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By Garrett Cabeza, Daily News staff writer
The Moscow City Council — with a 5-1 vote — approved a conditional-use permit that will allow New Saint Andrews College to designate an unregulated parking lot on South Jackson Street for its students and employees during regular business hours.
The lot is owned by New Saint Andrews and the council’s decision upheld a Moscow Board of Adjustment decision in January.
Councilor Anne Zabala was the lone dissenting vote.
The CUP 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 as many as 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.
Moscow resident Joann Muneta appealed the board’s Jan. 15 decision, which allowed her and an attorney representing NSA to speak Monday night.
The contention among the council was whether students at the former CJ’s building would and should be allowed to park at the adjacent South Jackson Street lot designated for students at the existing college near Friendship Square.
A previous CUP required NSA to provide 42 off-street parking stalls for its employees and students at the existing college. The college provided 30 spaces at the adjacent South Jackson Street lot and 12 on the south end of town.
Muneta said if the council sustained the board’s decision, then it is admitting there would essentially be one parking lot for both college locations on Main Street.
“I submit that that was not the intent of the Board of Adjustment in requiring off-street parking mitigation,” she said.
Moscow Community Development Director Bill Belknap said providing the total number of spaces in the proper locations fulfills the mitigation in both CUPs.
“Trying to enforce or administer who’s parking in which lot would be very difficult to do,” he said.
Councilor Jim Boland said if NSA was required to enforce which NSA students can use which lot, then the city would have to enforce the college’s enforcement.
“It becomes ridiculous,” he said.
Councilor Art Bettge said a student could start his or her day at the existing college and then continue classes at the former CJ’s building, and he did not believe the student should be required to move his car 20 feet once he switched buildings.
“Over regulation of exactly which student’s car is stuck in exactly which space becomes an issue of micromanagement when the requirements of the CUPs are actually being met.”
Although the 421 S. Jackson St. parking lot is owned by NSA, it has been unregulated, meaning the public has been able to use it.
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.
In other business, the council approved a resolution to adopt the updated Comprehensive Plan.
Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to gcabeza at dnews.com.
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