Letter to City of Spokane April 13
Today, the Friends of the Bluff board sent the following letter to Parks Director Leroy Eadie, the Park board of directors, Mayor Condon, Councilman Breean Beggs and Councilwoman Lori Kinnear. We will continue to advocate for swift remediation of damage to the fragile ecosystem of the Bluff conservation land, and for a full and transparent evaluation of past and future dealings regarding the First Tee golf development.
If you’d like to make your voice heard you can contact the appropriate public officials listed below:
Pamela Clarke: 625-6241
for Leroy Eadie, Parks Dept. Director;
Councilman Breean Beggs: 625-6254;
Councilwoman Lori Kinnear: 625-6261;
Mayor David Condon: 625-6250;
** Please send Friends of the Bluff a copy of your comments by posting a copy on the contact form
To: Director Eadie and Members of the Park Board
From: Friends of the Bluff
Date: April 13, 2017
The unauthorized road construction on High Drive Bluff that occurred in the last few days is shocking to behold. Over a mile long, scores of trees downed, and huge amounts of earth moved, some on steep terrain, some less than 100 feet from the creek bank.
This road was for a project not yet fully approved and was completely unnecessary because there is an existing road from the Qualchan driving range to the adjacent site of the proposed 3-hole golf course.
This unauthorized act may exceed, in terms of human-caused destruction, anything to befall City park land in modern times.
Friends of the Bluff is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Spokane Parks & Recreation to support the City's stewardship of High Drive Bluff. We provide the following recommendations that are aimed at repairing the damage done and rebuilding trust with the community. We urge the Park Board to:
• Immediately make available a copy of the written order to First Tee and their contractors not to move any more earth or cut any more trees until a complete plan is approved.
• Immediately provide a copy of the public notice and documentation authorizing First Tee to remove trees or to begin construction of the three hole golf course.
• Revoke the permit for tree removal and cease immediately any discussions or negotiations regarding the proposed golf course until the damage from the road construction is completely remediated.
• Before reinitiating discussion or negotiations regarding the proposed golf course, develop and publicize a process of community involvement that will allow a complete and open airing of the golf course proposal before any level of approval is granted.
• Use all legal means to require the parties responsible for the unauthorized roadbuilding activity to completely remediate the damage.
• Define, in consultation with the Friends of the Bluff what "complete remediation" means, which is, at the very least, moving all of the displaced earth back into the roadway, restoring it to the natural contour that existed April 9th, and replanting and nurturing vegetation native to the bluff.
• Begin, in consultation with Friends of the Bluff, remediation in the next few weeks while the ground is still soft and easily worked. Provide weekly reports on the progress of this remediation to help rebuild trust.
• If the parties responsible for this destruction do not agree to immediately begin the remediation work, civil or even criminal prosecution should be considered.
• After further investigation of this episode and in advance of the next Park Board discussion of the First Tee proposal, issue a public statement explaining whether the City followed all applicable laws and policies, the details regarding any communications that led to the road construction, and steps taken to prevent similar unauthorized activity in the future.
Friends of the Bluff will do our best to keep those that care about the Bluff informed and we will encourage them to make their voices heard. We will strive to be a constructive and helpful partner as the remediation work and the community involvement takes place.
President, Friends of the Bluff