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Live/Work and Work/Live Code Amendments

Latest - City Council Adopted Live/Work and Work/Live Code Amendments on November 3, 2015

The City Council adopted the proposed code amendments pertaining to live/work and work/live uses on November 3, 2015.  Posted below are the Council ordinance adopting the regulations and a tip sheet for interested parties and prospective permit applicants:

  • Tip Sheet - Live/Work and Work/Live Uses (February 3, 2016)  
  • Ordinance No. 28327 (November 3, 2015)

    City Council Public Hearing on September 29

    The City Council conducted a public hearing on September 29, 2015 concerning the proposed code amendments pertaining to live/work and work/live.


    The proposal includes revisions to the

    1. Land Use Regulatory Code - Title 13 of the Tacoma Municipal Code (TMC), as recommended by the Planning Commission
    2. Building Code - Title 2 of the TMC
    3. Tax & License Code - Title 6 of the TMC

    Posted below are relevant materials:

    City Council Public Hearing Notice (September 29, 2015)
    Planning Commission Recommendation Packet (August 19, 2015)
    Proposed Amendments to TMC 2.02 
    Proposed Amendments to TMC 2.19
    Proposed Amendments to TMC 6B.145
    Proposed Amendments to TMC 13.06 & 13.06A 



    Planning Commission (PC) Public Hearing

    The Planning Commission held a public hearing on July 15, 2015.  Posted below are relevant materials:

    Public Hearing Notice (July 15, 2015)
    Public Review Document (June 17, 2015)
    DNS and SEPA Checklist (June 25, 2015)

    Live/work and work/live units are types of mixed-use developments that eliminate the need to commute to work, provide affordable work and housing space, and support the creation of new businesses by expanding entrepreneurial opportunities. The Planning Commission and Planning & Development Services developed live/work and work/live code amendments in 2012 to promote these community goals, with a particular emphasis on the adaptive reuse of existing buildings in Downtown Tacoma and the City’s other Mixed-Use Centers.

    Prior to their adoption in 2012, there were no specific land use code provisions for live/work and work/live development in Tacoma. The amendments provided a basic framework for where and how these uses would be allowed.

    Consultant Study on Code Compatibility
    The adoption of these Land Use Regulatory Code amendments instigated a study on code compatibility with the existing provisions in the City’s Building Code. Consultants produced a report that includes code precedents from other jurisdictions as well as case studies of three existing buildings within Downtown Tacoma.

    Recommendations were developed with the goal of implementing code revisions that will address roadblocks to the renovation and reuse of existing buildings. These recommendations focus primarily on amendments to Building and Fire Codes. However, the consultants have identified several existing provisions for live/work and work/live development within the Land Use Regulatory Code that should be reevaluated. The proposed revisions to the Land Use Regulatory Code are intended to be incremental to the amendments that were originally adopted by Council in September 2012.

    Background Information

    Ordinance No. 28088
    Work-Live Adaptive Reuse Code Compatibility Study
    Staff Contacts
    Molly Harris
    Senior Planner
    (253) 591-5383

    Sue Coffman
    Building Official
    (253) 594-7905