[Vision2020] City Council on the Beebe Rezone tonight

Bruce and Jean Livingston jeanlivingston at turbonet.com
Tue Sep 19 09:55:09 PDT 2006

Nils, your characterization of Nancy Chaney as "siding each time with the 
side that would keep any decision from getting made" is an unfair 

Just as she did two weeks ago, Nancy consistently voted to deny any proposal 
that did not deal with the parking issue contained in the issue at hand each 
evening (parking mitigation for NSA to get its conditional use permit, on 
the one hand; parking mitigation for the rezone of industrial land between 
downtown and the University).  In essence, she recognizes that adding 
concentrated, dense, people-heavy uses to our downtown business zone, which 
does not require any parking at all and is the only such zone in the City, 
is short sighted and bad planning.  Parking needs to be addressed 
satisfactorily BEFORE we make the downtown parking problem bigger.

Where you and I disagree is on whether to add to the parking problem before 
solving it.  I see no reason to increase parking problems by substantially 
increasing the areas that need NOT provide parking, as you advocated last 
night, before solving the parking issue.   Generally speaking, solving 
problems before they get bigger is the wiser course.  Purposely making the 
problem bigger before dealing with it is unwise, and Nancy Chaney was astute 
in refusing to go along with the varying proposals last night, all of which 
failed to address it.

So long as developers continue to bring projects before the City that seek 
to increase the parking demand downtown without ameliorating it, those 
projects should be modified and required to provide for their own parking.

Obviously, it is clear that a long-term solution is preferable, as you also 
advocate, Nils, and I agree with you.

But I cannot agree that adding to the parking problem, before solving it, is 
wise policy.  That is a particularly short-sighted and imprudent public 
policy direction.

Especially when Proposition 2 is on the horizon and very likely to pass, 
expanding the downtown, parking-free CBD zone without requiring an 
off-setting obligation to provide parking on-site for the new area is a 
foolish move.  That policy choice seems likely only to enrich those 
developers who get preferential zoning that releases them from their current 
obligation to provide parking, because under Proposition 2 they will never 
be forced to provide parking at their own expense, as they now are required 
under the current zoning.   The parking problem is generally acknowledged by 
City staff and the downtown retail businesses that are the core of the area. 
The expense of dealing with the parking issue will be shifted to us, the 
taxpayers, and to those whose property rights are most effected -- and 
values decreased -- by the transfer of current parking obligations of the 
grain elevator landowners to their neighbors (most particularly, downtown) 
by this unwise rezone without parking mitigation.

Hopefully, our Council can figure out that the rezone with a condition 
requiring parking will pass, or at the very least get three votes and allow 
our Mayor to break the tie and allow the redevelopment of that area to go 
forward.  Without such a condition, the project should be voted down, and 
the City should expeditously deal with the parking issue for the entire 
Central Business District.

I say all this, while commending Mr. Beebe for undertaking a redevelopment 
project that has much potential.  But like all other developers, except for 
those in the downtown, I think he ought to retain the burden of providing 
parking to his eventual users and charging them for it, rather than foisting 
those costs on his eventual neighbors and the taxpayers.  Seeking to rezone 
the grain elevators to downtown essentially seems to be a means of avoiding 
his parking obligations, and that should not be allowed to happen.

Bruce Livingston

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Nils Peterson" <nils_peterson at wsu.edu>
To: <vision2020 at moscow.com>
Sent: Monday, September 18, 2006 10:23 PM
Subject: [Vision2020] City Council on the Beebe Rezone tonight

>I don't know how Omie is going to cover it, but the events reminded me of
> the childhood song...
> The noble Duke of York, he had 10,000 men,
> he marched them up the hill,
> He marched them down again.
> First they voted it up, and then they voted it down,
> and then they voted half-way up, which was neither up nor down.
> To make matters worse, they repeated the first verse again, moving to pass
> the rezone, moving to pass the rezone with 'parking mitigation' (would 
> that
> run with the land, if so how??) moving to deny the rezone, moving to table
> the whole mess for 6 months. Each vote was 3-3 and Nancy sided each time
> with the side that would keep any decision from getting made.
> The issues seemed to be
> Parking and readings of the Comp Plan vs reading of the Zoning code. The
> Comp Plan says one thing about new CBD and parking, the strict
> constructionists say the zone is what the zone is. So, approve the rezone
> with no parking would fail because some wanted parking stipulated. Add a
> mitigation plan for parking would fail with those who had problems 
> changing
> the zone with extra requirements
> Denying the whole thing failed, because "My God" (quote Pall) this is
> something we want. Ament wanted to put the whole project on the shelf and
> couldn't get a second.
> So after at least 6 votes, maybe more the decision was tabled for 2 weeks
> (first Monday in October) Nobody can talk to anybody.
> I can say this, there was good speaking from the audience: Bob and Betsy, 
> a
> letter from Bruce Livingston, Tom Bode, Kit Crane. They all made it a 
> thorny
> issue with multiple facets.
> While it got mentioned, no one on Council really said how they think about
> NSA being required to provide parking in its CUP and this rezone being (or
> not) similarly required.  I think the difference is the CUP was allowing
> something exceptional in a zone, this is expanding the zone.
> =======================================================
> List services made available by First Step Internet,
> serving the communities of the Palouse since 1994.
>               http://www.fsr.net
>          mailto:Vision2020 at moscow.com
> =======================================================

More information about the Vision2020 mailing list