Community Bill of Rights

Initiative 2012-3

First.        Neighborhood Residents Have The Right To Determine Major Development In Their Neighborhoods.

Neighborhood majorities shall have the right to approve all zoning changes proposed for their neighborhood involving major commercial, industrial, or residential development. Neighborhood majorities shall mean the majority of registered voters residing in an official city neighborhood who voted in the last general election. Proposed commercial or industrial development shall be deemed major if it exceeds ten thousand square feet, and proposed residential development shall be deemed major if it exceeds twenty units and its construction is not financed by governmental funds allocated for low-income housing.

It shall be the responsibility of the proposer of the zoning change to acquire the approval of the neighborhood majority, and the zoning change shall not be effective without it. Neighborhood majorities shall also have a right to reject major commercial, industrial, or residential development, which is incompatible with the provisions of the City’s Comprehensive Plan or this Charter.

Approval of a zoning change or rejection of proposed development under this section shall become effective upon the submission of a petition to the City containing the valid signatures of neighborhood majorities approving the zoning change or rejecting the proposed development, in a petition generally conforming to the referendum provisions of the Spokane municipal code.

Second.      The Right To A Healthy Spokane River And Aquifer.

The Spokane River, its tributaries, and the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer possess inalienable rights to exist and flourish, which shall include the right to sustainable recharge, flows sufficient to protect native fish habitat, and clean water. All residents of Spokane possess fundamental and inalienable rights to sustainably access, use, consume, and preserve water drawn from natural cycles that provide water necessary to sustain life within the City. The City of Spokane and any resident of the City or group of residents have standing to enforce and protect these rights.

Third.         Employees Have The Right To Constitutional Protections In The Workplace.

Employees shall possess United States and Washington Bill of Rights’ constitutional protections in every workplace within the City of Spokane, and workers in unionized workplaces shall possess the right to collective bargaining.

Fourth.       Corporate Powers Shall Be Subordinate To People’s Rights.

Corporations and other business entities which violate the rights secured by this Charter shall not be deemed to be “persons,” nor possess any other legal rights, privileges, powers, or protections which would interfere with the enforcement of rights enumerated by this Charter.