• City of Tacoma QA
  • City of Tacoma OpenData


South Downtown Subarea Plan and EIS

Good News!

The South Downtown Subarea Plan has been awarded a 2014 Smart Communities Award in the category of “Smart Vision – Comprehensive Planning” by Governor Jay Inslee. The elite award program recognizes achievements that promote smart growth planning and projects that contribute to quality of life in Washington State.

Letter of Support from Mayor Strickland dated April 15, 2014 (PDF)
Governor's Award Application - South Downtown Subarea Plan (PDF)
Link to Governor's Smart Communities Award Website

Recent Activities

The City of Tacoma was selected to present lessons learned from the South Downtown Subarea Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) at the Planning Association of Washington’s Spring Conference in Lynwood. The presentation focuses on the South Downtown Plan ability to foster economic development in the area as well as the innovation of the associated EIS. The presentation walks the audience through of Tacoma’s process of adopting the Plan and EIS while at the same time providing the broader regulatory framework and context including the challenges and benefits and the broader State and regional context.

  • PAW - Presentation Final (PDF)
  • City Council Adoption

    The City Council adopted the South Downtown Subarea Plan as an element of the Comprehensive Plan on December 17, 2013 (per Ordinance No. 28193), and made some Zoning Code changes associated with the subarea plan (per Ordinance No. 28194).  The subarea plan was later modified with a minor map change on July 22, 2014 (per Ordinance No. 28229).  Posted below are the final subarea plan, the three relevant ordinances and the final EIS:

  • Final South Downtown Subarea Plan (as amended July 22, 2014) 
  • Ordinance No. 28229 South Downtown Subarea Plan Map Change - July 22, 2014 
  • Ordinance No. 28193 South Downtown Subarea Plan - December 17, 2013 
  • Ordinance No. 28194 South Downtown Code Changes - December 17, 2013 
  • Final EIS for South Downtown Subarea Plan - August 28, 2013 
  • Planning Commission Recommendation  

    The City of Tacoma Planning Commission has recommended the South Downtown Subarea plan for approval.  The recommendation will now be reviewed by the City Council. A public hearing was set for December 3, 2013.

    The Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on September 18, 2013 concerning the Draft South Downtown Subarea Plan (dated August 2013), and is anticipated to make a recommendation for adoption to the City Council on November 6, 2013.  

    The non-project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared for the subarea plan has become final and been issued on August 28, 2013.  There is no comment period for the EIS.

    Posted below are the notice of availability and public hearing information, the draft subarea plan and appendices, the EIS, and the adoption schedule for these documents:

    Notice of Availability and Public Hearing (September 18, 2013)
    Draft South Downtown Subarea Plan (August 2013)
  • Draft South Downtown Subarea Plan Appendices (August 2013)
  • Adoption Schedule (as of August 7, 2013) 
  • Notice of City Council Public Hearing - December 3, 2013

  • Environmental Impact Review

    The draft South Downtown Subarea Plan and draft EIS were released on March 26, 2013 for public review and comment.  A public hearing was held on April 25, 2013 for community members to learn more about the draft plan and EIS and provide comments.  Written comments were accepted through May 3, 2013.

    South Downtown Subarea Plan Health Impact Assessment (June 2013)
    Comments Received during Comment Period (March 26 to May 3, 2013)
    Transcript of Public Hearing (April 25, 13)
    Public Hearing Notice (April 25, 13)
    Notice of Availability
    Draft South Downtown Subarea Plan
    Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the South Downtown Subarea Plan 
    DNS CPPs and Vision 2040 (Background Info)
    DNS Growth Targets (Background Info)

    Help Inform the Process by Taking a Survey

    As part of the Subarea Plan public outreach, we need your opinions with regard to existing conditions, behaviors, priorities, and other particulars concerning South Downtown.  In that effort, we invite you to complete the following survey.  The survey can be opened as a pdf, completed, and submitted via mail or you can use the accompanying link to complete the survey online.  These surveys are intended for community members in and around the South Downtown area.
    Online Survey
    Survey - PDF Version

