Monday, October 3, 2011

Jobs Coalition Carries Message on Shorelines

A resoundingly successful Public Hearing on the preliminary Tacoma Shoreline Master Program Update Tuesday, September 27!

The State has mandated all jurisdictions update their Shoreline Master Program (SMP). Tacoma is in the final stages of that mandate. After the public hearing, written comments are accepted. The vote for final adoption is scheduled for November 22.

Written comments may be made to:
The Honorable Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Councilmembers
City of Tacoma
747 Market St., Ste. 1200
Tacoma, WA 98402

Tacoma uses as its zoning plan a series of numbered shoreline districts where different uses and different standards are mandated. There are several issues and preliminary recommendations (adopted by the Tacoma Planning Commission) needing opposition or support.  The Chamber, businesses, labor and environmental interests all made comments directly addressing the issues of jobs, assisting local businesses and workers.

Encapsulated observations:

No one spoke against retaining these provisions of the preliminary shorelines plan:
1. Log storage in Commencement Bay
2. NuStar all into one zone, the S-10 District
3. Allowing existing businesses in S-8 District to expand
4. Public Access requires nexus and proportionality with the burden of proof on the City

No one spoke against these changes to improve the preliminary shorelines plan:
1. S-10 District along the East Foss Peninsula to Murray Morgan Bridge
2. A barrier at E. D Street between S-8 District and M-2 zoning areas, as per earlier Council Resolution

Focus of the opposition, contrary to the best choices of keeping jobs and businesses in Tacoma:
1. Favored moving Sperry Ocean to S-6 from S-7 District, making it a non-conforming use
2. Shoreline walkway from Old Town to Foss Wty.

There were 37 people who commented in support of Chamber positions, in whole or part. There were 17 people (incl. two children), who commented exclusively on the proposal to move Sperry into the S-6 District or for a shoreline walkway from Old Town to the Foss Waterway.  A spot rezone of the Sperry Ocean property, making it a non-conforming use, will impede its ability to secure future financing, permits and leases - significantly harming that business and jeopardizing the jobs there.

Just as at the earlier public hearing before the Planning Commission, NO ONE spoke against any of the Chamber’s and businesses’ preferences in the E. Foss Peninsula (S-8 or S-10 Districts).

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