Letter to the Editor: City to look into zoning codes

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Dear Editor,

 

I have heard from neighbors in the Central Tacoma neighborhood about their opposition to a new proposed storage facility that is projected to be located along South 19th and South Lawrence streets. As the Council member for this district, I understand the neighborhood’s concerns. Although the City of Tacoma cannot take action in this case, which is in private litigation, I have asked that staff conduct a thorough review of loopholes and weaknesses in our code and explore options to mitigate the impact on the neighborhood, depending on how this case is decided. I have also asked that staff utilize strengthened design review to ensure all projects in strategically vital transitional areas between neighborhoods are designed with proper beautification and improvements.
The vision the Tacoma City Council had for this neighborhood and zoning area was a mixed-use development that would support small business and residential populations along a main arterial where the Tacoma Link light rail will eventually run. Although the proposed storage facility abides by the rules currently detailed in our code, and staff has proceeded with notifications as the code directed, this project is not consistent with the vision of the Council or the neighborhood.
I will work with my colleagues on the City Council and the mayor, who has already given me her support in this matter, to find ways of ensuring our neighborhoods grow and develop in a way that makes the best use of our important corridors while respecting the residential character of surrounding neighborhoods. We will also work to increase notification, strengthen public participation, and educate residents on how to be involved in planning decisions early on.

 

Keith Blocker

Tacoma City Council

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