Spokane Youth Sports Association presses forward with proposed sports complex in South Hill’s Glenrose neighborhood

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The Spokane Youth Sports Association recently filed additional documents to support a decade-old environmental review for a proposed youth sports complex in the Glenrose neighborhood.

The SYSA added a report – conducted by Spokane-based JUB Engineers in 2018 – that assesses wetlands in the region, an updated traffic study and project design, grading and lighting plans for the complex to the project file, according to a notice by the Spokane County Building and Planning Department.

The proposed project – Zaheim Youth Sports Complex – will have one multipurpose sports field, a parking lot, storage facilities and restrooms. At full build-out, it will contain four youth baseball fields, two multisports fields with lights, a basketball court and walking path.

The $2.2 million sports complex could be used year-round and will be the only synthetic turf field on the South Hill, the association said in a grant application filed with the state Recreation and Conservation Funding Board.

The proposed complex has been controversial among residents, who cited concerns with traffic, increased noise and stormwater runoff.

More than a decade ago, the Spokane South Little League filed plans to develop a baseball complex on the 20-acre site at the southeast corner of 37th Avenue and Glenrose Road, then owned by Morning Star Boys’ Ranch.

The county determined in 2009 the project would not have an adverse impact on the environment.

The Glenrose Community Association appealed that decision, but it was upheld by the county’s hearing examiner, who stated a traffic study was required for the project and the league needed to comply with the county’s noise and disturbance standards.

The Morning Star Boys Ranch transferred the property to the Morning Star Foundation, which sold the property to South Spokane Little League in 2012.

The SYSA, which operates various youth sports leagues, purchased the property in 2016 for $476,000, according to Spokane County Assessor’s Office records.

The Glenrose Community Association sent a letter to the sports association in May, citing several permitting and legal hurdles for the project and asked the group to “address the serious concerns of the neighborhood.” The neighborhood association responded to the letter, stating it disagreed with its content.

The association subsequently filed a lawsuit against Spokane County Planning Director John Pederson in November, alleging he refused to review a land-use definition for the proposed project.

The association claimed in the lawsuit that the project doesn’t meet the definition of “community recreation facility.” It sent a check for $1,152 , which was required by the county’s fee schedule, in July to complete a request to review the land-use definition, but Pederson returned the check, stating the county had already reviewed it.

Public comments on the project are due to the Building and Planning Department by Feb. 26.

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