park. Concerns about homeless camps and other undesirable outcomes. Concerned that parcel is classified for residential not for park. Concerned with cost for permitting and likely litigation costs.

Proposed actions: Stop actions/plans to build a park. Put the parcels up for sale.

Example of Petition: Spencer Harrington Dec 22 2016

Summary of Petitions Received


Other Comments


Bob and Kristen Bailey 7920 E South Riverway
William Baker 7507 E South Riverway These prime lots are potenually worth one million dollars with houses on them and you are taking them off the property tax system. You are taking away $15,000 to $30,000 a year from theschools, fire and library. There is already access to the river at boulder beach and Plants Ferry park.
Kay Bolin 8405 E South Riverway
Aleksey Borisov 8312 E South Riverway
Nadezhda Borisov 8312 E South Riverway
Adam Bray 7801 E South Riverway
Jack Bunton 8915 E South Riverway
 Rebecca Yvonne Bunton 8915 E South Riverway
Harley Candle 8710 E Maringo Dr
Randy & Michaely Casto 8015 E South Riverway
Barton Cooke 7512 E Upriver Dr
Gary and Ann Edwards 8218 E Maringo Dr
Michael Guthrie 8409 South Riverway
Samantha Guthrie 8409 E South Riverway
Roger Hahn 2906 N Argonne Rd
Spencer Harrington 8407 E South Riverway
Cara Harrington 8407 E South Riverway
Robert D. Harrington 3514 N Dick Rd
Ryan Harrington 8120 E Glass Ave
Paul Harrington 3309 N Dick Rd
Carolyn Hendikson 7623 E South Riverway
Carolyn Hendrikson and Doug Smith Jan-18-2017
John Herrmann-8310 E South Riverway
Richard Hollomon 8916 E South Riverway Resident since 7/7/1951
Scott and Marsha Jones-Jun-26-2017
Lynn Hurley 7815 E South Riverway
Darcy Kelly 7219 E South Riverway
Bryan Key 8320 E Maringo Dr
Gene Kingsley 8103 E Riverway
David Klaue 14 E Main Ave
Keith Kriegh 8119 E South Riverway
Michael and Jackie Kondo 8712 ½ E Maringo Dr
Ray Larsen 8318 E Maringo Dr
Connie Larsen 8318 E Maringo Dr
Kathleen Lavis 7219 E South Riverway
Wendy Martin 8314 E Maringo Dr
Peggy McCartney 8020 E Maringo Dr
Allie McLallen 8120 E Glass Ave
Mike and Debra McKay 8001 E South Riverway
Debra McKay 8001 E South Riverway
Lewis Miller 8510 E South Riverway
Jay Molitor D8415 E South Riverway
Judith Onthank-Douglas Coglizer-7917 E South Riverway
Dan Robbins 8406 E South Riverway
Dan Robbins Feb-21-2017
David Rudnick 8314 E Maringo Dr
John Sage 8423 E South Riverway
Miguel Schmitz 8624 E Maringo Dr
Shawn and Megan Sicilia 8728 E Maringo Dr
Dr. Cary Simonds 8605 E South Riverway
Dr. Ross Simonds 8211 E South Riverway
Lesa Simpson 8602 E Maringo Dr
Ed Simpson 8602 E Maringo Dr
Jimmy Simpson 8207 E South Riverway
Melissa Simpson 8207 E South Riverway
Doug Smith 7623 E South Riverway
Eric and Terese Steven 8823 E South Riverway
Kerri Surface 7606 E Hodin Dr
Steve-Surface 7606 E Hodin Dr
Mark Terry 8518 E Maringo Dr
Norman and Carolyn Thomson 8010 E Maringo Dr
Kim and Any Tomalo 8518 E South Riverway
Kay and Kevin Wagar 8509 E South Riverway



"People of Millwood" Comment Survey:

Survey form

        Summary Table of Comments Submitted on the Survey Form:


Name/Address Would you like this property to be made into a small public park or some other use? Would you like some kind of river access to be available? Other Comments


