[Vision2020] City Council on the Beebe Rezone tonight

Craine Kit kcraine at verizon.net
Wed Sep 20 10:48:10 PDT 2006

The real issue with this rezone is that the Main St. parcel is an  
illegal spot zone. As one goes South on Main, there's Central  
Business (CB), then one parcel of Industrial (I), then one Parcel of  
General Business (GB -- the Palouse Medical Building), and another  
parcel of Industrial that Mr. Beebe would like to be CB.

This is not planning and it is not zoning. It is accommodating the  
financial interests of individual property owners by simply jumping  
through hoops to make it "legal." That's a waste of very one's time  
and money.

The problem is that City has adopted a zoning system based on  
defining areas for specific uses while in practice it is  
implementing  something entirely different--a project-based system.  
As a result, we do not have the rules we need to ensure that  
redevelopment will fit into the City's vision for an area.

There's the conundrum. At this point in the process in our code, the  
decision makers are not allowed to know Mr. Beebe's plans.  
Apparently, Central Business (CB) is the closest zoning description  
that would allow his project. But--as a recognition of the fact that  
there is no place to put off street parking in the original downtown  
area--CB does not require it. So, regardless of how many vehicles Mr.  
Beebe's project will attract, he is not required to provide parking.  
Now what does the City do?

As I have said, the City needs to look at the entire, out-of-date  
Industrial zone and decide what to do with it BEFORE we end up with a  
hodgepodge of single parcel "zones."

Kit Craine

On Sep 19, 2006, at 4:12 PM, Bruce and Jean Livingston 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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> =======================================================
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