Home Community Voice “The park might be loud. The park might be crowded.” (Community Voice)

“The park might be loud. The park might be crowded.” (Community Voice)


Too few people are aware that at this very moment in time, the future of Liberty Lake Regional County Park is being set in stone.

The Long-Range Master Plan is on schedule to be finished before 2018 even creeps in. This Master Plan will dictate the very real future of our 3,600-acre park bordering Liberty Lake.

“THE PARK MIGHT BE LOUD. THE PARK MIGHT BE CROWDED.” This is a direct quote from the “Tourism and Visitation” park concept being considered by Spokane County.  I know I only speak for myself, but these are the last words I want to hear about Liberty Lake Regional County Park. https://www.llrp-masterplan.com/

Let’s step back for a moment though and start with a proper introduction. Not many people know that Liberty Lake Regional County Park is one of the largest county parks in the state of Washington. In fact, there are only 9 state parks larger than our own local park.  The 2 largest state parks in Washington are surprisingly located in Spokane County. It appears we have quite the monopoly on State & County Park acreage.

Why do I mention this? Well you see, state parks are an indispensable and substantial economic driver for Washington, contributing over $1.4 billion a year.  An average of $1.5 billion in consumer expenditures for outdoors and travel equipment, over 14,000 jobs and approximately $212 million in local, state and federal tax are generated by Washington State Parks annually.  Given that there are only 9 state parks larger than Liberty Lake Regional County Park in Washington state, it would appear creating “THE PARK MIGHT BE LOUD. THE PARK MIGHT BE CROWDED” tourist destination makes great business sense.

However, we have all learned the hard way that great business strategy rarely equals a great quality of life.  In fact, when we get to the root of it, our community knows quite a few important details about our own hometown park, and the time is now to let them be heard.  The future Liberty Lake Regional County Park is in our hands, but only for a brief sliver in time, for all components of the Master Plan are expected to be complete by this very December of 2017.

We know that Liberty Lake Regional County Park’s lake shore beach is the ONLY public access our city residents have to our namesake lake. Within our park lies jungle gym equipment for our children and shelters and pavilions to hold our gatherings, weddings, reunions, and in my case, Cub Scout pack meetings.  The community barbecue area, cozy campground and quiet miles of beautiful back country trail, all round out our extraordinary local gem.

We know that all of this natural wonder lies at the end of S. Neyland Ave and S. Lakeside Road, our twisting and winding, two lane residential roads, that slowly weave through our montane forest. Unless you are one of the few who reside in the southern most area of County Park, you know that S. Neyland Ave and S. Lakeside Road are the ONLY way in and out of our hidden and beloved park.

The Long-Range Master Plan being formed as we speak is the first update for Liberty Lake Regional County Park since the original master plan was created in the early 1970’s. A new Master Plan is necessary due to the park’s current and future growth and popularity, as stated by Spokane County.  In fact, the home page of the Master Plan website states, “Liberty Lake Regional Park Master Plan, A new, long-range master plan for a Spokane County gem!”.  Let’s really key in here on “Spokane County gem!”.

Spokane County is also pursuing acquisition of the “Zephyr Lodge Property” in order to expand lake shore frontage, and they plan to demolish all older structures on the site. This is a whole nother story in itself though.

Take a few moments to research the three conceptual plans proposed for our local county park.  The plan options are listed under “Library” on the Liberty Lake Regional Park Master Plan website, https://www.llrp-masterplan.com.  Please take the time to leave your thoughts and comments on the Master Plan website.  You may be extremely surprised at what you will find when reviewing the documented future plans and ideas for our hometown park.  A few minutes of your life today, will change the next 20 years of our future tomorrows. 

Sample Scenario – Tourism & Visitation

Source: https://www.llrp-masterplan.com/

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Liberty Lake Gazette.

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  1. I believe you are incorrect on the County buying Zephyr Lodge. It was recently purchased by Dan Spaulding, who has made some nice upgrades and changes to the lodge and grounds. Who told you the County was buying it?

    • How old is that article? I know they were looking into purchasing zephyr before Dan bought it! He just fixed everything up in not sure he would sell after spending a lot of money and time to make zephyr look good again!

    • The link won’t load on my phone but this issue was decided a year or more ago. You should call Doug Chase or Paul Knowles tomorrow to confirm my story. And if I am wrong, they got some splaining to do!

    • Patrick Dockrey It sure does Patrick! You are correct that it says “pursuing the acquisition” that’s why I wrote “pursuing acquisition” in the article. On the Spokane County website it is currently listed as #27, however I do not believe they are listed in order of priority, I may be wrong though. Liberty Lake Regional County Park Master Plan is listed as #12, so, I suppose more research is necessary on my side to confirm if the list is or isn’t in order of priority. 🙂 On a tangent here, it’s really good to hear from you Patrick! I feel like it’s been awhile since we last conversed and there have been a few times when I’ve been stumped on a planning & development question and thought, “I bet Patrick knows this!”. Thanks for chiming in on this comment thread, it really helps to spread awareness. At the end of the day and regardless of differing opinions, all that matters is that everyone is informed and given a fair opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings ❤️

    • Jenna Molner The article written above or the Spokane County Potential Park Improvement Projects link I gave to Steven Shirley? I just wrote the article on the Liberty Lake Gazette on the Sept. 27th, two days ago. The link to the Spokane County website is their current information provided. I know Dan bought the property (and it looks amazing Dan!!) but I’ve learned that government plans are opportunistic. It is a key piece of property next to our amazing park, so I’m sure Spokane County has no problem waiting patiently to acquire it one day.

    • Steven Shirley DC The link takes FOREVER to load, I have no idea why. Perhaps to deter all of us nosy noodles 🙂 As I wrote for Jenna above, that is a key piece of land when seen of the long time line of growth and development for Spokane County. They will have no problem waiting patiently to acquire it down the road. I highly doubt Doug & Paul are aware it’s even listed on the Spokane County Potential Park Improvement. In my opinion they truly care about delivering and exemplary product for our community. We really got lucky having them run this project, I couldn’t be any more impressed with their work to date. ❤️

    • I emphatically requested it at the Design Workshop as well. Personally I loved the trail network and designated Disc/ORV/Equestrian/Mountain Biking areas of the Tourist Plan, but want the Eco/Minimalist Plan for every single other aspect. I would be saddened if a Disc golf course does not make the final cut.

    • I am no Frisbee golf person, but coming to the county with some money would make a big difference. There might be state grants available, and local donations are not too hard to come up with. Big range of costs depending on parameters I know nothing about. $20,000 seems the top end.

    • Patrick Dockrey This is an excellent idea Patrick, I will start looking into it immediately. Once again, as always, I love how you know what direction to point me in, as this line of execution never would have dawned on me in the slightest. You are always sharing info that is so logical and obvious once you point it out, but yet is the last thing I would have realized to pursue. I have a ton of things I would love to hear your thoughts and vantage points on, let me know if it would be ok for me to bounce them off you. I know very little about so very many things, I would really appreciate to hear your expertise on a few key issues ❤️I’m pondering 🙂

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