Airway Heights has a mix of residential, commercial, industrial, public, and open space uses within a compact area centered along Highway 2. The City’s land use plan also is heavily influenced by its proximity to Fairchild Airforce Base and the Spokane International Airport with land south of Highway 2 generally restricted from residential development.
The land usage, population forecasts, and land quantity were updated as a part of this comprehensive plan development. This included an analysis of building permit and land development since 2018, a market analysis of land usage trends by Leland and Associates, updated population trends and housing projections, as well as available land analysis. The following land uses describe each category and the strategy to address the 6-year and 20-year demand.
Airway Heights is a fast-growing community, leading to a reduction in residential land inventory. To accommodate the increasing population, the updates to the land use plan in 2023 are focused on adding residential land, expanding capacity for residential development, and providing for a greater variety of housing types including “missing middle housing” such as cottage housing, townhomes, courtyard apartments, accessory dwelling units, triplexes, and fourplexes. Updates to the City’s zoning code are also proposed to implement missing middle housing. This plan carries forward the adopted changes in the Downtown Plan for higher density land use along the Downtown Area.
Downtown and Commercial Development
The land development analysis shows that there is sufficient commercial land in Airway Heights. Commercial development is focused along Highway 2 and land to the south is restricted from residential development due to proximity to Fairchild Airforce Base and the Spokane International Airport. Highway 2 improvements and implementation of the City’s Downtown Plan are high priorities over the next 20 years.
The City generally has sufficient land according to the available land analysis conducted by Frameworks Consulting and the Leland Market Study. This plan includes re-designating land to from industrial to residential which would be compliant with the FAFB limitations on location of housing to facilitate increased residential areas to meet the housing projections for this plan.
The City has several parks and public facilities such as the Airway Heights Recreation Center, Sunset Park, Shorty Combs Park, and Cleveland Park. The City is considering developing a new City Hall campus in Airway Heights.
Both the Kalispel Tribe of Indians and the Spokane Tribe of Indians have land in the City of Airway Heights, including lands held in trust by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and fee land.