Public voice opinions of conditional use permit for Lewiston Elks Lodge

LEWISTON, ID - An appeal regarding the previously granted 'conditional use permit' to the Elks Lodge, dominated the conversation at the Lewiston City Council meeting Monday evening.

Reporter Sophia Miraglio learns how a regular scheduled meeting quickly turned into a five hour session as countless testimonies both for and against the issue were brought before council.

The appeal of a previous planning and zoning decision played out in a public hearing at the Lewiston City Council meeting on Monday.

"It's been appealed within the time frame set forth in the city code," said Community Development Planner Joel Plaskon.

The conditional use permit at the center of the argument was approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission on May 8th.

In Idaho we are probably the largest lodge left, and second in membership," said Elks Lodge member Alan Carbonaro. "What we're going to get out of this is just the service for our members."

The permit allows ten RV sites on the southern part of the property.

"For traveling members of the Elks lodge only, not open to the public," said Plaskon.

The decline in property values paired with the obstruction of million dollar views caused a clear division within the packed house. Testimony from those for, and against the appeal were presented to the council.

"For some reason they feel that when they bought their home they're entitled to a view," said Carbonaro. "I've never seen that in a real estate contract where that was established, and if it was then they should try to get their money back, because I don't think anyone has the right to view."

"The traffic for one thing is a concern, I testified to planning and zoning," said homeowner Randy Martin. "We do have kids in the area that are playing and it is a residential area, that's why I bought there."

Despite testimony from those against the RV Park, the council decided to uphold the previous decision by P&Z in a unanimous vote 6-0.

In order to maintain a conditional use permit, the elks must abide by several conditions previously put in place by the Planning and Zoning Commission.