Tacoma City Council Meeting - September 29, 2015



Resolution No. 39272 A resolution setting Thursday, November 5, 2015, at 9:00 a.m., as the date for a hearing by the Hearing Examiner on the request to vacate the alley between East D Street and East E Street, north of Puyallup Avenue and south of the BNSF Railway Company property and the terminus of City right-of-way, for a passenger drop-off and bus zone.

The consent agenda was adopted without comment.



October 2015 was proclaimed as Tacoma Arts Month. The month-long celebration of the arts in Tacoma will include hundreds of events and opportunities for the public to engage with all sorts of art forms in Tacoma, including visual arts, dance, theater, music, glass blowing and more.

Everyone is encouraged to get out and enjoy the arts in Tacoma. Find calendars around town, or go to tacomaartsmonth.com for listings of events and arts opportunities. The month kicks off with an opening party at the Tacoma Armory at South 11th and Yakima. The opening party is free and open to the public of all ages, with entertainment, light snacks, and a no-host bar.

October 2015, and every October thereafter, was also proclaimed as Filipino American History Month in honor of the contribution of Filipino Americans to Tacoma and the US.



No comment.




Resolution No. 39273 A resolution authorizing the execution of an amendment to the contract with Pape Machinery, Inc., in the amount of $200,000, plus sales tax, for a cumulative total of $400,000, budgeted from various departmental funds, to extend the contract for occasional warranty and non-warranty services, repairs, and parts for the City’s John Deere equipment on an as-needed basis through November 30, 2017.

The item was adopted without comment.



Resolution No. 39274 A resolution authorizing the execution of an agreement with Pierce County, in the amount of $875,000, budgeted from the Solid Waste Fund, to provide household hazardous waste collection services to Pierce County residents, for an initial five-year term, with the option to renew for one additional two-year term, for a projected contract total of $1,225,000; and providing for 100 percent reimbursement by Pierce County, beginning January 1, 2016.

This agreement replaces an existing agreement, allowing Tacoma Solid Waste to continue to serve county residents in an arrangement in effect since 1994. 



Ordinance No. 28321 An ordinance amending Chapter 8.66 of the Municipal Code, relating to Weapons, to permit the possession of air guns, air rifles, B-B guns, and slingshots, while preserving the misdemeanor offense of discharging or shooting such items in the City; and allow for a limited exception for the discharge of air guns, air rifles, and B-B guns for recreational purposes in an indoor, licensed business facility.

The ordinance was adopted without further comment.



Ordinance No. 28322 An ordinance adopting the Six-Year Comprehensive Transportation Improvement Program Amended 2014-2015 for 2016-2021.

The state requires cities to have 6-year transportation plans, and to amend those plans annually. The plan includes planned and budgeted transportation projects, including roadways, bridges, transportation facilities, sidewalks, and other transportation capital projects. The plan does not include maintenance work such as pothole and chip repairs.

This year’s plan removes 32 projects from last year’s list, including completed projects, those consolidated with other projects, and some no longer a priority. Other projects carry over from the previous year, and 22 projects are new to this year’s plan – some funded, some seeking funding.



This was the date set for a public hearing by the City Council on proposed amendments to the Municipal Code relating to live/work and work/live units.

Changes to Tacoma’s municipal code re are being proposed related to live/work and work/live units.

As Deputy Mayor Boe clarified, live/work spaces are units zoned for residential use, for which an exception has been made to allow up to half to be used for commercial purposes by the resident. Work/live spaces, on the other hand, are commercially zoned units in which an exception has been made to allow the business owner or operator to live in up to half of the space. Establishing these hybrid uses allows for flexibility in occupation of properties without triggering a change of use, and associated requirements.

The intent of the proposed changes is to streamline the code for reuse of existing buildings, while also supporting safe occupation of these buildings. The intent is also to allow flexibility of uses to provide affordable options for individuals wishing to consolidate business and living spaces, reducing commute times, and saving money. The changes are meant to promote sustainability and historic preservation through adaptive reuse, particularly of Tacoma’s older, historic, and potentially historic buildings.

Many of the proposed amendments come out of a consultant’s study evaluating barriers in existing code.

Only one commenter spoke – the author of that study. He talked about the long history of people living and working in one place, and about other cities around the country making changes to allow these types of hybrid uses. He explained the benefits he found, both for historic preservation, and for property owners looking to lower barriers to occupancy.

He encouraged the council to keep the changes that would include new construction to qualify for the live/work and work/live uses, rather than limiting them to only existing and historic structures. He talked about challenges developers face, particularly around first floor retail requirements, saying that Tacoma’s market currently lacks sufficient demand from retailers to support this kind of development. This lack of demand, he said, could in part be mitigated by allowing for residential uses in spaces, which would be built to code, and at some point could transition to full commercial use.



City Manager Broadnax reported on two grants awarded to City of Tacoma departments

  • Tacoma Police’s “Tacoma If” project was awarded a $69,000 micro grant. The If program provides education and support to at-risk youth and their parents to help them make good choices.
  • Tacoma’s Neighborhoods and Community Services Department’s gang reduction program was awarded $241,000 for its work.

Broadnax also congratulated the mayor on her recent welcome/keynote speech at an International City/County Management Association conference. 



Infrastructure, Planning, and Sustainability Committee – Councilmember Mello reported on topics recently addressed by the committee.

  • Code changes related to work/live and live/work uses
  • Interviews and recommendations of applicants for the Board of Building Appeals
  • Renewal of an Interlocal agreement with 16 local governments in King County related to salmon recovery efforts in the Green River watershed
  • A new community solar initiative from Tacoma Power, which will allow customers like the idea of solar power, but who don’t want it at their homes to participate in a community effort
  • Possible transfer of property from city to Puyallup tribe to allow the City to rebuild a bridge from the tideflats into Fife
  • The wrap up of phase 1 of Pedestrian Crossing Project
  • A preview of Phase 2 of Pedestrian Crossing project

At its next meeting the committee will hear final code change recommendations related to live/work/work/live issues, and a briefing on 2015 Comprehensive Plan updates.

Councilmember Campbell had several items to share.

  • Eastside farmers market – this Wednesday is (was) the last day for the 2015 season
  • Next phase of the DePave project in the McKinley neighborhood – depaving is done, and at 9 am this Saturday, volunteers will replace it with trees and
  • Eastside Project Peace – on October 5 at Lincoln High School

Councilmember Woodards filled in the details on the Lincoln Peace event

  • Eastside Project Peace – the event will be held at Lincoln, but is open to all to join in discussions with police, city staff, and with community members
  • October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month – the month of events and education kicks off the Courage Campaign this Friday at Tollefson Plaza at noon.

Deputy Mayor Boe reminded us that Tacoma Arts Month kicks off on Thursday at 6 p.m. with free opening party festivities at the Tacoma Armory at Tacoma Ave and 11th.

Councilmember Thoms was absent from this week’s meeting.


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

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