[Vision2020] Editor Kai -- not getting it.

Barbara Richardson Crouch edc at moscow.com
Fri May 20 11:25:53 PDT 2005

Because of limited time and staff, the process is complaint driven.
Occassionally, a building permit might trigger a review.  Technically it is
the responsibility of the purchaser to ensure that the property can be
utlized for his/her/their intended business function.  Most of these issues
are clarified by the buyer's realtor before the sale is finalized.


-----Original Message-----
From: vision2020-bounces at moscow.com
[mailto:vision2020-bounces at moscow.com]On Behalf Of Saundra Lund
Sent: Friday, May 20, 2005 11:16 AM
To: 'Kai Eiselein'; vision2020 at moscow.com
Subject: RE: [Vision2020] Editor Kai -- not getting it.

Hi Kai,

You wrote:
"That brings up the question of how NSA was able to occupy the building in
the first place. Was it an oversight by the city? Was it a backroom deal?
Why wasn't this brought up when, NSA first moved in or started to move in?"

Well, Kai, I think those *were* valid questions.  In fact, I asked pretty
much the same things back in January after the zoning complaint was filed.
At the time, I was trying to think about what a fair resolution would be
*if* it was determined NSA's current location violated the zoning code.  The
complaint prompted me to try to learn about how zoning works because I was
completely ignorant about the whole zoning picture.

To be honest, given my own ignorance about zoning and even though ignorance
isn't an excuse, it was conceivable to me that someone could purchase a
piece of property in the CB zone and not be aware of the restrictions.  And,
if that was the case, then not only was I thinking about a fair resolution
but also how to prevent it from happening again.  After all, property
purchases generally aren't insubstantial amounts of money.

You asked, "Was it an oversight by the city?"

That was one of the first questions I had as well.  If there was some
breakdown in oversight by the City, then it would hardly be fair, I thought,
for NSA to be held solely responsible and to have to shoulder the financial
burden of resolution.  Maybe an exception to the rules everyone else has to
abide by would be in order?

But, let's think about that for a minute.  Certainly, the City can't be
clairvoyant:  it can't *possibly* know what each & every person or group
contemplating purchasing property somewhere in the city intends to do with
that property.  Heck, I don't think the city can even know the intentions of
every individual or group who actually *purchases* property!

So, the burden *has* to fall on the potential or actual buyer, doesn't it?
Otherwise, what good does it do to have a zoning code if one can "get
around" it by claiming ignorance?  Presumably, we have zoning regs for a
reason that relates to the common good of our community, and those regs, it
seems to me, would be meaningless if alleged ignorance was enough to allow
those not following the regs to get around the rules the rest of us follow.

Unless, of course, you want to make a rule that each & every property
transfer within the city must be approved by the city *before* the money is
spent and the deal is done.  That seems awfully intrusive to me, and I
personally am not interested in paying more property tax to hire the
additional city staff needed for such a rule to work.

With that resolved in my mind, I started thinking about all kinds of other
scenarios:  was the former owner (GTE/Verizon) responsible for not
disclosing the zoning restrictions?  How about the realtor?  The lender (if
there was one)?  Bad legal advice?  What about trusted friends and board
members who, unlike the City, were privy to the plans before the money was
spent *and* understood the importance of zoning regs?  My head was swimming
with all the possibilities!

HOWEVER, all of my wonderings ceased when I learned NSA had run afoul of
Moscow's zoning code -- and had been caught -- before.  Because of that
experience, I don't think it too plausible *or* reasonable to think NSA was
ignorant about the importance of zoning.

What was the resolution of the *prior* zoning complaint?  NSA was given
plenty of time to apply for a CUP but decided instead to cease operations in
the residential neighborhood . . . and moved to a different location:  into
their *first* location in the CB zone.  *Without* regard to the zoning code
-- *again.*  They got away with that move:  at the time, as far as I can
tell, no one knew NSA was operating in the CB zone, so no complaint was
filed and no enforcement action was taken.

NSA *then* purchased the old Verizon building, also in the CB zone, *again*
without regard to zoning regs.

What's that old saying?  "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame
on *me*."  Or, maybe "three strikes and you're OUT."

Slam dunk:  perhaps there *was* ignorance the first time, but that excuse
holds no water for me with NSA's continued blatant disregard of the zoning

IMHO, when one knowingly chooses to *repeatedly* ignore the law, one must be
willing to accept the penalty.  Period.

*Our community* is wronged when individuals blatantly and repeatedly choose
not to follow *our* rules, and I'm frankly puzzled why you and a few others
want to attack those who try to correct the situation?  It seems to me it's
those responsible for the harm, rather than those who bring the wrongs to
your attention, who deserve your scrutiny & ire.

Saundra Lund
Moscow, ID

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do
Edmund Burke

-----Original Message-----
From: vision2020-bounces at moscow.com [mailto:vision2020-bounces at moscow.com]
On Behalf Of Kai Eiselein
Sent: Thursday, 19 May 2005 4:21 PM
To: vision2020 at moscow.com
Subject: [Vision2020] Editor Kai -- not getting it.

Mr. Hansen,
In posts that I have read over the course of the past few months, that is
the only conclusion I could make.
Time and again, I've seen some rather venemous attacks on Wilson and his
church. People have asked if there was some way to get them out of town,
have have hammered on his beliefs etc. etc. etc.
A good portion of the posts here have had nothing to do with zoning and
everything to do with crusading against CC, NSA and Wilson. I am not going
to go back and glean every post to prove my point.
However, if zoning is the issue, then stick to it. That brings up the
question of how NSA was able to occupy the building in the first place. Was
it an oversight by the city? Was it a backroom deal? Why wasn't this brought
up when, NSA first moved in or started to move in?
I'll tell you why, because people thought "Oh a private college, cool."
Then, when they found out that CC and NSA espoused a view diametricaly
opposed to their own ie: The male is the head of the household, one man one
woman marriage ideals, a viewpoint that homosexuality is wrong.
Then, and only then, did a few people get up in arms. Some even vandalized a
coffee shop.
>From what I've read, I've concluded that the zoning issue is merely the
legal means to push them out. If they broke the zoning laws, they broke the
zoning laws and it will have to be rectified one way or another. And I have
no problem with that.
Apparently, I've hit a nerve. But I'll stand by my conclusion.

Kai T. Eiselein
Latah Eagle
521 S. Jackson St.
Moscow, ID 83843
(208) 882-0666 Fax (208) 882-0130
editor at lataheagle.com

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