Moscow-Pullman Daily News: “Moscow board to reconsider NSA permit Tuesday”

To demonstrate how seriously City Hall takes NSA’s CUP, the City of Moscow conducted a parking study for NSA’s CUP after the University of Idaho students went home. This tantamount to a parking study for a ghost town. They may was well check parking on Christmas Day or during a Latah County emergency evacuation drill. Hopefully the two BOA commissioners who were absent during the first hearing will attend this meeting. Perhaps they can bring some clarity to the issue. Here’s today’s front-page story from the Moscow-Pullman Daily News:

Moscow board to reconsider NSA permit TuesdayMoscow-Pullman Daily News, July 15, 2017, page 1

City Council asks for closer look at parking, infrastructure and comprehensive plan

By Garrett Cabeza
Daily News staff writer

It has been almost three months since the Moscow Board of Adjustment approved a conditional use permit allowing New Saint Andrews College to expand into the former Cadillac Jack’s building on North Main Street.

After appeals and City Council review, the board will make a decision on the CUP again at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall’s council chambers.

Mike Ray, assistant community development director, said the board will reconsider all the information previously presented to them in addition to reviewing a new survey of the availability of public parking in the area that city staff conducted at the direction of the City Council. After considering all the information, Ray said the board can approve the CUP with or without conditions, reject it or table the matter for a future meeting.

The board voted 3-2 to approve the CUP April 25 but five people appealed the board’s decision during a 10-day appeal period in early May.

While the board approved the CUP in late April, it said NSA must provide 47 off-street parking spaces within about half a mile of the former CJ’s property, subject to the approval of the zoning administrator. The other condition was NSA would be allowed to phase in the off-street parking requirement by providing 50 percent of it on occupancy of the building and the remainder when NSA’s enrollment reaches 150 students, or five years from the date of occupancy, whichever comes first.

The City Council listened to the five appellants June 5. It upheld Ryanne Pilgeram’s appeal and remanded the CUP decision to the board.

At the June 5 council meeting, the City Council directed city staff to conduct an additional survey of parking use within 600 feet of the proposed educational institute. City staff had conducted a parking survey over a five-day work week in April to assess the average availability of public parking spaces within 600 feet of the property. Counts were taken at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Ray said city staff conducted new counts at 9 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m, and those results will be presented to the board Tuesday night.

Ray said the City Council also wanted the board to consider studying the parking mitigation calculation, which determined that 47 off-street parking spaces be required within roughly half of a mile of the former CJ’s building.

The City Council further directed the board to reconsider its decisions that “the location, design and size of the proposed use will be adequately served by existing streets, public facilities and services” and “will not be in conflict with the Comprehensive Plan.”

Although Tuesday’s public hearing is open to the public, no public comment will be allowed at the direction of the City Council.

Ray said it is a public hearing only to accept the new parking count information that the City Council requested the board to consider.

“The City Council did not intend for additional public comment to be considered since there was already three, four hours of public comment at the initial hearing,” Ray said.

The NSA’s proposed expansion would include a maximum enrollment of 300 full-time equivalent students with up to an additional 44 faculty and staff.

The roughly 15,900 square-foot facility would include five classrooms/studios, nine offices, a multi-purpose room, a student lounge and a music conservatory with seating for 680 occupants.

Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to gcabeza [at] dnews.com.

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