Pierce County residents are invited to learn about and provide feedback on proposed updates to the Frederickson, Mid-County, Parkland-Spanaway-Midland and South Hill Community Plans at an April 13 open house.
Community plans provide direction on how growth and development will be handled. The plans address topics such as zoning, transportation, the look and feel of the community, and access to services and amenities.
Using community feedback gathered over the last few years, Pierce County and the Land Use Advisory Commissions for the four areas have drafted proposed updates to the plans and development regulations.
“Central Pierce County continues to grow,” said Dennis Hanberg, Pierce County Planning and Public Works director. “The community must plan for this growth to maintain a livable community that reflects the values of its residents. Involvement from community members is crucial to ensure the final plans reflect the character, vision and goals of each community.”
The open house will be held at the Pierce County Skills Center, 16117 Canyon Road E in Puyallup. The community can stop by any time between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to view displays and talk to staff. Short presentations will be made at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. An online version of the open house is available at www.piercecountywa.gov/cpupdate.
Significant proposed changes
The proposed changes include focusing growth along several major transportation corridors: Pacific Avenue/State Route 7, Meridian/State Route 161, 176th Street East, 112th Street East and Canyon Road East.
These areas would be zoned as a Center or Corridor. Centers are central gathering places for the community where people can live, work and access services, while Corridors would be areas for residential, commercial and employment uses designed to connect people to Centers.
Zoning changes are also proposed for significant portions of the community plan areas. About 22,000 property owners have been notified of a potential zoning change on or within 300 feet of their property.
Zoning guides what can be built on a property, property size and building placement, and what types of uses are allowed in the area. Property owners can visit www.piercecountywa.gov/cpupdate and click on “Interactive Map of Changes” to see if there is a proposed zone change for their property.
Draft Environmental Impact Statement available soon
Pierce County will issue a Draft Environmental Impact Statement the second week of April for the draft community plans. Environmental Impact Statements evaluate the impacts of changes to plans and zoning and provide ways to reduce any identified impacts.
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement will have an extended 45-day comment period. Visit www.piercecountywa.gov/cpupdate the second week of April for a link to the document and information on how to provide comments. A Final Environmental Impact Statement will be prepared to provide additional information in response to comments received.
Residents will have several opportunities throughout 2019 to weigh in on the proposed changes.
The four Land Use Advisory Commissions are expected to hold public meetings this spring to gather feedback. After considering public testimony, each commission will make a final recommendation on their plan.
Next, the Planning Commission is expected to hold public hearings in late spring or early summer and send its final recommendation to the Pierce County Council. The council is then expected to hold hearings, determine whether to adopt changes, and set an effective date.
Check the meeting calendar at www.piercecountywa.gov/cpupdate for meeting information.
To learn more about the proposed updates, community members can call the Community Plans Hotline at (253) 798-2799, email CommunityPlans@piercecountywa.gov, or send a letter to Pierce County Planning and Public Works, Attn: Long Range Planning, 2401 S 35th St., Suite 2, Tacoma, WA 98409.
Sheryl Rhinehart, Planning and Public Works public information specialist