Tacoma City Business Preview - Week of August 11, 2015

Marijuana

One topic of discussion at this week's city council study session will be unlicensed marijuana businesses operating in Tacoma and recent state-level legislation. The council will hear an overview of previous discussions, a review of the current enforcement strategy and potential enforcement options, and an update on state legislation and potential regulatory amendments in response to those changes. 

 

Billboards

Also on the agenda for Tuesday's study session is a discussion of potential next moves in the seemingly endless two steps forward, one step back waltz that is Tacoma's relationship with Clear Channel Outdoor, over whether or not the latter has to comply with regulations adopted by the former.

This week the council will hear from staff about potential amendments to Tacoma's billboards regulation as "part of an effort to successfully end a legal 'standstill' agreement" between the two parties. The proposed amendments come out of some of the work done by the Billboards Community Working Group. The Planning Commission is in the process of drafting a set of regulations that would be released for a public hearing in September or October. Are we the only ones experiencing a bit of déjà vu here?

 

Link Expansion

Last year the city council made the official decision to recommend moving forward with plans for an expansion of Tacoma's Link light rail. The route chosen would take the light rail up the hill from its current northern terminus near 9th and Commerce to the Stadium District, then up Division to MLK, and across through the Hilltop to a new terminus near South 19th and MLK. That alignment, with seven recommended stations, went through an environmental review, the results of which are available for public comment, and review by Tacoma's Planning and Transportation commissions.

The two commissions have responded, public comment has been taken, and at this week's city council meeting the council will consider a resolution recommending to the Sound Transit Board of Directors that it move ahead with this alignment and these stations for the expansion of the Tacoma Link line. The project is partially funded by ST2, but the rest of the funding will need to be lined up before it can be built. 

Of potential interest are a few issues raised by the Planning and Transportation commissions - particularly a difference of opinion on the need for a station stop at South 4th and Stadium Way, and a suggestion that the Hilltop might benefit from an additional stop at South 15th and MLK. The commissions are still recommending that planning continue to move forward for the proposed alignment, but these questions linger... http://www.exit133.com/articles/view/link-expansion-plans-move-forward-questions-lingerRead more here.

 

Citizens' Forum

It's time again for the citizens of Tacoma to share their thoughts on anything over which the city council has jurisdiction.

 

Other Items

An ordinance on this week's council meeting consent agenda for a final reading would approve and confirm the assessment and assessment roll for LID No. 8648 for the construction of permanent pavement with curbs and necessary storm drainage on South 69th Street, from Durango Street to South Madison Street, and on South Proctor Street from South 69th Street north approximately 225 feet.

A second ordinance on the consent agenda for a first reading would vacate the alley between East 25th Street and East 26th Street from the east margin of East G Street to the west margin of East J Street, for construction of the Sound Transit Tacoma Trestle Replacement Project. This major project has been in the works for several years now, and will result in a widened and upated trestle for trains, including the Sounder and Amtrak Cascades, to cross more efficiently than the old single-track trestle.

A purchase resolution on this week's regular council meeting agenda would award a $490,398 contract, budgeted from the Transportation Capital Fund, for the East Tacoma PCB Cleanup Project Phase I. This project would begin the work of removing and replacing contaminated materials responsible for intermittent elevated levels of PCBs in the stormwater system serving the Thea Foss Watershed. The elevated levels of the pollutant were determined to be coming from  PCB-containing tar sealant used as a seal between the asphalt pavement and the concrete curb and gutter during a roadway construction project completed in 1975.

An ordinance implementing rates of pay and compensation for non-represented employees and employees represented by the Professional and Technical Employees, Local 17, and changes to reflect the organizational structure, which got its first reading last week is scheduled for a final reading at this week's council meeting.


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