Tacoma City Council Meeting - March 22, 2016



Ordinance No. 28326 An ordinance amending Chapter 13.06 of the Municipal Code, relating to Zoning, to reclassify approximately a 1.85 acre area on Pacific Avenue currently zoned “T” Transitional District to “C-2” General Community Commercial District, to construct up to 120 apartment units with associated site improvements. (Benjamin Ryan Communities, LLC;

The consent agenda was adopted without comment.



Just one comment: David Schroedel from the Chamber noted that he was present to answer any questions relating to the ordinance renewing the downtown BIA.




Resolution No. 39404 A resolution awarding a contract to Tucci & Sons, Inc., in the amount of $1,775,699.92, sales tax not applicable, plus an 18 percent contingency, for a cumulative total of $2,100,000.00, budgeted from the Transportation Capital Fund, for construction of a shared-use trail adjacent to South Tacoma Way and re-channelization of the road between South C and South M Streets to provide a new pedestrian and bicycle facility.

Resolution No. 39405 A resolution awarding a contract to Ariba, Inc., in the amount of $3,136,585, plus sales tax, plus a 25 percent contingency, for a cumulative total of $3,920,731, budgeted from the Information Systems Fund, for software and implementation services for a procure-to-pay automation system, for an initial contract term ending December 31, 2020.

Resolution No. 39406 A resolution authorizing an increase to the contract with 3MW Studio LLP dba 3 Square Blocks, LLP, in the amount of $15,647.97, sales tax not applicable, for a cumulative total of $258,237.97, budgeted from the NEP Watershed Grant, along with a funding contribution by Pierce County to expand the study area, to provide additional assistance to the City in the development of the Tacoma Mall Neighborhood Subarea Plan and Environmental Impact Statement.

The first two purchase resolutions were adopted without comment. The third was removed without explanation. Based on a discussion from study session, the resolution was removed at staff request, so that it can come back at a future date to be consolidated with another adjustment to the project budget.



Resolution No. 39407 A resolution approving the City of Tacoma 2016 Strategic Policy Priorities and identifying the City’s role in related objectives and goals set by the Tacoma 2025 Advisory Committee.

The council-identified priorities for the year are arranged in a framework of overarching goals, which comes out of Tacoma 2025 The goals of Tacoma 2025, as identified by the citizens involved, are livability, economy and workforce, education, and civic engagement; all with an overlay of equity and accessibility. These goals provided the framework for council work to set their priorities. Both those goals and priorities will give direction to City departments, informing day-to-day operations, decision-making, and budgets going forward.

  • Livability – This goal envisions a Tacoma that is a “city of choice in the region,” with complete neighborhoods, transportation options, arts and culture, and healthy residents; while still remaining affordable.  Supporting priorities include passage of ST3; construction of the Link expansion; implementation of the streets maintenance program funded by voters last fall; addressing poverty, affordable housing, and homelessness issues; and a few others.
  • Economy and workforce – This goal aims for a growing economy with plenty of family wage jobs in key industries, where Tacoma is again “a community of choice” for employers, highly skilled workers, and people looking for training and education. The priorities for this goal center on Hilltop and Lincoln District revitalization projects.
  • Education – The goal is for Tacoma to lead the region in producing more high school and college graduates, with more college grads finding employment in the region.
  • Civic engagement – This goal sees more Tacoma residents as engaged participants in civic affairs, with a city leadership, both paid and volunteer, that reflects Tacoma’s population in the decisions it makes. A major priority under this category is the implementation of the results of Project PEACE.
  • Equity and diversity – This goal supports a Tacoma where all residents are treated equitably and have access to services, facilities, and financial stability. Priorities listed include addressing social inequities, and addressing equity as it relates to City hiring and contracting.

There was a not insignificant discussion at this week’s study session in which a few council members raised issues they would like to see included in the list, but which they felt were underrepresented. Specifically, new Council Member McCarthy felt that not enough weight had been placed on issues relating to job creation and the City’s relationship with local businesses in relation to this issue, and to challenges around permitting and other obstacles to business success. Council Member Lonergan also raised concerns that public safety had not been included in a prominent enough position to reflect the public concern he hears around the issue.

It was pointed out that while these are listed as council priorities, and they will inform decision-making going forward, they are not the only items that will get action from the City. That said, normally, after the council retreat where these priorities are set, there would have been a discussion of the final priorities list at Committee of the Whole, however, that committee has been discontinued, and so that conversation didn’t take place. That skipped step did seem to leave a couple of council members still with some dissatisfaction, but maybe things will go more smoothly next year.

An amendment was made to add “safe” under the goal of livability, and that a metric around public safety and crime reduction be added to the measurements component.

Next steps from here are for department goals and budgets to be aligned with the direction set by this process, and for metrics and strategies to be identified and implemented to accomplish the stated goals and priorities.



Ordinance No. 28350 An ordinance continuing the downtown Business Improvement Area (BIA) for the 29th year, providing for the levy of assessments and other income in the amount of $853,318; and approving the renewed BIA work plan, budget, and assessment of rates from May 1, 2016 through April 30, 2017.

If adopted at next week’s council meeting, this would renew the BIA for its 29th year, okaying the levying of assessments on BIA members, and the budget and work plan for spending funds collected.  BIA members are property owners within the 84-block BIA district. The items funded by the budget and addressed by the work plan come from issues identified as important by the members of the BIA. This year that includes keeping the Link free through September.



City Manager Broadnax reported that on Tuesday, March 29, at 6 p.m. at the Main Branch of the Tacoma Public Library, the City will be hosting a public forum on reducing the use of disposable shopping bags in Tacoma. Members of the public are invited to attend, to comment on the language of a proposed draft ordinance, and accompanying implementation plan. The ordinance is based on Bellingham’s model for reducing the use of disposable bags. It would include a ban on disposable plastic shopping bags and the charging of a fee for the use of carry-out bags. Read more here.



Economic Development Committee – Council Member Campbell reported on the recent work of the committee.

  • Heard Puyallup Tribe plans to redevelop the Emerald Queen Casino
  • Heard a staff update on the catalytic fund project list
  • Received a presentation of the economic dashboard report from the 4th quarter of 2015
  • Heard from local businesses about jobs being created in the industrial sector
  • Passed a motion to council allowing Tacoma to take advantage of the State’s Local Revitalization Financing Program

Council Member Campbell also reported on a few events:

  • Last weekend’s Healthy Homes Healthy Neighborhoods breakfast celebration at Lincoln High School was well attended, with more than 125 people coming out to hear about plans for improvements in the Lincoln District.
  • Also last weekend, the first ever Latino Town Hall held at Mount Tahoma brought out more than 150 people talk about the challenges Latinos face in Tacoma. Those challenges included concerns shared with most of Tacoma around education, jobs, and housing; as well as added challenges including language barriers. A second town hall is planned at some point in the future.
  • Coming up: A poetry event on the Eastside. Anyone interested should send him an email.

Deputy Mayor Mello highlighted an event coming up this Thursday, March 24, at Courthouse Square (the Downtown Post Office Building) from 6 to 8 p.m. Supporters of a comprehensive trail network connecting Mount Rainier to Point Defiance will be hosting Tahoma to Tacoma, a conversation about the trails network, releasing a report quantifying the benefits of connected trail network, and giving updates on improvements to segments of this trail system. Read more here.



For more on the items on this week’s agenda, see our City Business Preview.

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