[Vision2020] State of Idaho and NSA

Mark Seman FCS at Moscow.com
Sun May 15 22:02:42 PDT 2005

I too have not engaged in this conversation, because I have been out of town
over the weekend.  As the lone dissenting vote on the BOA for this issue, I
felt Joel had exercised reasonable judgement in his ruling.  In addition, I
also feel there is significant ambiguity of the issue that it really needs
to be clarified and resolved by City Council action (and no matter how the
BOA vote turned out, it would most likely go on to City Council.)

The struggle I had the whole evening is what consitituted "similar public or
private institutions."  I felt that because of the grouping of "schools,
commercial schools and educational institutions" in other areas of the code,
there was evidence of similarity.  As well as the explicit exclusion of
potentially construed similar entities under the definition of "educational
institutions."  Also the code does allow the Zoning Administrator to make
judgement to determine if specific uses meet the indended meaning of the
listed uses.

No matter how a regulation is worded, there will always be areas of
ambiguity and the process will take care of those issues.  No single entity
has the right answer until the process is exhausted.  One significant issue
raised at the BOA hearing that is an important consideration for future
zoning revisions, is that maybe educational institutions should be listed as
conditional uses.  This gives the BOA latitude to place reasonable
restrictions on such uses (such as limiting the student/staff/faculty
population, or the building s.f. to a size that reasonably fits the CBD,
etc.)  It also opens the whole process to public input at an earlier stage
than what we just went through.

No zoning ordinance should remain static and without challenge.  It should
be a living document that is current with the times.  I've stated in this
forum before that I do not believe the current zoning ordinace model to be
appropriate for our time.  It is decades old, exclusive, punitive, mostly
prescriptive, and lacking flexibilty in discretion for specific situations.
I do not like it and will continue to help seek improvements being made to
it.  It will never happen quickly nor correctly enough, but significant
forward change needs to happen or else we'll continue to have periodic
hearings and struggle over issues that move us forward at glacial rapidity.

If the interest shown at the last hearing was applied to zoning revisions,
we'd be lightyears ahead.  There needs to be interested and efficient effort
to move Moscow forward, and not continue a struggle towards refrain.  Open
meetings, discretionary action and available review are modes towards a
progressive process.  I hope we can get there.


Mark Seman, Architect
Heather Seman, Landscape Architect
1404 East 'F' Street  Moscow, Idaho 83843
v 208-883-3276 / f 208-883-0112

  -----Original Message-----
  From: vision2020-bounces at moscow.com
[mailto:vision2020-bounces at moscow.com]On Behalf Of DonaldH675 at aol.com
  Sent: Saturday, May 14, 2005 10:27 PM
  To: vision2020 at moscow.com
  Subject: [Vision2020] State of Idaho and NSA


    I have really, really tried not to engage in this conversation - after
all, there is only room for one know-it-all at a time on V2020.  So, move
over Donovan and while you are moving please read the paragraphs below.  The
first one deals with city code.  The second one, easily found on the NSA
website, outlines the role of the State of Idaho in so far as NSA is
concerned.  You will note upon comparison of the requirements of Moscow
zoning code and the acknowledgement of the State of Idaho that NSA is indeed
recognized as an institution of higher learning, that you have, yet again
seized the wrong end of the stick.

    Paragraph 1

    City of Moscow  - Title 4 - Zoning Code

    Sec. 11-9. Definitions. . . .
    47. Institution, Educational. A college or university supported by
public or private funds, tuitions, contributions or endowments, giving
advanced academic instructions as approved by the State Board of Education
or by a recognized accrediting agency, excluding preschool, elementary and
junior or senior high schools, and trade and commercial schools; including
fraternity and sorority houses. (emphasis added)

    Paragraph 2

    Authorization by the State of Idaho
    Updated 13 October 2004

    Prior to the 2003-2004 academic year, the College registered with the
State Board of Education as a non-accredited postsecondary institution, as
required by law. The Idaho State Board of Education's Chief Academic Officer
then issued the College a "Certificate of Approval" which stated, "This is
to certify that New St. Andrews College is approved by the Idaho State Board
of Education to offer courses in Idaho." The "Certificate of Approval" was
issued for each calendar year, effective July 1 through June 30.

    This issue is really a no-brainer, and one of the undisputed facts of
the case -

    Rose Huskey

  "One cannot level one's moral lance at every evil in the universe. There
are just too many of them. But you can do something, and the difference
between doing something and doing nothing is everything." Daniel Berrigan

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