Tacoma City Business Preview - Week of April 7, 2015

Click! Town Hall Meetings

Following the announcement that TPU is considering entering a public/private partnership to address problems with Click! network, two town hall meetings will give the public the chance to learn more about the proposed partnership, which would have Wave Broadband of Kirkland, WA take over the Click! operation in an effort to maintain (maybe improve) the viability of the network. The first of those meetings is this Thursday. Read more about the Click!/Wave proposal here.

  • Thursday, April 9th , 7:00 p.m., in the Stadium High School Auditorium, located at 111 North E Street
  • Thursday, April 23rd , 7:00 p.m., in the Tacoma Public Utilities Auditorium located at 3628 South 35th Street. 

 

Comprehensive Plan Update: Tacoma 2040

The City is hosting a series of workshops, one in each council district, on updates to the Comprehensive Plan, Tacoma 2040. The next is coming up this Thursday, April 9 at Gray Middle School from 6 to 8 p.m.

These workshops are designed to provide a forum for residents to share what they value in their community and to provide guidance to City staff on how to continue to improve the quality of Tacoma’s neighborhoods in the context of the Comprehensive Plan, which serves as a blueprint that to reflect the community's aspirations for the next twenty-five years. Each workshop also includes opportunities to comment on the draft Transportation Master Plan.

Read more about the workshops, including dates and locations here.

 

Marijuana

Following discussions earlier this year on enforcement actions related to unlicensed marijuana facilities, the city council made the decision to hold off on sending letters to marijuana operations without state licenses, requiring them to either get a state license or close by summer. The council made the decision to wait in the hope that the State Legislature would make a decision of its own regarding medical marijuana. At this week's council Committee of the Whole meeting the City Attorney will provide updates to the council on progress at the State level to this point, and ask the council for guidance on next steps.

 

New Development Multi-Family Tax Exemptions

Two resolutions on this week's regular council meeting agenda will authorize property tax exemptions for two multi-family rental housing projects.

The first would be an eight-year exemption for a new phase of the Metropolitan apartments. That project will construct 129 market-rate rental units at the corner of 4th and Broadway in the Downtown Mixed-Use Center. Read more about plans for 252 Broadway here. The second would be a 12-year exemption for 18 market-rate units at South Puget Sound and 40th Tacoma Mall Mixed-Use Center.

The land under both projects will remain taxable for the 8 and 12 year windows, but during that time the projects themselves will be tax-free. At the end of the exemption periods, the projects will become fully taxable.

 

Noise Enforcement

An ordinance on this week's council meeting agenda for a first reading would make updates to Tacoma's Noise Enforcement code

  • The addition of a definition for “Continuous Sound.” 
  • The addition of Section 8.122.005 Purpose, to clarify the general purpose of the code.
  • Clarification that variances are to be considered for a limited duration.
  • The addition of a provision for a person to appeal the Director’s decision regarding a variance.
  • Changes to the penalty portion of the code to allow for an escalation of penalties for repeat offenses within a 12-month period.

 

UW Tacoma

Construction is well underway on the project to straighten out South 17th Street in downtown Tacoma. The street, at the northern end of the UW Tacoma campus, is being straightened out at its intersection with Jefferson and Commerce, just up the hill from Tollefson Plaza on Pacific. Workers have the street dug up, and new sidewalks and curbs are already in place.

The work, funded by UW Tacoma, will create a more traditional intersection, and will leave an open space where Jefferson previously dipped down to meet 17th at the corner of the campus. An ordinance on this week's council meeting consent agenda for a first reading would vacate that leftover wedge of property for pedestrian and bicycle improvements, landscaping, traffic management, parking, and vehicle access to the UWT campus. The university would fund improvements to, and maintenance of the space, including the creation of a green space.

 

Other Items

This Tuesday's Study Session will feature an update on the Washington State Legislative Session. 

At today's council Neighborhoods and Housing Committee meeting the topics of discussion will include updates on City garage sale policy, the proposed “Narrowmoor Addition Conservation District,” and a proposal to change the name of the currently unnamed park just south of the new The Henry project being built on the Foss Waterway to George H Weyerhaeuser Park in recognition of his contributions to Tacoma.

A resolution on this week's council meeting consent agenda would approve the final plat of Applewood West, a 14-lot residential subdivision located at 4033 East Howe Street. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 will be proclaimed as National Service Recognition Day in the City of Tacoma. The council will also receive a presentation from State Farm Insurance to Summer Jobs 253.

Lawrence Coleman and Dion Thomas will be appointed to the City Events and Recognitions Committee.

A purchase resolution on this week's agenda would award a $350,000 contract, budgeted from the General Fund, for lockbox receipting services, for an initial contract term of three years, with the option to renew for two additional two-year periods, for a projected contract total of $900,000. This service allows Tax & License, Animal Care and Control, Tacoma Public Utilities, and Tacoma Power's Click! Network to receive payments as well as miscellaneous receivables via mail. The company receives and processes these payments in a safe and efficient manner for the City. 

A resolution on this week's regular council meeting agenda would approve the recommendations of the Co-Chairs of the Affordable Housing Policy Advisory Group for updating its membership and extending its term through December 2015. This would allow for the group’s continued participation in the final phase of the Affordable Housing Planning Work Program as part of the 2015 Annual Amendments.

And finally, the final reading is scheduled for an ordinance we heard a first reading of last week, implementing new rates of pay and compensation for employees represented by the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Union, Transportation Division.


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