Connection to Millwood
Paul Swift 8119 E Glass Ave Yes park Going to the river would be cool
Donna Anderson 8306 E So Riverway No. Parking issues. Property valuation issues. Traffic. City owns it, City takes care of it!! Yes. A View point of river would be nice Needs to be mowed and weeds controlled
Nancy Mahoney and Gary Matthews, 8414 E Maringo Yes Limited – no power craft We used to live in Millwood on So Riverway, a few houses from the proposed park. We currently live across the river on Maringo. A pocket park would be really nice, giving more people access to a beauty spot. Great idea. Please put in outhouses or a restroom. Former residents and current riverfront residents
Josh Davey 8603 E Courtland Yes Yes
Diana Dawson 8821 E Maringo Dr Yes Yes Bike shop and market in Millwood
Casey Johnson 8604 E Courtland Well maintained neighborhood park Not at this time Many issues need to be addressed. Homeowner
Barb and Tigan Knauss 8619 E Liberty Ave Yes! Yes! I know there are many concerns over the addition of a park, however, as a Millwood resident, I think it would have a very positive impact on our neighborhood and community.
Ellis and Colenda Ramey 8505 E Courtland Small public park No
Terry Madnick 3420 N Sargent Rd A small public neighbor park Small kayak
Julie and Stacy Kloth 3307 N Sipple Rd Yes. Public park Yes! We have kayaks and of course we would love to have a well-maintained public park.
Brian and Deanna Harshman 8803 E Grace Ave Yes Yes definitely
Connie S and Walter L. Countryman 2913 N Dale Rd Yes Yes OK. That’s fine Resident
Janet Bleck 8705 E Frederick Ave Yes Yes Millwood residents only
Jason and Cyndi Anderson Yes, I think we should put a skate park Yes
Scott Grorud 3610 N Sargent Park Yes for non-gasoline motor craft Live in Millwood
Caroline and Frank Ciliberti 8709 E Frederick Ave Yes Yes Boat launch
Andrew Rockefeller 9009 E Bridgeport Ave Yes Yes
Rachell Johnston 3209 N Hutchinson Rd Yes Yes
Sade Alade and Chad Erickson 3609 N Sargent Rd I would like a public park with river access Yes
Jerry and Angela Brown 8926 E Bridgeport Ave Yes Yes
Kirstin Franklin 2901 N Argonne Rd Ste #2 Yes Yes Business owner
The Paisley Pooch 3213 N Argonne Rd Absolutely! Yes! It would be wonderful for the community. We need it.
Bill and Teri King 3117 N Argonne Rd A small public park Yes, for non-motor craft No overnight parking or camping. No open fires for BBQ, etc. Well maintained. Follow Millwood city policy Business owner
Jeri Mainer, 3007 N Argonne Rd Public Access is needed on our river! Yes! To be able to paddleboard would be great! Our new “neighbors” in Millwood ask how to access the water. I’d like to direct them to public access.
Joshua and Katie Segalla 8514 E Bridgeport Ave Yes, we would like it to be made into a small public park Yes, that would be great. My major concern would be more automobile traffic through the neighborhoods. That is my only hesitation to saying yes to this park.
Bonnie Larrison 8611 E Dalton Ave A walk/bike park would be nice. Could be questionable as a danger to kids who would have access without supervision. Parking might be a problem. Also tables and seating?? Would they be provided?
Ramona Reidburn 3208 N Sargent Rd Park No
Dan and Pam Hansen Yes a public green space would be great Yes- canoe and kayak access Live in the neighborhood and love it!
Len and Eddie Bradford 8507 E Liberty Ave I like the idea of a park Not really We live in Millwood
Millwood residents Absolutely. Our small community needs a small park with river views and access! Walk/Bike up park only Yes. I would love to launch my kayaks or take my dogs to enjoy the water Millwood residents need and deserve a bikeable/walkable park to enjoy. Walk-up only, no parking would be ideal for immediate neighbors. I live and love Millwood. It’s my home. Our friends and community makes Millwood special!
Scott and Marsha Jones 3016 N Maple Rd Yes. Riverside parks are awesome. Absolutely yes – canoe/kayak only Whenever possible, access to the river should be preserved for the public.
Jim Anderson 8305 E Nora Ave Yes. For quiet space, river viewing to start with. Maybe. Time will indicate the needs. Previous resident/employee of Millwood.
Anne Pierce Aslin 2216 N Locust Rd Yes. A small park or greenspace would be a boon for this area and community. Would be great for kayak access. I walk through Millwood and on South Riverway 2-3 times a week and would love to have this as a park. Former resident. I grew up in Millwood and live close by. I am involved with the Millwood History enthusiasts.
William L Aslin 2216 N Locust Rd Made into a small park. Kayak For the benefit of all. Park benches, flower grounds area. Millwood Historical group. I walk in the area frequently.
Lisa Boyette 8621 E Bridgeport Ave Yes Yes
Eric Bjurstrom 8620 E Dalton Ave Yes. I think that would be great. Yes I think this would be great for the neighborhood. Resident
Nick Berger 8611 E Liberty Small public park 🙂 Yes. No swimming. This would be a great benefit to the community at only a slight inconvenience to the people who think they own the road and land surrounding their property. Resident, family connections.
Barbara Byington 8904 E South Riverway Yes Yes, for non-motorized vessels (kayak, canoe, etc)
Stacey Carr 8820 E Bridgeport Yes! Absolutely I enjoy kayaking the river. I have a cart and would pull it to the river. This would be a wonderful addition to our neighborhood. Live here 😊
Jennifer and Emma Chan 8122 E Glass Ave A small park would be ideal. Yes please! Great idea!
Robert B Crary 9417 E Trent Yes Yes A park at designated location would be great.
James Domenico 9417 E Trent A park would be great. Yes Canoe launch would be great.
Charlotte and Garret DuPont 3212 N Hutchinson We would love a park with river access. Absolutely – encourages safety This could be a great community resource.
