Potential zone change to relocate Pullman City Hall

New location will be at former Encounter Ministries Church



Councilmember Eileen Macoll asks questions regarding residential areas during the City Council meeting Nov. 13. She said she and the council have an obligation to Pullman residents.

ISAAC SEMMLER, Evergreen reporter

Pullman City Council voted 6-1 in favor of a potential zone change for City Hall and the council’s renovation plan, disregarding a recommendation from the planning commission during a meeting Tuesday.

The zoning change will relocate City Hall and add a recreation center and senior center in a neighboring building.

This is the first time in over a decade that City Council has rejected a zoning recommendation from Pullman Planning Commission.

Councilmember Eileen Macoll said she and the others who approved the zone change had good reasons to do so.

“It’s clear that the community wants this,” she said. “I do think we have an obligation to our citizens to follow along that path. I don’t like to negate what the planning commission has done and the work and time they’ve taken to consider this, but remanding it back to the commission will extend the timeline.”

The new City Hall location will be at the former Encounter Ministries Church location along Crestview Street. The city purchased a 5.8-acre lot along with two buildings for a total of $3.5 million and spent an additional $5.5 million to renovate the buildings.

While the renovation has yet to be completed, City Administrator Adam Lincoln anticipates that construction will finish a lot faster than originally thought.

“With a rough timeline laid out right now, we are estimating [completion at] the end of 2019,” he said. “For me, being a non-developer, [that] sounds really quick.”

The city has partnered with Design West Architects to oversee and lead the project.

“They helped us put together the initial budget so they’re really well-positioned to help us carry the rest of the project forward,” Lincoln said. “They think it’s going to be roughly an 18-month process, nine months for planning and nine months for construction.”

City planners are still considering how to deal with traffic, which they expect to increase along Crestview. An additional left lane has been recommended for cars coming from Grand Avenue to help with turning into the property without holding up traffic.