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Amici House Permitting FAQ

Amici House Permitting: FAQ


Amici House Permitting:

June 27, 2024



Amici House—Overview of the Proposal

Amici House LLC proposes to convert an existing church building at North 24th Street and North Warner Street in the Proctor / UPS area into group housing for up to 51 individuals. Tenants are proposed to be young adults (18-26) and a resident advisor/manager would also live on the site. In addition, the site would be improved with 11 parking stalls and open yard space. The applicant would also complete improvements off-site, including improvements to the sidewalk and street, and installation of on-street parking on North Warner Street.


The permit application decision was issued June 27, 2024 – Approved with Conditions

The full project decision, including the project description, preliminary plans, and the applicant’s narrative are included in the project file, which is available to the public—go to https://aca-prod.accela.com/TACOMA/Default.aspx and enter the Amici House permit number – LU23-0228 – in the search field on the upper right. Attachments are located under the “record info” tab once the permit opens.



Amici House – FAQs


What kind of permit is this?
The Amici House permit is a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) as described in the Tacoma Municipal Code (TMC) Title 13.05.010.A.26. CUPs are a way for the City to evaluate building projects that may be compatible with the zone, but may have greater impacts than the standard uses. Some common examples of CUPs include schools, churches, and parks. Approved CUPs often include special conditions that help make the proposed building(s) and uses more compatible with the surrounding neighborhood characteristics. Examples of special conditions might be additional landscaping, limitations on operating hours, or limitations on exterior lighting.

What are the “conditions” included in the permit approval notice that Amici House must meet?

  • Certain conditions that are standard with any permit application are included in the Amici House decision, such as a permit expiration date of five years.
  • Occupancy will be limited to 30 people (29 residents and 1 advisor) as that was determined to be the average number of residents of what was allowed using the City’s Comprehensive Plan guidelines (max 40 residents) and the City’s Zoning Code (maximum 23 residents).
  • An open yard space requirement was added, as one does not currently exist in the code, matching what would be required of a multi-family development in the same location.
  • Site perimeter landscaping is required by code, but due to the nature of the proposal (i.e., different than the surroundings), a condition was created that will increase the landscaping by requiring a wider planting bed with bigger (and more) plants. Similarly, street trees are required along both street frontages.
  • Due to concerns about the safety, visibility of the new residents, and the addition of street trees, three streetlights will be required on the site.
  • A variety of site development requirements will be required off-site in the area immediately surrounding the property, including updated curb ramps on select intersections, a speed hump, and a wider sidewalk adjacent to the back-in angle parking.

What did the City analyze with the permit?
This kind of Conditional Use Permit allows for an existing non-residential building to be converted to a different use if the applicant can meet certain criteria. The new use can be either residential or non-residential. There are two sets of criteria that guide the review of this type of CUP—general criteria and commercial building re-use criteria:


General Criteria

  •  Demonstrated need in the community
    Consistent with goals and policies of the City’s Comprehensive Plan
  • The new use and associated development is consistent with general health, safety, and welfare – noise, light, traffic, aesthetics, etc.

Commercial Building Re-use Criteria

  •  The site is located in a residential zoning district
  • The site is less than one acre in size
  • The uses and/or structures are either legally nonconforming or legally permitted
  • The primary building(s) or site improvements constructed for a non-residential use are still in place, irrespective of whether they continue to be used for their original purpose
  • The proposal is compatible with surrounding neighborhood (and conditions may be imposed to ensure this)


What was the timeline on this permit process?

  •  The application was complete on January 2, 2024.
  • Public notice was sent January 16 and February 5, with an informational meeting February 22.
  • The public comment period closed March 4.
  • Staff reviewed and compiled public comments, which are available to view in the project file.
  • The City provided the applicant an opportunity to respond to comments; their response to comments is included in the project file along with the initial project narrative.
  • Per the authorities in the Tacoma Municipal Code, decisions on CUPs are made by the Director of Planning and Development Services in coordination with other subject matter experts in the City of Tacoma.

The timeline for CUPs is generally 120 days from complete application, not including any time the applicant is working on revisions or a response to comments.

What can my City Council Member do about the permit?
CUPs are an administrative permit as set forth in the Tacoma Municipal Code’s zoning chapter. While the City Council adopts the zoning chapter and the overarching policies that inform city code, they are not involved in administrative permitting.

This proposal is opposed by the neighbors, and there is public comment on record that voices this opposition – why can’t the city just deny proposal based on this opposition?
Public comment is helpful in analyzing consistency with the criteria, and it shines a light on strengths, weaknesses, and concerns neighbors may have about a specific proposal at a specific location. However, CUPs are not decided by a vote or popularity measure--Conditional Use Permits are reviewed according to the criteria set out in the zoning code, as described above, and public comment is just one factor that is considered in the decision, not the sole factor. The conditions placed on an approved project are tailored to respond to concerns raised by neighbors and members of the public and mitigate possible conflicts or potential impacts to the surrounding neighborhood.

What happens now that the “Approved with Conditions” decision is issued?
Everyone who commented on the proposal will receive a copy of the decision and any attachments. Everyone who received the initial public notice will receive a decision postcard.

  • There is a 14-day appeal and reconsideration period. The deadline for submitting a reconsideration request or appeal is 5 PM on Thursday, July 11, 2024.
  • Reconsideration may be requested of the Director of Planning and Development Services if the requestor believes there’s an error in fact or procedure related to the permit. Information on how to submit a request for reconsideration is located in the project decision information packet. Requests can be made via email to zoning@cityoftacoma.org.
  • Appeals are filed with the Hearing Examiner for the City of Tacoma. Appeals go through a formal hearing process, much like a court case. For more information on how to submit an appeal, go to the Hearing Examiner-Frequently Asked Questions - City of Tacoma webpage.