Patrick and Sarah Elsden, Patricia Steubing 8505 E Liberty Yes Yes Hurry. I will help.
Benjamin Gheorghiu 3008 N Willow Rd Small park with river access Yes. Dock and or beach Sand and or grass river. Possible zen garden.
Ashley Harala 3411 N Marguerite Rd Yes. A well maintained park. I would like the park to be well maintained and uninviting to disreputable people.
Lynn S Keener and Marilyn Obrien 3305 N Dale Yes Absolutely. River access would be great. I would like to see a boat ramp, everyone should have access to the river.
Christy Key 9417 E Grace Ave Yes Yes – access to kayaking would be nice
Tricia Knauss 8426 E South Riverway Yes Limited – yes I would enjoy a park like setting that would provide an enjoyable area to enjoy the river by view – sound. Watching wild life.
Marc Lange 8319 E Wellesley Ave Park access yes – with limits* Of course, a dock – safe. A river that is denied is hardly a river. Good hours, good access. Common sense for Millwood. Or purchase a permit – I’d buy one. Remember to educate on the H2O runway at Felts. Business owner, patron Spokane
Kyle McCale 3418 N Dale Rd A small Millwood river pk. Yes Swimming access
Nicholas LeDux 2623 N Laura Rd Small public park Small swimming area would be nice
Kevin Lehinger 3306 N Dale Rd Yes Yes Visual access, community garden or green space.
Kate McLachlan 8524 E Dalton Ave Yes please! Yes if it’s safe. At the very least, I’d like people of Millwood to be able to enjoy a peaceful view of the river.
Tina McQuitty 8408 E Bridgeport I like the park idea if it can be controlled and maintained and would love to keep it more private. Yes, if it’s controlled. I would like it to be more private for local residents. I’m concerned with it being an invitation to “less favorable” people, but if it could be gated (and a cost for entry annually) it would be great.
Lewis L Miller 8510 E South Riverway Yes! I would if it is maintained! Nobody wants a Boulder Beach! Yes! Yes the park sounds good. It has to be maintained and be policed and kept clean so the people of Millwood can enjoy!
David and Tamara Milliken 3203 N Dale Rd Small public park Yes for kayaks or canoes. A park and river access will add to our community as a social and natural resource. Our community would be better for it.
Teisha Mathis and Austin Burris 3215 N Dale Rd Yes small park would be great. Yes Small quiet park for our community to enjoy would be great.
Kevin and Holly Moon 3308 N Bessie Rd Park Yes please
Sophia Mosbrucker 8820 E Bridgeport Ave Yes, I would like that. Definitely. Live in town
Breanna Murray 3715 N Farr Rd Yes that would be very pleasant. Yes please Make it dog accessible.
Vikkie Naccarato 3318 N Marguerite Yes – park or green space. At least visual access to river. No private development. For canoes and kayaks With the concerns of the immediate neighbors a controlled access would be very nice. 1) keycard? 2) gates locked from dusk to dawn 3) partial locked area where canoes and kayaks launched Resident
Ben Nesbitt 2918 N Willow Yes Yes Resident
Grace and David Nesbitt 2918 N Willow Rd Yes, great access for family to get to the river Yes Could have a gazebo for bands
Bear and Stephanie Rhoads 8304 E Nora Ave Small park would be great Maybe for stand up Yoga – paddleboards This is great news.
Barbara St. Clair 8820 E Liberty Ave As I was growing up there were plenty of spots where we could access and enjoy the river. Now all those spots are unavailable. Having this park is an opportunity to sit and enjoy. Since there is no beach there, it would be nice to have a way to get kayaks launched. Having done some reading on neighborhood pocket parks it points out that they are frequented by people within walking distance. Grew up here and returned for retirement.
Mary Schmidt 7704 E Euclid Ave Yes a park would be great for community building Yes! I’d love to be able to use my kayak here.
Megan Sherrill 7714 E Liberty Ave Yes Yes We love Millwood and walking through this area and bringing children and families together is a great thing to keep here.
Sheila and Les Sloan 3009 N Woodruff Rd Yes Yes Bike access to Centennial Trail. Live here 😊
Kevin Smith 8703 E Liberty Yes a walk in park Yes Canoe/kayak Millwood resident
Tamara, Buckeye Ave Yes for park Sure It would be nice for the neighborhood Family live in, walk and live
Brian Teeter, 9002 E Liberty Yes small park Yes everyone needs access Canoe/kayak access
Vanessa Teeter 9002 E Liberty Public park. Millwood residents should be able to access the river and enjoy a park. Yes A canoe/kayak launch and walk down access would be wonderful. This is a much needed addition to Millwood. Citizen
Kelsey and Steve Vandenburg 8522 E South Riverway No public park please That location is dangerous My concern is there is no way to limit parking in front of our home; also the speed that additional drivers would drive would be dangerous to our kids and pets.
Ellen Victor PO Box 141416 Spokane Valley 99214 Please make it a public park and/or natural area. I wouldn’t use it for river access. Providing river access would add to expense and liability issues, and redute the usable park area available I assume. I often park by the Rock Bakery and Corner Door Café in Millwood and then go for a long walk, including East South Riverway, before returning to one of these businesses to enjoy coffee and a snack. I appreciate the City of Millwood’sp reservation of these river front properties for public use and enjoyment. Thank you!
Sarah Wallace 8609 E Courtland Ave Yes Yes
Theresa Willard 8905 E Liberty Ave Yes! I think this will continue to attract young families that will invest in Millwood Yes, but the park would be the most appealing.
Rachel Wilson 8605 E Liberty Yes! A park, preferably with river access, would be great! Yes!
Rachel Wood 8920 E Sugar Pine Ln Yes! Yes! Playground/splashpad for kids. Boat launch. Dock. Live up the hill.


