Building standards sought for property in PFL area

Friday, August 24, 2018

Enterprise photo by Nate Howard

Printing For Less, located off Highway 10 west of Livingston, is pictured Aug. 17

The Livingston City Planning Board, an advisory arm of the Livingston City Council, is moving forward with a plan to extend gateway overlay zoning requirements to the area west of town near the Printing For Less headquarters.

The move follows the council’s decision two weeks ago to change the zoning of a 60-acre parcel next to Printing For Less from light industrial to highway commercial, which would allow the construction of high-density housing.

The parcel is owned by Livingston West, LLC, a group of investors headed by PFL owner Andrew Field.

Livingston’s gateway overlay zoning policy is designed to make the entrances to the city — the “gateways” — look good by requiring that developers who build in those areas adhere to certain design guidelines.

The point of the gateway overlay zone is to “try to make the buildings look like they’re part of a small town in the Northwest,” said Planning Board Chairman Adam Stern. “Not terrible, strip mall, Wal-Mart stuff.”

The gateway overlay zone currently covers all three entrances to town, but when PFL built its headquarters in the crook of the elbow where Highway 10 meets Interstate 90, paying to extend water and sewer lines and allowing the city to annex the land, the parcel was excepted from the gateway zoning requirements.

The exception included the land owned by Livingston West LLC that was recently re-zoned. A map of the gateway overlay zones shows a notch carved out of the zone in the PFL area, but other parcels in that area are covered.

In light of the recent zoning change on the parcel and plans for more development, Stern said it’s time to change that.

“PFL’s insistence that that first building be not covered by design guidelines is totally legitimate,” he said. “It’s not like this is anti-PFL.”

“But since PFL has changed their zoning, they should now be covered by the gateway overlay zone,” he said.

The plan is in the early stages, and Stern said it will likely take a month or two just to finalize the language of the proposed municipal code. Then there will be meetings, public comment and, finally, a vote by the City Commission.