A move for the future - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

A move for the future

Zone change would enable NIC expansion

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Posted: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 12:15 am | Updated: 9:32 am, Fri Nov 16, 2012.

COEUR d'ALENE - Zoning on a roughly 7-acre parcel of land inside the education corridor could be changed to commercial tonight to match adjacent property and allow North Idaho College to one day expand its campus.

The 6.79 acres sit on an approximately 18-acre plot that formerly held a saw mill, near the city's wastewater treatment plant. It's currently zoned for light manufacturing and Commercial-17 Light.

A change to C-17 zoning would allow more uses on the land, such as commercial, residential and civic facilities, which light manufacturing prohibits, according to John Mueller, landscape architect representing NIC.

"It allows the college and university uses to happen," he said. "C-17 really encompasses a lot of different uses, including university and higher education."

If the Coeur d'Alene City Council approves the request, it would conform zoning to adjacent parcels. The preliminary planned unit development for the education corridor has been approved, and calls for C-17 zoning for future development around the campus.

Parcels around the old mill site have been changed to commercial zoning in the last couple of years, with some residents questioning whether C-17 was too broad a zoning for a college area, while the city has said a more inclusive zone is needed to not limit building options as the campus grows in the future.

The proposed zone change is bordered by River Avenue on the south, and Hubbard Street and College Drive traverse the property. New roads were recently completed around the area.

While C-17 typically doesn't have building height regulations, the preliminary PUD caps building heights in various areas of the site. The final PUD should go before the City Council in spring or summer, Mueller said.

The public hearing on the zone change request is at 6 p.m. in the Community Room of the Coeur d'Alene Public Library. It passed the planning commission unanimously in November.

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13 comments:

  • Randy Myers posted at 7:12 am on Wed, Feb 8, 2012.

    Randy Myers Posts: 1635

    ....."but the approved PUD limits the uses inside the 18 acre+/- ed corridor to higher ed/college and university uses. This was done because that is what they really want to do with the land. No commercial uses as defined in the zone and regulated by the approved PUD will be allowed."

    I have no reason not to believe Jon Mueller on this.

    If anyone has any hard evidence otherwise now would be the time to present it.

     
  • concernedcitizen posted at 5:35 pm on Tue, Feb 7, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    You are correct Mary. The original pamphlet showed a rendition with Riverstone style buildings with retail/commercial on bottom. I believe jon and company are trying to pull yet ANOTHER fast one over on us TAXPAYERS.

     
  • Mary Souza posted at 12:08 pm on Tue, Feb 7, 2012.

    Mary Souza Posts: 779

    Oops, I didn't finish the last part of my comment.

    The public needs to understand how this process happened. It was NOT an open, accountable, responsible process. The end result will be pretty but your rights, and your money, have been abused. The end does not justify the means.

     
  • Mary Souza posted at 12:02 pm on Tue, Feb 7, 2012.

    Mary Souza Posts: 779

    Several years ago, I attended a meeting about the Ed Corridor. It was at SD271's Midtown Center and the little meeting room was packed with people. A fancy, full color booklet, which was called the plan for the Ed Corridor had just been made public. So, during the meeting, I asked NIC Pres. Priscilla Bell, how much of the 17 acres (at $588,000 per acre) would be used for commercial purposes. She answered, "None". Then I asked why the "plan" showed almost 7 acres (40%) as designated for commercial development? She balked, stuttered, started to deny it, but I held up the booklet and read directly from the page that detailed that use. NIC's Treasurer was sitting next to Priscilla and told her I was correct.

    Please remember that the existing NIC campus was zoned R-17, a much more protected zone, but it still allowed any uses the college needed...the automotive repair program, the commercial restaurant program that serves meals for money, bookstore, cafe, etc. These things were all owned by the college, and were for educational purposes, so they were allowed.

    Please also remember that the outrageous $10 million dollar price tag, during a huge downturn in the real estate market, was supposedly a "good deal", even though the bogus appraisal didn't factor in the location next to the sewage plant and also assumed a C-17 zoning for the entire property, which was not in place at the time.

    Why C-17 now? I think Jill Heine is on the right track with her recent comment below. There are all kinds of stories going around, but they all include the power players using the land we taxpayers bought to further their private profits. And don't forget, there's no property tax on government land and these private businesses will compete, unfairly, with regular businesses.

    Done deal? Probably, but hopefully some of this info can come to light at tonight's city council meeting. The public needs to understand how

     
  • Jill Heine posted at 10:22 am on Tue, Feb 7, 2012.

