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Mixed-Use Centers Review (2007-2009)


Planning Commission Recommendation - October 21, 2009

The Planning Commission's recommendation was developed in response to and based on the direction provided by the City Council in Resolution No. 37835, a copy of which is attached to the Planning Commission's Recommendation. In accordance with the Council's direction, the Commission's recommendation includes defining the purpose and scope of a master plan, the potential costs to develop and implement a master plan, and evaluation criteria that could be used to prioritize the centers for master  planning.


The Commission's recommendations outline a three-phase approach to master planning the mixed-use centers. The first phase would be an evaluation of the various neighborhood centers to assess them and guide the prioritization process. The second phase would include working with the community to identify the specific issues and needs of each center, translate the Comprehensive Plan's framework into a more focused vision, and identify and prioritize public and community amenities, organizational approaches, and development tools that can be employed to help demonstrate and promote the vision. However, it is important to note the Commission's recommendation clearly states that the creation of a master plan is not the culmination of this process or the measure of success. A successful master plan will result in implementation and action, which can only come with a long-term commitment of resources and energy.


Mixed-Use Centers Review - Phase 2  

The City Council adopted the proposed revisions to the Mixed-Use Centers Zoning and Regulations on July 28, 2009, with Amended Ordinance No. 27818.

Planning Commission Recommendations
Volume 1 - Recommendations - May 20, 2009
Volume 2 - Public Hearing Record - August 6, 2008 
Volume 3 - Public Review Documents - July 9, 2008
Review Schedule as of May 7, 2009
Community Presentations - April to May 2009

Planning Commission Reviews (Post-Public Hearing from August 6, 2008)

Planning Commission Review Packet - May 20, 2009
Planning Commission Review Packet - May 6, 2009
Planning Commission Review Packet - April 15, 2009
Planning Commission Review Packet - April 1, 2009
Planning Commission Review packet - March 18, 2009
City Council Study Session Presentation - March 10, 2009
Planning Commission Review Packet - March 4, 2009
Planning Commission Review Packet - February 18, 2009
Planning Commission Review Packet - February 4, 2009
Background Overview Height Bonus - January 21, 2009
Oral and Written Public Testimony Received Through August 15, 2009

Planning Commission Public Hearing Related Documents - August 6, 2008

Notice of Public Hearing (8/6/08) and Informational Session - July 23, 2008
Staff Report (including attachments) for the Public Hearing - August 6, 2008
Public Review Document, July 9, 2008 (for Public Hearing on August 6, 2008)

Informational Session Handouts (July 23, 2008)
PowerPoint Presentation
Summary of Draft Code Amendments
Proposed Area-Wide Rezones
Draft Height Bonus Program
Additional Information

Pre-Hearing Comments
Comments received prior to (and not part of the official record for) the Public Hearing on August 6, 2008

Development Regulations for Livable Communities
Provided by the American Institute of Architects Southwest Washington Chapter [AIASWW], April 10, 2008, this document includes two parts

  1. Recommendations by AIASWW on changes to development standards for mixed-use centers and for establishing a design review program in Tacoma
  2. A report produced in 2005 by the national AIA, Livability 101 - What Makes a Community Livable?

Scope of Work - Phase II

Evaluate the zoning, heights and regulations pertaining to current mixed-use centers as designated in the Comprehensive Plan for their effectiveness in implementing the City's growth strategy.  The Planning Commission began this phase of the mixed-use centers review in October 2007 and looked into the following possible revisions:

  • Allowing for additional height along core streets within the centers through a bonus program

  • Increasing minimum density requirements

  • Eliminating parking requirements within the core area and providing for parking flexibility in other parts of the centers

  • Requiring a transition at the edge of the centers abutting single-family zoning

  • Modifying design, development and landscaping standards

  • Creating two new zoning classifications for the centers

  • Rezoning properties located within the centers but not zoned for mixed-use

  • Modifying mixed-use zoning boundaries where appropriate

Scope of Work - Phase I

Phase I of the mixed-use centers review was initiated in late 2006 and incorporated in the 2007 Annual Amendment to the Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Regulatory Code as Application #2007-06.  (See the Planning Commission's recommendation package for the 2007 Annual Amendment as well as the City Council's adoption ordinances, posted below.) 

Among the recommendations of Phase I review are designation of three new centers, revisions to eight existing centers, revised text and policies relating to Mixed Use Centers in nine Comprehensive Plan elements, changes to land use intensity designations, and area-wide zoning changes that would rezone areas that are proposed to be removed from the center boundaries to appropriate non-mixed-use zoning districts.

The proposed amendments provide new policy guidance to encourage development that promotes the use of transit, ensure compatibility with residential development located adjacent to Mixed Use Centers and promote public health by improving walking and cycling opportunities. The changes recommend the use of incentives to help achieve the development potential of the centers and desired amenities such as vibrant streetscapes, public spaces, public art, green spaces, and others. Other new policies address parking, design guidelines, landscaping, environmental design (low impact development stormwater practices and green buildings) and meeting infrastructure needs. 

Amended Ordinance No. 27663 - December 11, 2007
Amended Ordinance No. 27664 - December 11, 2007
Planning Commission Recommendations Package for 2007 Annual Amendment - October 17, 2007
Planning Commission Public Hearing Document - September 5, 2007 
Mixed-Use Centers Analysis Draft Recommendations Planning Commission Discussion Draft - June 6, 2007
Existing Conditions Analysis - Existing and Proposed Centers Draft - May 30, 2007
Existing Conditions Analysis - Proposed Centers Draft -May 16, 2007 

Staff Contact

Brian Boudet
(253) 573-2389