[Vision2020] City Council on the Beebe Rezone tonight

Bruce and Jean Livingston jeanlivingston at turbonet.com
Tue Sep 19 16:25:54 PDT 2006


I apologize for sending my chastising message when it seems you had already 
addressed the mistake.  I appreciate your good faith.  I wish I had received 
and read your message acknowledging the error before sending my response 
defending the Mayor.  I don't mean to pile on.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Nils Peterson" <nils_peterson at wsu.edu>
To: "Bruce and Jean Livingston" <jeanlivingston at turbonet.com>; 
<vision2020 at moscow.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 4:18 PM
Subject: Re: [Vision2020] City Council on the Beebe Rezone tonight

> Bruce. I am clearly mistaken about what happened last night. Stephanie
> called this to my attention as she was working on the minutes. I will 
> review
> the events in the minutes.
> On 9/19/06 4:12 PM, "Bruce and Jean Livingston"
> <jeanlivingston at turbonet.com> wrote:
>> Nils, I dropped off my written statement at the beginning of the meeting 
>> and
>> then went home, but I watched every second of the meeting on my computer
>> when I got home, from the middle of the staff presentation onward.  That
>> included Mr. Beebe's presentation, Larry Hodge's, and yours on behalf of 
>> the
>> petitioner, as well as those speaking against, Bob Greene, Betsy Dickow, 
>> Tom
>> Bode and myself (read by Betsy Dickow), I am not sure whether BJ Swanson
>> spoke as a neutral party, or against the petition.
>> Your false representations about what went on and the votes by the Mayor
>> Chaney give me some concern.  I hope you are merely mistaken, and not
>> advancing some personal agenda or seeking to discredit the Mayor with 
>> your
>> reporting of last night's meeting.  My recollection is that your reported
>> point 2, below in your post, is entirely false.  When reporting these 
>> things
>> to the community discussion group on Vision2020, it would be wise to be
>> correct before slandering people and mis- reporting their votes.  I think
>> you may have done that today.
>> The Mayor did NOT get an opportunity to break a tie on any motion 
>> proposing
>> passage of the re-zone with a parking mitigation plan in place, as I
>> recollect the evening.  When that proposal surfaced, twice, I believe, 
>> the
>> vote was 4-2 against passage.
>> You are correct that Nancy voted not to deny the re-zone, and you are
>> correct that she voted not to pass the re-zone when the motion did not
>> require a parking mitigation plan to accompany it.  It seemed very clear 
>> to
>> me that the Mayor would break a tie, if one presented itself, in favor of
>> passing the re-zone so long as parking mitigation was also required.
>> Clearly, the Council ought to deal with the parking issue in any event.
>> While some might favor what you appear to suggest as the only real
>> alternative in light of last night's meeting, i.e., dealing with the 
>> parking
>> issue first and holding up re-zones until then, that position is not 
>> likely
>> to gain any traction.  Mr. Ament's several motions to table the Beebe
>> re-zone proposal for that very reason failed to even garner a second and
>> died immediately.  Clearly, the Council is in favor of going forward with
>> the re-zone, and the struggle is over how to structure it: some would not
>> require parking mitigation by the re-zone proponent; others would.  As I
>> stated last night, requiring parking mitigation seems the wiser course to
>> me, among the alternatives.
>> In my opinion, the wisest proposal of all would be to re-zone the 
>> property
>> to a transitional zone or a Planned Urban Development between downtown 
>> and
>> the university, that would allow the mixed use development that Mr. Beebe
>> envisions.  But how Mr. Beebe seeks to get there is ultimately his 
>> decision,
>> not mine.   But who can blame him for attempting to increase the return 
>> on
>> investment by not having to provide parking on his 2.3+ acres of downtown
>> land if he can persuade us to re-zone it to the Central Business District
>> category?
>> Bruce Livingston
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Nils Peterson" <nils_peterson at wsu.edu>
>> To: "Bruce and Jean Livingston" <jeanlivingston at turbonet.com>;
>> <vision2020 at moscow.com>
>> Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 11:44 AM
>> Subject: Re: [Vision2020] City Council on the Beebe Rezone tonight
>>> Bruce, too bad you were unable to attend and watch the process.
>>> I don't mean to be unfair to Nancy, but she had the chance to break the
>>> tie
>>> in 3 different ways:
>>> 1. Approve as requested (this would have not addressed parking, and 
>>> given
>>> your comments, she would not have wanted this option)
>>> 2. Approve with parking mitigation plan (this was intended to put a
>>> parking
>>> requirement on the developer. Perhaps the parking mitigation plan was 
>>> not
>>> sufficiently clarified for Nancy, but she did not indicate that)
>>> 3. Deny the application. This would seem to fit your description "deny 
>>> any
>>> proposal that did not deal with the parking issue"
>>> Each of these motions was voted to a tie twice last night. Nancy had 6
>>> chances.
>>> Bruce, you are correct in characterizing our difference in opinion, 
>>> which
>>> is
>>> a fundamental one, and I can respect your position (which was also the
>>> position of others at the meeting last night.)
>>> So, following your reasoning, to not make the parking problem bigger
>>> before
>>> solving it, the Council needs to deny requests like the one last night
>>> until
>>> some criteria is met for resolving parking.
>>> 1. What criteria would the Council use to know it had addressed the
>>> parking
>>> problem so proposals could be approved?
>>> 2. Would denying development proposals while solving the parking problem
>>> cause development to go elsewhere? would that matter? would it be
>>> characterized as business unfriendly?
>>> On 9/19/06 9:55 AM, "Bruce and Jean Livingston"
>>> <jeanlivingston at turbonet.com> wrote:
>>>> Nils, your characterization of Nancy Chaney as "siding each time with 
>>>> the
>>>> side that would keep any decision from getting made" is an unfair
>>>> characterization.
>>>> 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.
>>>>> =======================================================
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