The Pullman planning director is recommending the Pullman Planning Commission deny a zone change application for a proposed student housing development near North Grand Avenue and Albion Drive.

York Acquisitions has applied to rezone the 25-acre parcel of land from light industrial to R3 multi-family residential.

The development is described as a “student housing cottage type community” that would have 212 units in approximately 106 duplex-style buildings. It would be located west of North Grand Avenue and south of Pullman Albion Road.

A memo from the Planning Director Pete Dickinson to the commission states that city staff believe the zone change would not benefit the overall community.

For instance, staff believe its best to save that parcel of land for possible industrial-related developments in the future.

“Demand for industrial development at the subject property may not be strong at the present time, but planning staff believes it would be short-sighted to relinquish a good supply of industrial land at a suitable location when the property would likely be utilized in the future to advance the city’s economic development efforts,” the memo states.

Furthermore, the memo states this zone change would invite future land use conflicts between residences on that land and nearby industrial activity.

The memo points out there are other vacant properties in Pullman that could be used for high density housing, and the proposed development would add more traffic to that side of town than York Acquisition estimated.

The memo references data from the Institute of Transportation Engineers, which states a residential development would lead to 2,720 vehicle trips on weekdays on the nearby roads, as opposed to 1,060 vehicle trips for an industrial zone.

“Overall, planning staff finds that the applicant’s request would have a negative effect on the community’s physical, economic, and social environment,” the memo states.

The Planning Commission will discuss the issue at its meeting 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Pullman City Hall.

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