Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shorelines Update: Some Wins, More Battles Ahead

The Tacoma Planning Commission has approved its recommendations to the Tacoma City Council for update of the Shoreline Master Program.

Unexpectedly, the Planning Commission did recommend some of the major points advocated by the Chamber and local businesses impacted by these regulations/zoning decisions. However, this process is not over. There are gains to defend and wrongs to right.

The Gains-to-Defend included:

1. NuStar property placed all into the S-10 industrial/terminals zone

2. All industrial businesses in S-8 mixed development zone can expand beyond its present property lines.

3. Deleted requirement for an Esplanade north of E. 15th Street on the E. Foss bank.

While not entirely satisfactory, the gains are major accomplishments that must be defended. We never thought the Planning Commission would choose the Chamber's recommendations on anything!

There are still Wrongs-to-Right. State law (WAC 173-26-211(5)(d), states “Priority given first to water-dependent uses, then to water-related and water-enjoyment uses.” This mandate has not been followed.

For instance, the Planning Commission:
4. Moved the zoning district for the Sperry Ocean Terminal into S-6 (recreation and pedestrian oriented), out of S-7 (industrial and terminal uses) resulting in a non-conforming use.

5. Still has no barrier along E. D Street to separate S-8 and M-2 Districts as specified in Council Resolution No. 36702, adopted in 2005.

As always, we knew that these issues would be decided by the City Council. The Council is scheduled for a Study Session on August 30 to discuss these issues and will have a public hearing September 27 to give all citizens, business and labor representatives a final opportunity to convince them of the rightness of their positions.

If you want help on background or identifying who your Council member is representing where your business is or where you live, contact Gary Brackett, 253-682-1720 for assistance.

No comments:

Post a Comment