Point Defiance Park Master Plan Nearing Completion; More Planning to Come

The multi-year Point Defiance Park master planning process is nearing completion, with only a couple more opportunities for the public to weigh in. The plan that comes out of this lengthy process will shape the future look and feel of Tacoma's largest and most heavily-used park for decades to come.

This week Metro Parks took comments from more than a dozen members of the public relating to the Master Plan. In two weeks, on Monday, August 24, the board will vote on whether or not to accept the final proposed Master Plan. At that meeting the public will have two final opportunities to share their thoughts on the plan, but at this point it's looking like it's pretty much a done deal.

The plan, which will be the biggest update since 1911, addresses all corners of the park, as well as overall mobility, access, parking, and uses within the park as a whole. It includes a major update for the Pearl Street entry and the bowl around the rose garden, a realignment of traffic flows around the zoo, plans for the future of Tacoma Public Schools' SAMI, Owen Beach, the Zoo and Aquarium, the old Camp 6 site, Fort Nisqually, etc, etc, etc... It's a pretty comprehensive plan, but if you're a park user, it's definitely worth browsing through, because there's probably something in it that will impact you. The Master Plan includes six "focus areas," each of which will get its own detailed plan.

  1. Forest Area
  2. Fort Nisqually
  3. Baker Tract/Camp 6
  4. Owen Beach
  5. Zoo & Bowl
  6. Waterfront

A three-page spreadsheet included in the plan document details the specifics for each of the focus areas, as well as overall park improvements, with a tentative date of completion for each item.

Going forward from here, the City of Tacoma and Metro Parks will enter into a Development Regulation Agreement, which will allow planned changes to move forward expeditiously. Metro Parks will also get to work developing those detailed plans for each of the six major focus areas, which means more public process, and more opportunities for park users to shape the future of Point Defiance.

If you missed this week's Parks meeting, you can catch a presentation of the plan to the Tacoma City Council next Tuesday at its noon study session at city hall, also available on TV 12 (and streaming online). If you have comments, you can make them at the August 24 Park Board meeting. Read more here. Or find a lot of details at destinationpointdefiance.org.

It's been more than 100 years since the park has had a new plan on this scale - what do you think of the proposed new Master Plan?

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