Friday, October 24, 2008

Shoreline Open House Focus

Last night's Shoreline Master Program update focused on rehabilitation and public access, especially for the Foss Waterway's S-8 shoreline district. That district encompasses the industrial northeasterly portion of the area.

An Open House is not an opportunity to present hard position statements to a public body, but rather an opportunity to discuss with City staff and their consultants the desires of interested and affected (not the same persons usually) parties.

Frank Erickson, Tacoma Youth Marine Center, was heard discussing the aspects of public access in the industrial northeasterly part of the S-8 shoreline district. His points: homeland security and industrial safety, registered. But, others commented that the public could simply walk around those areas!

Gary Brackett, the Chamber's Manager for Business and Trade, talked with another table group staffed by one of the City's consultants. He noted that the City had amended its Comprehensive Land Use plan to restrict the land north of E. 11th Street from residential and hotel-motel uses. Thus the most logical development was for industry like in the balance of the port-industrial area. But, he said that development was hampered for market forces taking advantage of economic opportunities by the inclusion in interim shoreline rules excluding property owners expanding industrial operations beyond property boundaries.

The Comprehensive Land Use Plan looks to market forces to allow development to influence the future land uses of the Foss Industrial Peninsula. But, the Shoreline Master Program interferes with market forces by trying to make the most logical uses uneconomic.

Brackett proposed that these land use restrictions be removed for the Foss Industrial Peninsula portion of the S-8 shoreline district, or that the area from E. 11th Street to the tip of the peninsula where it abuts the port-industrial S-10 district be included in that S-10 district.

What are your thoughts?

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