    Station Working Group

    This group, which meets quarterly, was established through Resolution Number 38430.  Its members represent a broad range of interests and the group will help provide important feedback and input for the Subarea Plan and EIS.
    Res. No.38430 - Establishing the Working Group
    Updated Exhibit A - Station Working Group List - May 14, 2012
    Draft Meeting Notes - March 21, 2012  

    Scoping Process

    It is one of the first steps in preparing the EIS and is intended to hear from citizens and organizations about their concerns, comments, and ideas.  In December 2011, the City hosted a Community Meeting and a Scoping Meeting to kick off the project and receive oral testimony from interested citizens.  Written comments were received during the scoping process that lasted from December 5, 2011 through January 10, 2012.  South Downtown Subarea Plan Scoping Comments - January 2012  
    Comment Form
    Scoping Meeting Notice - including Determination of Significance
    Community Meeting Notice
    Community Meeting Presentation Boards
    Project Overview Presentation

    Planning Commission Review 

    The Planning Commission receives regular updates on the progress of the project.


    Project Scope of Work

    The City is participating in the Puget Sound Regional Council's (PSRC) Growing Transit Communities project.  The City has been awarded $500,000 to complete the Dome/Brewery Subarea Plan and EIS, one of two Growing Transit Communities catalyst projects in the region.  Growing Transit Communities is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program

    For the purpose of the project, the "Dome/Brewery Subarea" encompasses such major districts in the southern portion of Downtown Tacoma as the Dome District, the Brewery District, the Thea Foss Waterway, and the University of Washington Tacoma campus; hence the use of the alternative title of the project: South Downtown Subarea Plan and EIS.

    Project timeline is 2011-2013.  The intent of the project is to develop an innovative area-wide long-range plan for the south end of downtown Tacoma and to complete the pre-development environmental review that will identify how to address environmental and community issues, ultimately reducing development uncertainties and risks for future projects and defining implementation timelines.

    The project team is working closely with the Hillside Development Council, the Dome Business District Association and other property owners, businesses, residents and community members to insure that the priorities of these key stakeholders are represented in the outcomes of this project.

    Project Overview Handout
    Growing Transit Communities - GTC
    Mayor's Letter of Support
    Resolution No. 38227 accepting PSRC grant
    Dome/Brewery Subarea Plan Map
    Res. No. 38281 and MOU with PSRC
    Res. No.38430 - Establishing the Working Group

    Key References

    This project builds on work presented in the following plans, studies, and reports:

    PSRC's VISION 2040, 2008 
    PSRC's Transportation 2040, 2010 
    Tacoma Comprehensive Plan 
    Tacoma Municipal Code 
    Tacoma Climate Action Plan, 2008
    Tacoma Mobility Master Plan, 2010 
    Tacoma Pedestrian and Bicycle Design Guidelines, 2010 
    Tacoma Complete Street Design Guidelines - Mixed-Use Centers, 2009
    Tacoma Complete Street Design Guidelines - Residential Streets, 2009
    Identifying Redevelopable Lands, Application of a Land Value Potential (LVP) approach in Urban Centers, Pierce County, 2009
    Tacoma Affordable Housing Policy Advisory Group Report, 2010
    Metro Parks Tacoma Strategic Parks and Program Services Plan, 2006
    Tacoma Link Expansion Stakeholder Group Final Report, 2011
    Urban Land Institute Technical Assistance Panel Recommendations, 2011
    Application for FY2013 Brownfields Assessment Coalition Grant - December 3, 2012


    Area Specific Plans

    Tacoma Dome District Development Strategy - 2008
    Tacoma Dome Area Plan Update - 2001
    Tacoma Dome Area Plan - 1995
    Tacoma Dome Transit Station Trail Linkage Study - 2009 
    Brewery District Development Concept Study - 2010
    Thea Foss Waterway Design and Development Plan - 2006
    Tideflats Area Transportation Study - 2011
    Thea Foss Waterway Development Alternatives Plan Draft EIS - 1995
    Thea Foss Waterway Development Alternatives Plan Final EIS - 1995
    University of Washington Tacoma Campus Master Plan Update - 2008
    Foss Waterway Master Redevelopment Strategy, 2011 Update

    Staff Contact

    Ian Munce
    (253) 573-2478