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Tacoma City Business Preview - Week of October 29, 2013

Marijuana - Land Use, Nuisance Code, & Licensing

As work to implement I-502 progresses at the state level, the City of Tacoma is making its own preparations to deal with the implications of legalized marijuana. The Planning Commission has been developing recommendations on the appropriate duration and scope for interim land use regulations dealing with the newly allowed classes of marijuana uses, as well as recommendation on the time period required for development of a longer-term solution.

At last week's City Council meeting, we heard public comment of varying relevance to the topic of land use regulations, as they relate to implementation of I-502 in Tacoma. This week's City Council study session includes a briefing on public hearing comments, Planning Commission recommendations, potential land use code modifications, and licensing and nuisance code updates.

At this week's regular meeting a first reading is scheduled for a pair of ordinances that would implement some of the regulations discussed so far. The first would adopt the proposed interim land use code regulations, which spell out where and how the City would allow the production, processing, and retail of recreational marijuana in Tacoma, and create a new use category of "urban horticulture."

The second would amend the Tacoma Municipal Code as it relates to nuisances, identifying nuisance activities related to recreational marijuana.


Sector 4 Police Station Sold?

We wrote last month that Tacoma's former sector four police substation was on the market, with the City looking for offers that met or exceeded a reduced minimum bid amount of $280,000. The City received two bids in this second round attempt to sell the former police station at 3524 McKinley Avenue, which is among the properties the City considers Tier 2 in priority. The winning bid came in at $285,000 from Alan Lynden, President and CEO of Chuckals Office Products.

A resolution on this week's agenda would authorize the Purchase and Sale Agreement and Restrictive Covenant for the sale of the property at that price. If the sale goes through after Chuckals completes due diligence on the deal, the office supply company would relocate to the site from its current downtown location.


2014 Ad Valorem Tax Public Hearing

The City of Tacoma is required by state law to annually approve the regular levies on property taxes for the following year. As part of that process, the City is required to hold a public hearing. A resolution on this week's City Council meeting consent agenda would set Tuesday, November 12 as the date for a public hearing by the City Council on the proposed Ad Valorem tax levies for 2014. .


Purchase Resolutions

A pair of purchase resolutions appear on this week's City Council agenda. The first would award $229,500, plus the option to renew for three additional one-year periods, for a cumulative total of $609,337, budgeted from the Wastewater Fund, for the purchase of liquid polyaluminum chloride. The bid for the recommended award came in at a whopping 49% below the pre-bid estimate. Apparently liquid polyaluminum chloride is "a high performance liquid coagulant used in the treatment of wastewater." So now you know.

The second purchase resolution would award $385,000 budgeted from the Surface Water 2006 Bond Construction Fund, for the construction of the Urban Forestry Landfill Plant Storage Area at the Tacoma Landfill. The project will include the construction of planting beds, irrigation, and other infrastructure in support of Surface Water programs including Urban Forestry, Open Space and the Residential Rain Garden programs. Supporting documents for the resolution state that growing plants and trees will provide better quality plants at a lesser cost for the programs mentioned. The project will also include the construction of a hoop house, which the City plans to use as a covered area public education program workshops, along with its green house capabilities.


Other Items

Another item on this week's Council study session agenda will be a third quarter financial report on the City's revenues and expenditures.

The Mayor will proclaim November 2013 as Art at Work: Tacoma Arts Month.

This week a final reading is scheduled for an ordinance that would grant a 10-year limited franchise to LightSpeed Networks, Inc. to construct, operate, maintain, remove, replace, and repair fiber-optic communications facilities within designated public right-of-way areas within the City of Tacoma. We heard the first reading of the ordinance at the October 8, Council meeting.

The final City of Tacoma Prop 1 info session will be held this Wednesday, October 30th, at 6:00 p.m., at The Nature Center. You've got one week to complete your ballot and get it in the mail for the November 5 election. Once you've voted, don't forget you can download your Pierce County Votes digital "sticker" for your Facebook or Twitter profiles. Or, if you want the real thing, we heard that Tinkertopia might just have a stash of the good old "I voted!" stickers available for you...



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