Moscow City Council discusses Pullman Urban Growth Area expansion

MOSCOW, ID - Monday night, the Moscow Council members discussed whether or not the city should provide input on the expansion of Pullman's urban growth area.

The City of Pullman is in the process of creating a proposal to expand its Urban Growth Area, which will accommodate the city's growth between now and the year 2060. When Pullman city staff asked Moscow for their input on the situation, it raised the question of what kind of relationship the two cities share.

"I would not like to see the City of Pullman weighing in on our planning and zoning and other type of issues," said council member Walter Steed.

While Steed simply wants to stay out of it, Mayor Nancy Chaney feels otherwise.

"The City of Moscow considers stakeholders those who consider themselves stakeholders, so when we have land use decision making here, certainly we welcome input," said Chaney.

Moscow's city staff wrote up some general suggestions for Pullman's consideration, and council member Tom Lamar suggested submitting those.

"It's not a 'Mother, may I,' kind of thing, we're not doing that," said Lamar. "We're just saying, 'Hey, here's some comments."

No matter whether or not the cities want to collaborate, it's clear that making sure that Pullman's expansion doesn't negatively affect the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport is Moscow's greatest concern.

"I find the airport to be invaluable as an economic engine for the Moscow-Pullman area," said council member Tim Brown.

The Washington State Department of Transportation gave Pullman recommendations about how to improve their growth plan to comply with regulations. Moscow council members agreed to submit a letter of their own that sites the Washington State Department of transportation's recommendations pertaining to the airport.

"As long as we don't make separate recommendations that say, 'We're telling you what to do,'" said council member Sue Scott.

Pullman's current population is about 31,000, and they anticipate that number to reach 46,000 by 2060, which is one of the reasons why they're planning to expand their Urban Growth Area.

The City of Pullman will continue to accept input on the proposed expansion until January Eleventh.