latah county idaho noise ordinance by sburnet2


									                              MOSCOW CIVIC ASSOCIATION
                                    P.O. Box 8788
                                  Moscow, Idaho 83843

Dear County Commissioners Kimmell, Nelson and Stroschein:

       The Moscow Civic Association (“MCA”) is in favor of Latah County adopting Moscow’s
Large Scale Retail Ordinance (“LSRO”) for the Area of City Impact.

The LSRO was written by a team of community members with the goal of mitigating negative
impacts that retail outlets 40,000 square feet or larger (“Big Box Stores”) would likely bring to
our growing community. Retail outlets of this size are cropping up all over the country with a
variety of consequences involving traffic, noise, storm water, aesthetics, etc. Communities
across the country are recognizing the need to pass ordinances to eliminate or mitigate the
adverse impacts of Big Box Stores. For this reason, the MCA supported the city’s efforts to
mitigate these problems by adopting the LSRO.

Planning and zoning are reasonable and desirable activities of local governing bodies. We do not
endorse the view that ordinances placing reasonable requirements on businesses represent an
assault on the free market or discourage beneficial development. We believe that the LSRO
regulates development wisely, in a community-friendly and beneficial manner that protects the
property rights of developers, adjacent landowners and the surrounding community. We wish to
encourage this type of development.

    We believe it is not only justifiable but necessary in our role as responsible citizens and as
community participants placing reasonable requirements on retail establishments larger than
40,000 square feet. To mitigate the adverse spillover effects that come with great size is an
absolutely appropriate protection of the property rights of the surrounding landowners and
community. We believe that the LSRO does that adequately by defining large scale retail outlets
as conditional uses in the Motor Business zoning district and by placing specific requirements on
such establishments to address the following areas of concern:

   Site location
   City Services and City infrastructure impacts
   Storm water quality
   Traffic Impacts
   Building abandonment

   We agree with the requirements provided by the LSRO.

    As stated in the first five and a half pages of the sixteen page document, there are many
reasons to adopt such an ordinance. We would like to draw your attention to the following
paragraph of the ordinance (p. 5), which highlights the beneficial purpose of the LSRO in
protecting the property rights of the nearby property owners and the community itself:

       Whereas, the City is currently without design review regulations or any discretionary
       review and public hearing process specific to retail establishments in excess of forty
       thousand (40,000) square feet which preserve and/or enhance the general appearance of
       building design and construction; preserve the historical character and significance of the
       community; coordinate onsite vehicular and non-vehicular traffic circulation patterns
       within adjacent transportation systems; minimize visual impact; provide for and protect
       existing light, air, solar access, and orientation, privacy, views, and vistas by the proper
       and efficient location of building sites and design layout; provide adequate usable open
       space in a manner appropriate to the development and uses of lands, and protect and
       preserve wildlife, stream, natural topography and other desirable natural features and
       qualities such as skyline, ridge tops, knoll ridges, established trees and shrub masses,
       topsoil, streambeds and banks, drainage swales; promote aesthetic harmonizing with the
       environment adjacent to development; enable requirements for traffic studies, market
       studies, and impact studies; and enable imposition of mitigation measures.

       Without the LSRO in place, the citizens of our community have no protection from the
adverse spillover effects that unregulated large retail establishments will bring to nearby
neighborhoods, to the detriment of residents’ property values and quality of life. This threat is
something we can mitigate through the LSRO while preserving economic opportunity, enhancing
property values and quality of life, and protecting and balancing developer’s property rights with
those of the impacted neighbors and community.

       We hope you will take these comments to heart and pass the LSRO for the Area of City
Impact. Please protect and preserve the quality of life for Latah County.


Bruce Livingston
President, Moscow Civic Association
On Behalf of the Moscow Civic Association Board of Directors

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