Moscow-Pullman Daily News: “Board approves permit allowing NSA parking lot downtown”

Note the comment from board member Mark Monson, who’s working overtime here. His day job includes serving as criminal defense attorney for NSA alumnus Steven Sitler.

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Board approves permit allowing NSA parking lot downtown

Moscow-Pullman Daily News, January 16, 2019, page 1South Jackson Street lot is owned by New Saint Andrews but is currently used by public

By Garrett Cabeza
Daily News staff writer

The Moscow Board of Adjustment unanimously approved a conditional-use permit Tuesday night that will allow New Saint Andrews College to designate an unregulated parking lot the school owns on South Jackson Street for its students and employees during regular business hours.

The approval partially satisfies the off-street parking requirement of the school’s newest location at the former Cadillac Jack’s building on North Main Street.

The institution obtained a CUP in 2017 with two conditions for it to move forward with converting the CJ’s building into a music conservatory for up to 300 students, including that it must provide 47 off-street parking spaces within a quarter mile of the CJ’s building. The school is allowed to phase in the parking, but 50 percent of the required spots must be available before the building can be occupied.

The parking lot is located at 421 S. Jackson St., just south of Canyon Creek Church and north of the NSA designated parking lot, which provides parking for the school’s existing campus near Friendship Square. The lot is 0.21 miles from the CJ’s building and is expected to provide 25 parking spaces.

Although the parking lot is owned by NSA, it has been unregulated, meaning the public has been able to use it.

City Planner Leah Carlson said the parking lot was lightly used by the public when she visited the site during business hours.

A few board members noted since the parking lot is privately owned, the school should be able to use it as it pleases, so long as city standards are met.

“If they wanted to board it up, if they wanted to barricade it off and just sit there and stare at an empty piece of dirt, they could absolutely do that, and that’s their right,” board member Mark Monson said.

During a public hearing before the CUP being approved, six people, including EMSI CEO Andrew Crapuchettes and two Canyon Creek Church representatives, spoke in favor of the CUP, three people spoke against it and one spoke neither for nor against the permit.

Two public members who spoke against the permit said the permit did not meet two of the seven relevant criteria and standards required for the permit to be approved.

The parking lot is expected to be designated for NSA students and employees from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. It will be open to the public for all other hours and days.

With the CUP approval, NSA must bring the parking lot into compliance with city standards, which include paving, curbing, striping and landscaping, and signage must be posted stating the lot is designated for NSA parking.

The board is scheduled to meet at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Paul Mann Building to review and likely approve the relevant criteria and standards, officially allowing the project to move forward.

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

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