    Jill Heine Posts: 408

    Here's a work-around Jon...

    Land is made available to you Steve, and Charlie on a Deed Restricted basis for $10.00 lease per year. You build a multi-purpose facility as has already been suggested. You lease the building back to NIC at a profitable rate. Once you have accumulated sufficient profit and the construction expenses are recouped, you sell the building to NIC for an additional profit. You guys have no compunction in the abusive way you are growing Coeur d'Alene. Where are the real jobs to replace those lost in the mills, mines, and timber?

     
  • Jon Mueller posted at 9:41 am on Tue, Feb 7, 2012.

    Jon Mueller Posts: 3

    @ DeNiles: No manufacturing will be allowed for commercial purposes. There might be workforce training functions that deal with manufacturing for specific job descriptions, but all that is to go either on the prairie or at Riverbend, as I understand it.
    The C17 is asked for as the LM Zone doesn't allow any higher ed or university functions. In addition, C17 was asked for to allow for a specific height related to future parking garages to potenitally be located on 2 PUD parcels that are inside the zone change area. The PUD then limits the height from the allowed unlimited height of the C17 zone to what we have asked for as part of the PUD approval.
    Also, a clarification to Tom's article, The PUD has been approved and WILL NOT go to the Council as there was no appeal filed within the required time frame. Final PUD approval will be administrative which is what the PUD ordinance says.

     
  • DeNiles posted at 9:33 am on Tue, Feb 7, 2012.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    History seems to repeat itself with URD land acquisitions and sales in CdA. URD's around here seem to buy excessively high and sell outrageously low. The irony is that the same 'wink, wink' appraiser is used to define all of the property valuations and that is the ONLY appraiser ever used. We know NIC holds the all-time state record for buying this land and 'nope' they did not buy it at the peak of the real estate market. If and when NIC sells some of this land any guess on how that will go? Nah, nothing stenchy about any of that.

     
  • Mahiun posted at 9:12 am on Tue, Feb 7, 2012.

    Mahiun Posts: 4725

    Seems that mill property once again has a stench emanating from it....
    Probably from the sh*tpot continually being stirred by those who see a conspiracy behind every pine tree....

    From the article itself:
    "[C-17] allows the college and university uses to happen," [Mueller] said. "C-17 really encompasses a lot of different uses, including university and higher education."

     
  • DeNiles posted at 8:38 am on Tue, Feb 7, 2012.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    MMmmKay.... Well the Planning Commission approved NIC's request for this parcel to be rezoned C-17, C-17L (for light commercial) and C-17 LM (for light manufacturing). So what is the whole story? Is NIC going into the 'light commercial and light manufacturing arenas' as part of their offered curricula? Seems to me that the proposed PUD had well over 30% of the utilization set aside for something other than 'education'.

     
  • Jon Mueller posted at 7:37 am on Tue, Feb 7, 2012.

    Jon Mueller Posts: 3

    Fellas, sorry to disagree with your conspiracy theories, but the approved PUD limits the uses inside the 18 acre+/- ed corridor to higher ed/college and university uses. This was done because that is what they really want to do with the land. No commercial uses as defined in the zone and regulated by the approved PUD will be allowed.

     
  • concernedcitizen posted at 6:53 am on Tue, Feb 7, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    More shenanigans brought to you by-------- the clowns at city hall.

     
  • DeNiles posted at 6:16 am on Tue, Feb 7, 2012.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    And so reading between the lines, a C-17 zoning is NOT needed for NIC, it is needed to allow for anything and everything plus what NIC might need. Hmmmmmm, wonder what that means?

    Lastly the sentence: "If the CdA City Council approves the request.......?" Didn't mean to write, '-WHEN the CdA City Council approves the request-' Or was this actually meant to be a whimsical sort of joke?

     
  • straight up posted at 6:07 am on Tue, Feb 7, 2012.

    straight up Posts: 922

    "A change to C-17 zoning would allow more uses on the land, such as commercial, residential and civic facilities, which light manufacturing prohibits, according to John Mueller, landscape architect representing NIC."

    Cue the Suprise-O-Meter...

    Gee Whillickers, Land Of Goshen, who would have thought that any project with the Mayor and LCDCs fingerprints on it would contain more commercial property than originally announced?

    What are the odds of this happening?

    Who saw this coming? My, oh my what a surprise.

    Suprise-O-Meter Off. Seems that mill property once again has a stench emanating from it....

     
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