CHA works proactively for the long-term common good of all neighborhood interests, including short- and long-term residents, businesses, housing corporations, and faith communities. Since its founding in 1992, the need for this work has become increasingly apparent.
Between 2000 and 2015, undergraduate enrollment at WSU’s Pullman Campus increased from 13,463 to 17,147. The majority of Pullman Campus undergraduates spend some portion of their college years living off-campus. The growth in rental demand has resulted in increased population density in residential housing near campus, new buildings that don’t fit well in their surroundings, and declining property maintenance—“growing pains” for the College Hill neighborhood.
Together with the City of Pullman and WSU, CHA has addressed many neighborhood challenges using such strategies as community service and service learning projects and support for noise, nuisance, and residential parking zone ordinances, beat officer positions, historic property designations, etc. But the work of neighborhood improvement requires consistent attention.
Through all available mechanisms, the Association advocates on behalf of the College Hill neighborhood in the following areas:
- Visual Appeal: The College Hill neighborhood is the front door to Washington State University and its appearance is a direct reflection on Pullman’s legacy as a welcoming “college town.”
- Historic Preservation: The sensitive historic character of the area should be protected. New construction should be consistent with the neighborhood’s existing scale and character.
- Zoning: Current population density exceeds the carrying capacity of the neighborhood infrastructure, impacting safety and aesthetics. Zoning ordinances should reflect that the neighborhood cannot successfully accommodate additional residents.
- Pedestrian Safety: An incomplete system of sidewalks threatens pedestrian safety.
- Code Enforcement: Residential code enforcement should be more proactive and less complaint-based.