Spencer Harrington letter Dec 30 2016

Spokane Upriver Owners Association letter  Jan 2 2017

Melissa Fennen letter  Jan 10 2017

Bob Fennen letter Jan 10 2017

Spokane Upriver Owners Association letter Jan 12 2017

Kay Bolin letter Jan 18 2017

Dr Cary Simonds email  Jan 19 2017

Mary Schade letter Feb 26 2017

Betsy Mott letter Feb 27 2017

Spencer Harrington letter Mar 14 2017

Spencer Harrington letter Mar 17 2017

Eric Steven email Apr 25 2017

Historic Preservation Commission letter May 23 2017

City School Riverway Ideas

South Riverway Private Boat Ramp Association letter May 31 2017

Spencer Harrington presentation May 31 2017

Jay Molitor letter Jun 16 2017

Dan and Pam Hansen Jun 25 2017

Shannon Stravens letter Jun 28 2017

Jay Molitor email re Spokesman article

Note for Commenters:

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10 thoughts on “South Riverway Property”

  1. I don’t live on South Riverway but walk down that road several times per week. While I would like to have access to the river from Millwood, my main concern would be for the citizens that live in that area. I don’t know any of the previous discussions on this, so I may be bringing up items already discussed and something that is too late to discuss since the city has already purchased the properties. However, I think it will be a big disturbance to this quieter area of Millwood. There will be more traffic, cars parked along side of the road, bring in some riff raff which could potentially cause more crime to the homes there, and not to mention the noise that all of this will create.

