March 23, 2006

Moscow Idaho City Hall P&Z meeting

P&Z Denies Application to Change the Comprehensive Plan Back

The Council Chambers were packed by a remarkably large crowd, on both (perhaps all) sides of the issue. While the result was a unanimous vote to recommend denial of the application to change the comprehensive plan, multiple Commissioners spoke to the ideas that (1) zoning controls the development and they were comfortable with it and they did not see how changing the comprehensive plan map would help them, and (2) that they were supportive of the goal of a mixed use development in keeping with the character of Moscow, and they felt the goal could be achieved through zoning mechanisms under the current Comprehensive Plan designation.

Moscow Idaho City Hall P&Z meeting

Moscow Idaho City Hall P&Z meeting

City staff doing Walmart's dirty work?
Apparently caving to political pressure from the developers, senior city staff - at the last possible minute before the hearing on 3/22- withdrew and replaced the previously issued professional recommendation of the Assistant City Planner. No notice was given to the public, the applicants or the members of the Planning and Zoning Commission of the substitution until presented by staff at the 3/22 hearing.
See for yourself.

View: Full text of the City Staff Report on the Application (March 15, 2006), word document.

We also learned today that the Developer will take their rezone application forward to City Council (P&Z recommended denial March 8). After going through the administrative committee to get scheduled on Council's agenda, the issue could make it to Council April 17. (That date is speculation and not official).

Other things to watch for are P&Z working on revising the big box ordinance (cap & dark store provisions) and P&Z working on developing new tools to support mixed-use development in ways that are less cumbersome than current tools. No dates for these activities are available.

More about the Rezone Application here.
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[ This is not a group to debate the merits of a SuperWalmart in Moscow
The intention of the group is to defeat a Super Walmart project.

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