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Spokane City Council votes in favor of zoning ordinance concerning site of indoor shelters

The ordinance allows shelters to be set up and operated in a heavy industrial zone.

SPOKANE, Wash. — In tonight's city council meeting, Spokane City Council members voted to pass a zoning ordinance concerning the siting of indoor shelters for homeless people and families.

All council members voted in favor of the zoning ordinance. Members deferred a vote several weeks ago.

The ordinance allows shelters to be set up and operated in a heavy industrial zone.

Clayton McFarland, president-elect and legislative chair of the Building Owners and Managers Association in Spokane, spoke in favor of the ordinance at the meeting.

"I think that our business community is united behind the opportunity for shelters to be opened in heavy industrial zones," McFarland said.

Councilmember Betsy Wilkerson, who did not support the ordinance three weeks ago, spoke in favor of the zoning change  However, she expressed concerns over some of the finer details of the ordinance, mainly the cost.

"Going forward, I'm going to vote for this, but I still got some concerns about the changes after speaking to other businesses in the area," Wilkerson said. 

Councilmember Michael Cathcart said that a full package regarding costs on the homeless shelter will be presented on June 6, 2022 to the public safety committee.

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