Tacoma City Council Meeting - April 7, 2015



Resolution No. 39161 A resolution approving the final plat of Applewood West, a 14-lot residential subdivision located at 4033 East Howe Street.


Ordinance No. 28292 An ordinance vacating a portion of Jefferson Avenue south of South 17th Street, for pedestrian and bicycle improvements, landscaping, traffic management, parking and vehicle access to the University of Washington-Tacoma campus and adjacent buildings.

The consent agenda was adopted without comment. The above ordinance will get a second hearing at a date to be determined.



Tuesday, April 7, 2015 was proclaimed as National Service Recognition Day in the City of Tacoma in recognition of the positive impacts of national service on the community, as done by more than 800 participants at 74 separate locations here in Tacoma. Mayor Strickland encouraged residents to recognize the impact of national service on their communities, and to thank those who serve and have served.



No comment this week.




Resolution No. 39162 A resolution appointing Lawrence Coleman and Dion Thomas to the City Events and Recognitions Committee.

The City Events and Recognition Committee organizes and supports two events currently: the City of Destiny Awards and the City of Tacoma’s Martin Luther King Junior Day event. They are considering expanding the committee’s work to include more events in the future. Thomas and Coleman will represent districts 4 and 5, respectively.



Resolution No. 39163 A resolution awarding a contract to Retail Lockbox, Inc., in the amount of $350,000, sales tax not applicable, 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.

The purchase resolution was adopted without comment.



Resolution No. 39164 A resolution approving the recommendations of the Co-Chairs of the Affordable Housing Policy Advisory Group for updating its membership and extending its term through December 2015.

The AHPAG created by the council in 2010 to advise the City on issues related to affordable housing in Tacoma. The group has developed a body of recommendations relating to affordable housing policy, and has been working with various City departments on implementation. The City’s Planning and Development Services department has been working with the AHPAG on items related to planning and zoning, including as they relate to the Comprehensive Plan. This year’s updates to the plan include items related to residential infill, and affordable housing incentives and bonuses.

Some membership of the group has changed, and co-chairs of the committee have requested approval of those changes, and that the group’s term be extended to match the 2015 plan amendment process. The resolution approving those requests was adopted without council comment.


Resolution No. 39165 A resolution authorizing the execution of a Multi-Family Housing Eight-Year Limited Property Tax Exemption Agreement with 252 Metropolitan, LLC, for the development of 139 multi-family market-rate rental units to be located at 252 Broadway in the Downtown Mixed-Use Center.

The resolution grants the developer of the next phase of the Metropolitan at 252 Broadway an 8-year property tax exemption on the new construction of a 139-unit market-rate apartment project. The new project will include 44 studio units and 95 one bedroom, one bath units and 141 on-site residential parking stalls. The units are expected to rent for between $670 and $1,725 per month. Construction is expected to begin this June, with completion expected by early 2017. The land under the new building will continue to pay property taxes, and at the end of eight years the building will go back on the tax rolls.

As Councilmember Mello observed, the project will benefit from the North Downtown Subarea Plan and Environmental Impact Statement, which lays the groundwork for development in the area, including an area-wide environmental impact assessment, saving developers the effort and time of navigating those processes on a project-by-project basis.


Resolution No. 39166 A resolution authorizing the execution of a Multi-Family Housing 12-Year Limited Property Tax Exemption Agreement with A&A Property Holdings, LLC, for the development of 18 multi-family market-rate rental housing units to be located at 4020 South Puget Sound Avenue in the Tacoma Mall Mixed-Use Center.

This resolution grants the developer a 12-year property tax exemption on the new construction of the 18 units with 18 on-site parking stalls. All 18 units will be three-bedroom, two bath, and are expected to rent at around $1,150 per month. The project qualifies for the 12-year property tax exemption, rather than the eight, as it is expected to rent out at least 20% of its units to families earning 80% or less of the Pierce County Area Median Income.



Ordinance No. 28291 An ordinance amending Chapter 1.12 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Compensation Plan, to implement rates of pay and compensation for employees represented by the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Union, Transportation Division.

The ordinance was passed without comment.



Ordinance No. 28293 An ordinance repealing and reenacting Chapter 8.122 of the Municipal Code, relating to Noise Enforcement, to update the purpose and add a definition for continuous sound; provide clarification regarding variances and appeals; and revise the penalty section to allow for escalation of penalties for repeat offenses within a 12-month period.

Following a comprehensive review of Tacoma’s 2008 noise code as it compares to similar codes across the country, changes are being recommended to ensure that Tacoma’s code is responsive to local issues and in line with what is done in other jurisdictions. Changes would clarify purpose, do administrative cleanup of the code, make changes to enforcement authority, and to the exemptions section.

 A section defining the purpose of the code was added to clarify the City’s objectives. A definition of “continuous sound” was also added to help with enforcement for non-impulsive noise. Changes also clarify that enforcement authority falls to Neighborhoods and Community Services, rather than Public Works.

Changes were made to the section on variances, including a clarification that variances are intended to be limited in duration, and the addition of an appeal right for variance decisions.

Under violations and penalties, timelines have been added for correction and submission of a noise plan, and language allowing for an extension where necessary. Further adjustments have been made to add escalating penalties for repeat offenders

Several changes were also made to the section on exemptions, including the addition of “city landmark” to the exemption for unamplified bells, and the addition of a new exemption to allow stand-by generators to operate as necessary during emergencies. Another exemption was also added for “watercraft engaged in commerce and the associated loading and unloading activities.”

Special events was an area that got some special attention as the code was reviewed. Under the special events permitting process, applicants can request a variance that allows for event-related noise to continue past 10 p.m.

Councilmember Thoms mentioned a desire to make some modifications to the proposed changes, so we'll see if any of those come through in next week's final reading



City Manager Broadnax shared some information on the reinstatement of the Neighborhood Small Innovative Grant Program after a two year break from soliciting new projects.

During that break staff was able to work through the backlog of 86 projects, and to identify improvements for the program. Broadnax thanked staff for their hard work and the neighborhood councils for understanding the budget situation the City was in.

The grant program is now back, and open for applications through May 1. Read more about the Neighborhood Small Innovative Grant Program, and link to the application here.



Economic Development Committee – Councilmember Campbell shared recent work of the committee.

  • Conducted interviews for the City Events and Recognition Committee and the Tacoma Arts Commission.
  • Heard a couple updates on the Foss Waterway Development Authority
  • Made a recommendation for an interim appointment to the FWDA board
  • Received an economic indicators report for the fourth quarter of 2014

At its next meeting the committee will receive an update on Spaceworks and discuss an appointment for the Tacoma Arts Commission.

Councilmember Lonergan invited everyone to join him for the District 5 Comprehensive Plan open house that will be held at Gray Middle School this Thursday, April 9, at 6 p.m. It’s the third of the five Comprehensive Plan open houses, one for each of the districts.

Deputy Mayor Boe invited everyone to another meeting this Thursday – this one will be a town hall meeting on the proposal to turn operation of Click! over to Wave Broadband. That meeting will be at Stadium High School this Thursday at 7:30 p.m., and there will be a second meeting on the issue in two weeks at TPU HQ.

Councilmember Campbell invited everyone to join in a work party for Tacoma’s food forest in Swan Creek Park this Sunday, April 12 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Mayor Strickland reminded everyone that this Saturday is the Daffodil Festival Parade. It will be in Tacoma at 10 a.m., then in Puyallup, Sumner, and Orting.


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

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