  2. I have lived in Millwood for 18 years. Like many Millwood citizens, I don’t live on the river. After attending several city meetings, I agree with the city’s decision to purchase property. This gives the many Millwood residents access to the river; may that access be physical or visional.
    Just the idea of having more “green space” I believe adds value, not just to home prices, but more importantly to your well-being. It’s one of the many reasons that Millwood is a beautiful and very desirable place to live. I personally would like to see physical access for kayakers as well as a park like area with trees and quite spaces with visional river access.

    I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Millwood Counsel for the foresight in purchasing land on the river, which will directly benefit the citizens of Millwood.

    Thank you,

  3. I have lived in Millwood for 15 years and have enjoyed the small town atmosphere and the emphasis on community. I also appreciate having the river so close with the recreational opportunities it provides. I have found it difficult though to find a place to safely launch my kayak and to fully enjoy its proximity due to lack of public access. I fully support the City purchasing these two riverfront lots and hope they will be used to allow Millwood citizens equal access and enjoyment of the river.

  4. June 20, 2017

    Dear Millwood Planning Commission,

    First of all, thank you for all that you do to serve our little town. Your time and efforts are greatly appreciated.
    I would like to share with you my thoughts regarding the property that the city purchased on South Riverway. My wife and I would love to see that area turned into a park that would build a stronger sense of community in the neighborhood in which our family lives. Although we appreciate the Millwood City Park, our family seldom uses this park primarily because of accessibility. It is inconvenient for us to cross Argonne to use the park We have probably only used the main park half a dozen times in the eleven years that we have resided in Millwood. So for us, a community park would be a nice neighborhood addition to our enjoyment of the outdoors. I also believe that it would be well used by the droves of people that walk by our house on South Riverway on a daily bases.
    I understand that there has been a strong contention in the community about this area. It seems to me that much of that has been driven by a sense of entitlement among those that had the opportunity and the means to be able to purchase property that happens to be on the river. I believe that this assumption is supported by statements made at the planning meetings along the lines of people just want something for free (which implies that unless you can afford to buy a house on the river, you do not deserve to have access to the river), and then, although I was not at the first meeting, a statement was made implying that the threshold for river access is people with central air conditioning in their homes (which creates a quandary for those that live on the river and have not installed central air conditioning). I believe that these feelings of entitlement create a two tier class system in Millwood, and unfortunately it is common for those who have above-average means also to be able to articulate and fight for their perceived entitlements.
    There have been many concerns brought up about placing a park on the property on South Riverway. I believe that most are exaggerated by a group of people who feel entitled to river access. At the first meeting I attended, the most prevalent concern that was levied was that of decreased property values and crime that might become common place in our neighborhood. We are fortunate to be policed by the Spokane County Sheriff department. Our family has had a few occasions where we needed to call the Sheriff department, and we found that they had an appropriate response time and responded in an appropriate manner. I believe this would still be the case if we had a park in the neighborhood. I have also taken time to study how parks affect crime and property values in neighborhoods. Most of the data agree that parks that are well planned and well cared for increase the home values in the neighborhoods. One of the journal articles that I read stated that the increase can be between 5 to 20% for houses that are within 635 meters from the green space. In the journal article “Property values, parks, and crime: A hedonic analysis in Baltimore, MD” by Austin Troy and J Morgan Grove, they cite a 2001 study that showed that there is a positive increase in housing prices and that increase was shown to not matter if the house was 1/4 of a mile or a mile away. A 2002 study of Quebec housing found that the sight of vegetation increased property value. Then in a 2003 study, it was found that as houses move away from green space, they are devalued. The conclusion of that study states that it is better for a community to have small neighborhood parks placed throughout the community rather than one large park (Troy & Grove, 2007). At the last Planning Commission meeting, a resident raised the question, “Why do we need more parks?” The data shows there is a positive impact on housing prices when communities have small parks.
    Another concern that has been raised is that crime might happen at a park. Many people have compared the park to other areas along the river, primarily the undeveloped vacant lot west of Millwood that has seen vagrants come through the area and then, of course, Boulder Beach. In the same article that was cited above, the authors discuss crime. They found that a green space that is well maintained with grassy areas and canopy trees (trees that do not provide space for people to hide) and is located in well-maintained neighborhoods actually decrease crime. This is seen as a “territorial marker” (Troy & Grove, 2007) and the criminal element will move on to any area that they perceive as being less cared for. I believe that it is best for the city to develop this area into a well-maintained park so that the criminal element will move on to a different area. The article does state that not all parks create value but that is largely caused by “less managed or more threatening types of undergrowth” (p.242). I believe that the city does a good job maintaining its properties and, if this area is developed into a park, I believe that level of established maintenance would be continued. It has been well established throughout the planning meetings that Boulder Beach is not going to happen in this neighborhood park because of the lack of beach access at this piece of property and the remote nature of Boulder Beach.
    The importance of parks is well established for a community. Most new developments now are required to provide green spaces that are developed into the plan. My wife and I used to live in Liberty Lake, and all over the city of Liberty Lake, there are green spaces in the new developments. I believe that this is because there is an understanding of the importance of these spaces for community health. The gentleman from the EPA pointed out that new developments are required to provide water access if the development is greater than 4 houses. The EPA sees the importance for these spaces.
    I would love to see river access in the area. The gentlemen from the water conservation organization discussed how a small access point can control the size of craft that can be inserted into the water at certain destinations. He also pointed out that the location of this possible area would not be a draw for those who are floating the river because there is no convenient take-out spot. The people that would be utilizing this put-in would have to be willing to paddle upstream, which is not as tempting to the masses. I also believe those who are avid paddlers would not be as excited to paddle on the slower water that is in this area. Because of these factors, I would conclude that those who would be using this put-in location would primarily come from the neighborhood. It was also stated that those smaller put-ins are not heavily used in other areas that are similar in size for smaller crafts like a canoes or kayaks.
    My wife and I would love to see a park on the land that the city owns on South Riverway with a large green space. I believe river access for small personal watercraft would be a benefit for the community to have an opportunity to enjoy this resource that we have. Another thing that I would personally like to see is an area for exercise with workout equipment like the Fallen Hero Circuit Courses that Liberty Lake offers at Pavillion Park, Rocky Hill Park, and along Trailhead Golf Course. It seems like that would be enjoyable, if that seems prudent. With Millwood being such a pedestrian community, a workout area might add to the physical fitness and community. I personally would not want to see a community garden because I believe that most people in the community have adequate space for a garden.
    I understand that it has been insinuated that lawsuits could happen if certain people do not get their way. It is important for the government to make sure that it does what is right for all of its citizens and not just those that throw out “big words” to threaten people who might not understand what they are saying. I would hope that the city’s betterment would not be swayed because of erroneous and frivolous threats.

