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Tacoma City Council Meeting - October 28, 2014



Resolution No. 39036 A resolution setting Monday, November 17, 2014, at 5:00 p.m., as the date for a hearing by the Hearing Examiner regarding Local Improvement District (LID) 8661 for the placement of new asphalt and other improvements on Proctor Street from North 38th Street north to the dead end. [Ralph Rodriguez, LID Administrator; Kurtis D. Kingsolver, P.E., Director, Public Works]

The consent agenda was adopted without comment.



November 2014 was proclaimed as Hip Hop History Month in Tacoma. Sadly there was no performance in Council chambers, but there’s still the whole month of November to catch one…

November 1, 2014 was proclaimed as Job Carr Day, in honor of the first non-native settler to make his home on the shores of Commencement Bay. Carr is described as always maintaining an abiding faith in the beauty and greatness of Tacoma, from the day he first saw the shores of what is now Old Town, and declared, “eureka!”

Tacoma firefighters presented the Muscular Dystrophy Association with a check for $47,862.05 they raised from the Tacoma community for MDA this year in their annual TFD Fill the Boot campaign. You may have come across them collecting donations at 38th and Steele Street by the mall.



Sharon Winters of Historic Tacoma spoke in support of the addition of three public school buildings and her own home to the Tacoma Register of Historic Places. Winters described preservation of all four buildings as important for both their architectural and historic importance to Tacoma, and expressed a hope that the historic school buildings would continue to be used.




Resolution No. 39037 A resolution declaring surplus and authorizing the execution of a Quit Claim Deed, to convey approximately 3.2 acres of saltwater tidelands property located on Hood Canal in Mason County, owned by the Department of Public Utilities, to the Skokomish Tribe in exchange for the perpetual use of a portion of adjacent Tribe property. [Gloria Fletcher, Sr. Real Estate Officer; Ted Coates, Power Superintendent]

This resolution authorizes the trade of a piece of property owned by Tacoma Water to the Skokomish Tribe, which owns the adjacent land, in exchange for the Tribe allowing Tacoma Water to use a strip of their property which has been determined to be a more efficient discharge route for the fishery. 


Resolution No. 39038 A resolution approving the designation of the following four properties as historic landmarks and placing said properties on the Tacoma Register of Historic Places: McKinley Hill Elementary School located at 3720 McKinley Avenue, Oakland Elementary School located at 3319 South Adams Street, Hoyt Elementary School located at 2708 North Union, and Shaw House located at 2500 North Lawrence Street. [Reuben McKnight, Historic Preservation Officer; Peter Huffman, Director, Planning and Development Services]

Historic Tacoma submitted the nominations for the three school buildings for their importance embodying the history of educational facilities in Tacoma. The buildings reflect the changing attitudes and philosophies of education, the work of notable Tacoma architects, and stand as landmarks in their neighborhoods.

McKinley, built in 1908, and Oakland, built in 1912, are both the work of Frederick Heath who designed a total of 18 schools for the district.

Hoyt, built in 1957, is one of only two remaining Tacoma schools designed by Robert B Price, a Tacoma native and nationally-known mid-century architect. Although Price designed many buildings for the district, Hoyt and Hunt are the only two that remain. Hoyt was considered very cutting-edge when it was built. Now that Washington Elementary has reopened after an impressive remodel, the school district intends to use Hoyt as an early learning center in the ECAP program, following a renovation within the next couple years.

Public comment on the nominations was predominantly positive, with two negative comments. The addition of the school buildings to the register means that future exterior modifications will have to pass Landmarks Preservation Commission review, and buildings will qualify for a number of special tax considerations. Demolition of the buildings would be possible, but only with LPC approval and mitigation. Another option, particularly for the lighter, wood-construction Hoyt, would be relocation of the historic building to another location.

The Shaw House, nominated by its owners, was built in 1901, with significant modifications made throughout the 1930s by Tacoma architect Stanley T. Shaw when he lived there.


Resolution No. 39039 A resolution authorizing the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians regarding project cooperation and construction for street overlay work at East Roosevelt Avenue and Wright Avenue, and the paving of an alley in the 3100 block of East Roosevelt Avenue. [Rae Bailey, Division Manager; Kurtis D. Kingsolver, P.E., Director, Public Works] 

The agreement between the City and the Tribe covers street repair work at the intersection, which Councilmember Campbell called some of the most complained about roads in his district, and paving of the nearby alley. The City will do the work, with the Tribe reimbursing the City for the cost with federal funds designated for improvements to streets and alleys that serve tribal facilities.



