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Monday, October 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Beyond zoning: Residents discuss Pullman of the future

This Aug. 17, 2011, file photo shows the campus of Washington State University in Pullman. The recent deaths of two Washington State University students driving back to campus in Pullman. (Alan Berner / Seattle Times via AP)
This Aug. 17, 2011, file photo shows the campus of Washington State University in Pullman. The recent deaths of two Washington State University students driving back to campus in Pullman. (Alan Berner / Seattle Times via AP)
By Taylor Nadauld Moscow-Pullman Daily News

A handful of community members woke bright and early Tuesday morning and headed to the Pioneer Center in Pullman to discuss their 20-year visions for the city.

It was the first public meeting of Pullman 2040, an organization dedicated to developing a collective vision for the city and a way to accomplish it.

Co-chair Francis Benjamin, a former city councilor and information systems coordinator for Washington State University’s Department of Psychology, said the goal is to create a plan for the future of Pullman that aligns with the City Council’s Comprehensive Plan. While the Comprehensive Plan deals with issues such as infrastructure, roads, zoning and maintenance, Benjamin said Pullman 2040 will focus on other aspects the plan doesn’t cover.

“If you look at the history of Pullman, we haven’t done anything in this context,” Benjamin said.

For the next three months, Benjamin said the organization will continue listening to the needs of the community before meeting with other organizations, forming task forces to address specific issues and presenting a formal document to the city.

Benjamin anticipates the document will include a long list of projects the organization would like to move forward with, as well as a shorter list of issues it would like to tackle.

The organization is hopeful the document will be released by October, when the city’s comprehensive plan update is expected to also be released.

“We’re trying to do this in tandem, working with (Pullman Planning Director) Pete Dickinson, with the city, and being very connected with him on this so that as we work forward, this is something that really enhances and the two documents work together as opposed to something that contradicts,” Benjamin said.

During the next few days, Pullman 2040 will hold five more public meetings, which will feature discussion surrounding community and identity, education and learning, growth and development, health and safety, environment and recreation, and jobs and economy.

Benjamin said the organization was formed in August, when he, fellow community members and representatives from community organizations decided to move forward with a vision process for Pullman. Twelve people were then selected to make up a steering committee.

Benjamin encouraged interested community members to complete an online questionnaire at www.pullman2040.org/.

There, participants are invited to give short answers to seven questions involving what brought them to Pullman, what they like and dislike about the city and how they would like to describe the city in 2040.

Participants are then asked more direct questions such as where they live, their age and if they own businesses in the community.

The next meeting will be held 6:30-7:30 p.m. today in the View Room at Gladish Community and Cultural Center. The public is welcome to attend.

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