Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tugging the Foss's Land Use

The Tacoma Council's Environment and Public Works Committee yesterday (among other things) took up again the East Thea Foss Transportation Corridor Study & Potential LID Stakeholder Outreach.

The Chamber spent 18 months as the point of the spear expending staff time and political capital for the amendment process of the City's Comprehensive Land Use Plan in order to reserve the Foss Industrial Peninsula for industrial and compatible uses (e.g. no residential or hotel/motel). Then, the Chamber along with other stateholder representatives - the Foss Waterway Development Authority and the Port of Tacoma - spent three years in development of the transportation plan which was an element in the compromise leading to the successful Comprehensive Land Use Plan Amendment mentioned.

Despite this earnest commitment, businesses and landowners in the area had to respond to a red herring - closure of E. D Street to industrial traffic. This issue was thoroughly dealt with in the development of the E. Foss Transportation Plan as totally unacceptable.

Just as thoroughly dealt with in that plan was the need to address the deteriorated roadway throughout the Peninsula, but especially E. D Street. That need is exacerbated by the development of the Urban Waters/Puget Sound Partnership project, just recently begun with its groundbreaking. The LEED certification for the facility has mandated minimal parking and necessitated transit service - a challenge if not an impossibility given the current infrastructure.

The City's pledge to actively work with local businesses and property owners is a welcome action. Committee Chair and Councilmember Jake Fey and Councilmember Connie Ladenburg were both supportive of the existing businesses located there and of the opportunity to locate even more compatible users. Chair Fey declared there is not excuse for the present condition of the roads.

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