    Thank you again for all of your hard work,

    Chris & Cathy Walton
    8604 E South Riverway Ave.

    Tory, A. & Grove, J.M., (2008), Property values, parks, and crimes: A hedonic analysis in Baltimore, MD, Landscape and Urban Planning, 87 p.233-245

  5. My family and I would love a small private and safe river park for Millwood. We have lived and loved our new community for over 5 years. Please move forward but with respect to all neighbors in the area.

  6. Dear City Council Members:

    As the City of Millwood is well aware, a boat launch was built last year on the Spokane River in Spokane Valley. This project was approved to ensure historic river access by members of the public who have chosen to purchase land that abuts the Spokane River within specific geographic parameters, and with other enumerated limitations. In short, the boat launch was approved to preserve historic water-dependent uses by parcels that have historically enjoyed this use.

    The City of Millwood was notified of this project throughout the permitting process. Additionally, the City of Millwood was made aware when it received truckloads of local dirt that was excavated from the site and used by the City of Millwood at the Millwood “City Park”.

    The City of Millwood provided comments that were made part of the record at the public hearing for the South Riverway Private Boat Ramp. The only concern raised by the City of Millwood was in regards to a possible increase in vehicular traffic along the narrow, quiet residential street that abuts the Boat Ramp. The City of Millwood was clear that access to the River should be limited to owners of the shoreline parcels and not to the general public (or even friends/relatives of parcel owners). As you can see from the attachment, the City of Millwood was very concerned about limiting access to preserve safety in the vicinity.

