[Vision2020] RE: Letter to Paul Kimmel

Mark Seman FCS at Moscow.com
Fri May 20 12:41:33 PDT 2005

I interpret the Code as trying to be a tool for community development; it
allows what is positive and dis-allows the negative.  Within the text of the
Code there is room for interpretation and if the wording of the Code is
found to be flawed (prohibits what is positive and allows the negative) a
mechanism for over-riding the "strict text" of the Code and acknowledging
the "intent" of the Code needs to be utilized.  If this mechanism is not
utilized then the flawed Code (in-place) will be used (law of the land)
until the text becomes revised.  This places the implementation and
interpretation of positive development as a function of document-adoption
timing rather than as a function of a document w/general concepts that is
open to flexible interpretation that is appropriate for the time.

My perception of current NSA / Co-op zoning issues is that they have very
little to do with the intent of the Code, but are focused more on
interpreting the "strict text" of the Code.  I venture the vast majority of
Moscow's citizens would agree that both entities are appropriate land uses.
They both have greater positive impacts on the community, as a whole, than
negative.  There is potential for both entities to be disruptive if grown
too large, but I do not see the legal wranglings as solutions to resolve
these issues.  It is mostly - sniping, a waste of time & energy, and
destructive to the community.  If there are concerns for the evolution of
Moscow, then those issues should be specifically addressed.

One could also look at the current situation being very much the same
situation I describe:  maybe the Code is general in concept and it's the
citizenry that is flexing its interpretation; one that is appropriate and of
the time.  I don't know the best way, but I don't think this is the most
effective path to get Moscow where it wants to be.  Time will reveal an
answer - either through city council or court action - of what the Code
means.  I just don't perceive this process as a worthwhile method of
community development.  Whether it is the community relying on a Code that
needs this type of process for interpretation or the Code relying on the
community for interpretation the current process is in a very sorry state.


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: DonaldH675 at aol.com [mailto:DonaldH675 at aol.com]
  Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2005 11:32 PM
  To: FCS at moscow.com
  Subject: Letter to Paul Kimmel

  Hi Mark:
  Could you clarify what you mean by:
  "Unfortunately, there are citizens that are using the current ordinance as
a weapon of community destruction and because it is in-place, it is the "law
of the land."

  "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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