Ordinance No. 28253 An ordinance requesting the Washington State Liquor Control Board to recognize the West End Alcohol Impact Area passed by Ordinance No. 28135; and imposing restrictions on off-premises alcohol sales to reduce chronic public inebriation. [Lieutenant Mark Feddersen; Donald Ramsdell, Chief, Police Department]

The AIA will prohibit the sale of certain alcohol products within its boundaries, making compliance mandatory, following a failed voluntary compliance period.

Councilmember Lonergan was the sole vote against the creation of a mandatory AIA. He explained that it’s not that he believes the AIA won’t work for the area included in the ban, but that he worries about the impacts on surrounding areas when the problem is pushed out of the West End.

TPD explained that the process for creation of an AIA, as laid out by the State, requires a series of steps, including concerns from the community, and the gathering and analysis of data on the problem of chronic public inebriation. West End residents were proactively involved in the creation of this AIA, and the officer said that South End and other neighborhoods could do the same if they felt the need for the rules to be extended to their areas.

Mayor Strickland indicated that if she had her way, sales of the products would be banned citywide. It sounds like if neighborhoods follow the state procedures, that could very well happen. 



Ordinance No. 28254 An ordinance amending Chapter 1.12 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Compensation Plan, to correct wages contained in Ordinance No. 28238, for employees represented by District Lodge #160, on behalf of Local Lodge #297, of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, General Unit, retroactive to January 1, 2014. [Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]

The ordinance would authorize a correction to the pay plan enacted in an ordinance passed in August, in which the pay scale was incorrectly calculated at 1.2%, rather than 2%, as it should have been. 


Ordinance No. 28255 An ordinance repealing and reenacting Chapter 2.01 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Minimum Building and Structures Code, to provide consistency with state and national codes, allow for abatement under the substandard property section, and add a section on derelict building registration; and amending Chapters 8.35, 8.122, 11.05, and 13.05 of the Municipal Code to update section references. [Lisa Wojtanowicz, Division Manager; Nadia Chandler Hardy, Director, Neighborhood and Community Services]

The code establishes minimum standards for existing buildings in Tacoma. The changes proposed here come out of a review of the code, aligning Tacoma’s standards with state and national ones. Beyond updating for consistency, the proposed changes also give options for abatement in cases where exterior issues are a problem. The changes also would give the City another tool for holding property owners accountable in instances of derelict buildings with a certificate of complaint. Owners of these properties would have to register them at $250 the first year, and $500 in subsequent years.

Enforcement of the code is complaint-based. When a complaint is filed, the City inspects the buildings from the adjacent right-of-way, only considering exterior conditions of properties. Interiors are only considered with property owner permission, or in cases of landlord-tenant disputes.



Neighborhoods and Housing Committee – Councilmember Walker reported on recent issues covered by the committee.

  • Neighborhood and Community Services presented on efforts by the City and community partners to safely clean and monitor homeless encampments.
  • NCS also presented on the Minimum Building and Structures Code changes covered under the above ordinance.
  • Heard an overview of the above nominations to the Tacoma Register of Historic Places
  • Received a presentation on the update of a mental health positive interactions business outreach program, in which the City and partners provide resources to the business community to address a range of issues.
  • Staff gave an informational update at request of council regarding garage sale policies and procedures in Tacoma.

At its next meeting the committee will hold interviews for open positions on the Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority, and hear a presentation on rapid graffiti removal evaluation and recommendations.

Deputy Mayor Woodards gave a reminder that with the end of October, the City and community partners are wrapping up the COURAGE Initiative this Friday at noon with a silent rally in Tollefson Plaza in honor of victims of domestic violence. The public is invited to come, wear purple, bring signs, and otherwise join in the event to raise awareness of domestic violence. If you can’t make it to the rally, you can still wear purple, and take a moment of silence for victims.

Councilmember Boe reminded us that with daylight savings changes coming up, this weekend is the time to set your clocks back and change the batteries in your smoke alarms. Boe also had a few other reminders to share.

  • The final Broadway Farmers’ Market of 2014 is this Thursday.
  • The Proctor Farmers’ Market continues through Christmas.
  • With Halloween coming up this Friday, be mindful of all the trick-or-treaters out and about in your neighborhoods, including at Proctor Treats this Friday in the Proctor District from 4 to 6 p.m.

Mayor Strickland reminded everyone who hasn’t voted yet to take the time to thoroughly consider all the issues on the ballot, and go vote. Now.


For more on the items on the agenda, see our City Business Preview for the week.

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