    The members of the South Riverway Private Boat Ramp Association made changes to our construction plans and bylaws in order to be a “good neighbor” to the City of Millwood, by meeting your concerns. Traffic and parking issues, use issues, and limitations were all addressed in the construction of the ramp and incorporated into our bylaws to mitigate any adverse impacts to the City of Millwood or South Riverway residents as a whole.

    We are aware of the proposed development of the South Riverway parcels purchased by the City for use as a park or access to the Spokane River. We chose the adjacent site for our ramp because it was located sufficiently far from any other “public” access point. This is a safety issue. That our ramp was also located in the approximate middle of the neighborhood it serves helped to mitigate the very traffic issues Millwood raised.

    We are very concerned, from a safety standpoint, that the City of Millwood now plans to provide public access a mere 200 feet upriver from the ramp location. If the City of Millwood creates an access point, the City will be creating a risk/safety issue for the public that may use the access. Two access points should not be located that close together. Any expert would advise you of that; this is why you never see uncontrolled access points so close together.

    We are putting the City on notice that the creation of an access point on this part of the River risks serious injury or death to the public. Such risk increases when anyone is swept downriver by the current (oftentimes quite swift but always present) and into a trailer or moving boat propeller using the ramp. Furthermore, the River current could sweep the public downriver, where people may attempt to exit the swift current by trespassing onto private property, including the South Riverway Private Boat Ramp property located just 200 feet downstream. We riverside owners experience that every year.

    The City of Millwood also expressed specific issues with too much public access to the River in this area and the safety concerns that additional public access would create. It is counter-intuitive for the City of Millwood to now pursue an increase in the public’s access to this portion of the River, given the City’s recognition of the complicated safety issues that such an access would create.

    I expect the City is aware that the Spokane River in this area is in a constant state of movement.

    • From January to July each year the River in this are moves at a very swift pace. Sometimes the current is moving so swift that the county closes the River because it is too dangerous for even emergency responders to rescue people.
    • The pace of the River from July through September is slower but still moving and is quite deceptive. During the slower current months, the center channel of the River moves faster than the edges. Many swimmers miscalculate the current and are sucked under by the current and drown. On average 2-3 people drown between Upriver Dam and the Island Trailhead annually.
    • From October through December the River’s pace again increases to a medium rate but the water temperature plummets. This increases risks to anyone finding himself or herself in the water. The inexperienced and the intoxicated are at real risk.

    The riverbank in the area where the City of Millwood proposes access is very steep and dangerous. There is no beach area or places to stand along the shoreline. The riverbank above and below the waterline is a 30 degree+/- grade. The shoreline is mostly river rock/gravel with varying amounts of toxic sediment underneath from decades of mining activity. The rocks are not stable and are unsafe to stand on due to the steep grade.

    The City is creating a public access point that does not currently exist, and has never existed in this area. It is locating that public access point 200 feet away from another access point, a new boat ramp that addressed Millwood’s appropriate concerns for public safety. The City of Millwood is also apparently well aware (see letter attached) that South Riverway is a narrow and quiet residential street.

    When we applied for a permit, the City was concerned with the nominal traffic from existing residents using our ramp. The additional (new) traffic from new users coming to the new access point you have planned will be much more significant. We use the ramp very rarely, only once each year to put our boats into the water, and once to remove them; people using your new-proposed access points will have no reason to make such limited use.

    This public safety problem addressed above is so foreseeable (and Millwood has already foreseen it) and unavoidable that we do not know how it can be mitigated, much less resolved, by the City. We question:

    • Does the City of Millwood have a traffic mitigation plan to deal with the traffic issue it has already identified?

    • Does the City have a mitigation plan to deal with the safety issue caused by location of the new access point so close to our own, properly permitted, Boat Ramp?

    • How will the City protect riparian owners from problems caused by additional trespassers?

    Many people who access the River lack even rudimentary knowledge of water safety, and many will be drinking as they access the River. The traffic problems, the proximity to our boat ramp, and the strength of the River make injuries, death, trespassing and a variety of ills more than merely foreseeable. They will happen.

    Similarly, the burden you are placing on adjacent property owners, who already have trespasser problems from people floating down the River and getting into trouble due to lack of experience and skill, use of intoxicants, and equipment failure, will be magnified. It is one thing for the City to create problems for its entire tax base, as in the creation of this public safety burden. But it is an entirely different matter to force local riparian owners to also shoulder the additional liability issues that will surely arise from a new access point in this quiet neighborhood.

