Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, July 21, 2006


While Moscow pursues its "New Cities" agenda , dense urban infill, and building apartments in grain elevators and PARD pushes for "smart growth" in Pullman, the little towns of Colfax and Palouse know what people really want. People don't move to the Palouse for "Manhattan-style living," they move here for big homes and wide-open spaces.

Colfax and Palouse and both declining agricultural towns that desperately need more people to reinvigorate their tax bases and school systems.

According to last Tuesday's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
The Colfax City Council unanimously voted to annex about 1,200 acres into the cityiin an attempt to draw development to the north end of town.

With the council’s decision, the McDonald family plans to sell 300 acres to Arizona Land and Ranches.

The development company plans to build upscale mini-farms on lots of 20 acres and larger. All the homes will have foundations and wood construction, a well and septic system.

“I like to call them gentleman’s farms,” said Dan Fulfs, a member of the McDonald family and owner of the land. “The plan is to work with the city to get the right ordinance and zoning.”

Colfax City Administrator Emily Adams said the goal is to allow for growth but not destroy the rural atmosphere of the city. By building rural residential areas, the city can avoid the tight lots that Adams said are characteristic of Pullman.

This article appeared in The Boomerang back in May:
Darin Watkins, County Planning Commission Member, came to the Palouse City Council meeting April 25 to discuss the Whitman County Planning Commission land use policies. He urged the city council to look at the policies regarding cluster housing and see if this is something the city would interested.

Watkins is interested in the growth and development of Palouse, as his family members have been long time residents and his children currently attend the school. Cluster housing is generally based on five acres plots, for single residential homes and often professionals are looking for this type of housing. Since it is all "supply and demand" developers might be interested in Palouse especially since there is a lack of housing available here.

A planning commission is in the works for Palouse and Councilman Rick Wekenman said this would be a good topic for them to consider.
Universities are supposed to be assets for towns, but as Pullman and Moscow's left-wing academicians halt any and all forms of growth, the surrounding communities of Lewiston, Clarkston, Colfax, and Palouse are outhustling us and starting to kick our butts.

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