[Vision2020] FW: New St. Andrews Conditional Use Permit Public Hearing
v2020 at ssl1.fastmail.fm
Tue Apr 25 15:58:58 PDT 2017
I'm sharing the "quick & dirty" comments I've emailed to the Board of
Adjustment for the New St. Andrews Conditional Use Permit application
hearing this evening. I've decided I'll spare those in what might be a
crowded room the . . . pleasure of my presence after being without running
water since 7 AM :)
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
From: Saundra Lund
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 3:47 PM
To: boa at ci.moscow.id.us; rcash at ci.moscow.id.us
Subject: New St. Andrews Conditional Use Permit Public Hearing
Dear Board of Adjustment Members:
I am writing to urge you to vote NO on the Conditional Use Permit (CUP)
application submitted by New St. Andrews (NSA).
First, I trust each of you has done your due diligence regarding NSA's
embarrassing zoning history in our town and are aware of the extensive
history of zoning violations by this entity. Essentially, NSA was granted
the initial CUP to avoid potential costly litigation because the City failed
to notice what was going on under its nose right on Friendship Square. Not
only had the building already been purchased, but significant money had been
"invested" in renovating the building for NSA's unpermitted use in the
Central Business District, a bevy of activity that somehow escaped detection
by the City until concerned citizens started asking questions.
While I disagreed with the eventual decision to grant a CUP to NSA, I
understood the complications of denying the (belated) CUP application and
the black eye the City might have received from trying to shut the barn door
long after the horse escaped.
There are good reasons "educational institutions" are not a permitted use in
our CBD and special permission in the form of a CUP is required. It seems a
matter of common sense to me that special permission would be reserved for
those who not only meet relevant criteria standards but also for entities
that don't have an extensive history of intentionally violating our
community's reasonable and lawful standards. Common sense dictates this is
sufficient reason to deny NSA's current CUP application to further expand
Second, I have significant concern about the wisdom of allowing a second CUP
for a single special interest religious educational institution in our CBD.
At what point will the line be drawn to keep our CBD a secular business
district rather than a religious Main Street? There are important lessons
to be learned from what happened in Antelope, OR and in Leith, ND, and I
urge this Board to take the opportunity to shut the barn door before the
horse escapes this time.
Third, I object to a second property in our CBD being removed not only from
commercial use but also from the tax rolls for the benefit of a single
religious educational institution. When property is removed from the tax
rolls, the rest of we-the-people are providing forced subsidy, and in this
instance, we are already subsidizing this religious educational institution
in our vital CBD. It's flatly unfair to ask taxpayers and business owners
to accept the removal of a second significant downtown business property
from the tax rolls for a single religious educational institution,
particularly for a single religious educational institution that rejects
essential "secular" values held by the vast majority of our community. As a
community member, I'm aware that our City budget is tight enough that we
often can't afford even simple and inexpensive projects that would benefit
the majority of our community, and it smacks of an entitled attitude when we
as taxpayers are being asked to provide a second subsidy for a single
religious institution downtown.
Finally, I am extremely concerned about the parking problems that will
inevitably arise from allowing a second downtown location for single
religious educational institution that's expected to more than double its
student enrollment where parking is already scarce. I'm not up-to-date on
what current "parking surveys" may show, but I can speak from my personal
experience: parking in the area of the proposed second CUP location is
already scarce-to-absent at some times during some days. Further, the
extensive work done by City staff doesn't seem to take into account the high
volume parking and traffic issues a 680 seat multi-use "music performance
space" would regularly require, which I find puzzling. Perhaps City staff
simply isn't aware of the other private uses the space will likely be used
For instance, NSA recently co-sponsored the Grace Agenda conference.
Because it didn't have its own facility in which to hold events, one of the
venues used was the Church of the Nazarene. I don't know how large that
dedicated parking lot is, but it was virtually full and there was a
significant increase in traffic on the surrounding streets from around 8:30
AM to 3:30 PM or so that Friday during the "women's only" seminar. While I
didn't see it myself, I was told the situation was the same around Trinity
Reformed Church during the "men's only" seminar the same day. I've been
told by folks who attend NSA, Christ Church, and/or Trinity Reformed and
have read in online postings that they look forward to holding many similar
large events in the new NSA space.
Because those "other" uses weren't included in NSA's CUP application, it
seems likely City staff was unable to accurately and completely evaluate the
traffic and parking impacts that would arise from approving a second CUP for
NSA in the CBD. With incomplete/inaccurate information available, I urge
the Board to reject NSA's current CUP application.
Thank you in advance for your consideration of my concerns, and thank you
for the hard work you are tasked with accomplishing. I sincerely apologize
for my lateness in submitting my concerns. I had planned to attend the
hearing this evening to listen, learn, and hope some or all of my concerns
might be addressed before offering testimony. Unfortunately, my
neighborhood is without water today from 7 AM to 7 PM today, and while I was
hopeful the work would be completed earlier, the lateness of the hour still
without water convinces me my optimism was unrealistic.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Vision2020