    We want to know how you plan to address these issues. Will you indemnify us? Will you create a special fund to pay for the injuries foreseeably resulting from this plan? Or will this problem be thrust upon the South Riverway landowners and residents?

    The City of Millwood appears to be moving forward on a plan that has very serious likely consequences including, inter alia, foreseeable harm to public safety and health, increasing trespassing and property rights infringement, and other issues.

    We urge the City to take all of this into consideration and choose another site for public river access. We suggest a site that is not so steep, is not near other hazards, and provides for a beach-type area that is safer for the public. Furthermore, I am tendering this letter to be considered and included as part of any official record regarding any/all decisions made regarding parcels 45064.0059 & 45064.0060.

    Yours truly,

    Spencer W. Harrington

  7. I have previously written 2 letters and attended most City Council and Planning Commission Meetings regarding the proposed park. I am very frustrated about how the City Council and Planning Commission are able to do whatever they want without regard to people that are most impacted by their decisions.

    I live at 8405 E South Riverway which is right next door to the proposed park. Last summer I was on my deck and noticed a group of people on the property next door. I asked if Sharon had put the property up for sale and the only response I received was a shoulder shrug and they said they didn’t know. I now recognize the people as members of the City Council. They could have at least been honest with me. I had to find out several months later with a little blub in the Millwood Newsletter.

    Please put this residential property back on the market so it can be sold as residential property. I do not want a park next door.

    Thank you.

    Kay Bolin      

  8. Millwood has access and has used the access at the end of Sargent Road for 60+ years. It works because it is informal. The city has not maintained it properly and it is in disrepair. The city has a mandate to improve this access but hey have refused to follow their own mandate. The city refuses to pick up trash, ensure the access is safe and so on.

    Now, a few people want to burden us all with a massive cost, enforcement issues, litter, crime, and traffic issues. These few people have a private agenda to create access for themselves and make us all pay the financial and social cost for this.

    The city illegally paid more than the appraised price. The city actively hid the potential purchase from the community. The city illegally appointed the realtor who represented the seller of the parcels to the city council. She has since resigned.

    The planning commission has repeatedly asked the city council to improve the Sargent road access. The most recent request was in December 2016. The city has refused to make the improvements at the historic access point.

    Instead, the city wants to force all 1780 of us to pay for this new expensive access that less than 20 people want. The access has already cost the city in excess of $400,000 and will likely be over $1,000,000 so these 20 people can get their pet project accomplished. These 20 vocal people represent less than 0.5% of our Millwood citizens. The remaining 99.5% of Millwood citizens either don’t care or are opposed to this gross waste of taxpayer funds and destruction of this quiet neighborhood.

    If the city keeps pushing for this park we will ALL have to pay for it. The parks estimate cost is well over $1,000,000 PLUS ongoing maintenance costs, plus ongoing police costs, plus ongoing litigation costs and so on for their pet project. All of this so 20 or so people can force their pet project on the rest of us.

    If these 20 people want to fund the project they should each cough up $50,000 each to build their own park.

  9. I just wanted to note that this listing of public comment labels the signatures against as “a petition submitted in opposition” but does not list the “People of Millwood Questionaire” responses as being in Favor of the public park. I believe it is clear that they are only if you read each one.

  10. My dream as a homeowner for 14 years here in Millwood has always been that residents would not have to be exposed to railroad noise pollution day and night. It would be wonderful to have a train pass through town without the need for a long blaring train horn, at each street crossing in town.
    My understanding now is that this dream is possible, if the crossing signals and gates were upgraded with 4 Quadrant Crossing Gates and Signals. Research indicates that the use of these new gates could lead to the creation of train “Quiet Zones”, where the trains would no longer use their horns, except in emergency situations.

    The reasons these gates are not used is due to the red tape involved in working with the railroad, the County, the State, etc, etc…and they are expensive to install.
    I for one would much prefer Millwood funds be utilized for reducing this massive annoyance, rather than spending$500k and up for a new city park.
    I believe a park would be a nice addition to the community. I also believe that, from what I have read from the concerned citizens of Millwood, that a decision to move forward on a park will result in a protracted legal battle that will greatly delay the park project, and result in substantial legal costs which, unfortunately, the people of Millwood would be paying for.
    And there is my 2 cents worth 🙂

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