City Hall News: Historic building nominations, charter review town hall, and Pierce County campus plan

Tacoma residents will have plenty of opportunities next week to learn more about what’s happening in city government.

On Monday, Tacoma City Council’s Neighborhoods and Housing Committee is scheduled to meet at 4:30 p.m. to discuss a range of issues.

On Tuesday, Tacoma City Council’s Economic Development Committee will meet at 10 a.m. to hear an update from Foss Waterway Development Authority Board President Gary Pederson on the organization’s activities last year, future plans this year, and key issues impacting financial matters and next steps for redevelopment. Also on Tuesday, councilmembers will hold their regular weekly study session at noon to discuss proposed plans for a Pierce County government campus, as well as Bates Technical College’s facilities master plan. Finally on Tuesday, city councilmembers will hold their regular weekly council meeting at 5 p.m. to vote on a range of issues.

On Thursday, Tacoma City Council’s Infrastructure, Planning and Sustainability Committee is scheduled to meet at 4:30 p.m. to discuss a range of issues.

Here is a look ahead at some notable meetings, events, and issues on deck next week at Tacoma City Hall.

2 HISTORIC BREWERY DISTRICT BUILDINGS

Two buildings dating back more than 100 years and located in Tacoma’s former warehouse district could soon be added to the City of Tacoma’s Register of Historic Places.

The former J. E. Aubry Wagon & Auto Works Building, located 2015 S. C St., was built in 1910 by architect O. F. Larson (who also designed the Olympus Hotel in downtown Tacoma, as well as Jason Lee Middle School), according to a nomination prepared by Susan Johnson, an architectural historian at Tacoma-based Artifacts Consulting. The building’s original owner, J. E. Aubry, serviced wagons and carriages out of the three-story brick building. Aubry later shifted his focus to repairing automobile as modes of transportation changed.

The former Hunt-Mottet Warehouse, located at 2109-2115 S. C St., was built in 1907 by the architectural firm Bullard and Hill, which also designed the historic J. B. Stevens Garage, otherwise known as the “Graffiti Garage,” in downtown Tacoma, according to the nomination. The building’s original owner, Frederick Mottet, operated the Hunt-Mottet Company, a wholesale hardware distributor serving the local logging, farming, and mining industries, out of the two-story building.

The nominations were submitted by Horizon Commerce Partners, a Tacoma-based commercial real estate and investment company that owns both buildings. Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission reviewed the nominations in December to determine whether the buildings met criteria required to be nominated to the local historic register. A public hearing on the nominations was held in February.

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution to add the buildings to the local historic register during a meeting on Tues., April 8, at 5 p.m., at Tacoma City Hall, located at 747 Market St., First Floor, in downtown Tacoma. Copies of the resolution, staff memo, and area map are available online here and here and here, respectively.

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the former J. E. Aubry Wagon & Auto Works Building and the former Hunt-Mottet Warehouse, click on the following links:

CHARTER REVIEW TELEPHONE TOWN HALL

Tacoma residents and business owners will have an opportunity this month to comment on the current charter review process during a telephone town hall.

The existing city charter, which serves as Tacoma’s constitution, was adopted in 1953. Comprehensive reviews must be conducted at least once every 10 years, allowing Tacoma voters approve or reject any recommended changes. In January, 15 individuals were appointed to the 2014 Charter Review Committee. The committee is expected to submit its charter change recommendations to councilmembers by Tues., May 6.

According to City of Tacoma staff, around 10,000 randomly selected telephone landlines across Tacoma’s five Council Districts will ring beginning on Weds., April 16, informing residents of a telephone town hall scheduled on Thurs., April 17, at 7 p.m. During this event, which will also be televised and streamed live on TV Tacoma, Charter Review Committee members will gather public comments and questions from residents regarding proposed changes to the City Charter.

Shortly before the telephone town hall begins, approximately 7,500 randomly selected telephone landlines will ring a second time with another invitation to participate in the event. Those who choose to stay on the telephone and participate will have the ability to make a comment or ask a question by following automated prompts on their telephone keypads. They will then be transferred to a live attendant who will pass their comments or questions on to the event moderator to ask the subcommittee chair. At that point, they can choose to continue following the event by staying on the telephone, or they can hang up and continue watching the event live on TV Tacoma.

Those who do not receive an automated call on their telephone landlines inviting them to participate in the telephone town hall can still take part in the event by arriving in person to Tacoma City Hall, located at 747 Market St., First Floor, in downtown Tacoma, or by calling (253) 591-5505 or by emailing charterreview@cityoftacoma.org to submit comments and questions. Comments and questions can also be posted publicly online at facebook.com/cityoftacoma or via Twitter at “@cityoftacoma.” All comments, questions, and answers will be captured and posted within 24 hours at cityoftacoma.org/charterreview.

Due to time constraints, there will be no opportunity for live, interactive exchanges between event participants and Charter Review Committee members.

More information is available online at cityoftacoma.org/charterreview.

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To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of Tacoma’s charter review, click on the following links:

CITY COUNCIL STUDY SESSION: PIERCE COUNTY CAMPUS

Pierce County officials are scheduled to meet with Tacoma City Council next week to present an update on a proposed plan to build a new Pierce County campus on the site of the former Puget Sound Hospital, which is located near South 36th Street and Pacific Avenue. According to Pierce County officials, the move aims to consolidate Pierce County general-government offices in an effort to deliver more efficient and cost-effective services to the public. Pierce County officials will also provide an update on plans to enhance the existing Tacoma Avenue South campus when the new campus opens.

These issues will be discussed during a study session on Tues., April 8, at 12 p.m. at Tacoma Municipal Building North, 747 Market St., Room 16. A copy of the agenda is available online here.

The former Puget Sound Hospital, located near South 36th Street and Pacific Avenue, could soon be the site of Pierce County's general government offices. (PHOTO COURTESY PIERCE COUNTY)

The former Puget Sound Hospital site, located near South 36th Street and Pacific Avenue, could soon be the home of Pierce County’s general government offices. (PHOTO COURTESY PIERCE COUNTY)

$3.5M DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY GRANTS

Looking ahead, the City of Tacoma is poised to receive nearly $3.5 million in grants from the Washington State Department of Ecology. A $277,722 grant would help pay for laboratory testing and field testing of stormwater treatment media at Wapato Lake. A $170,000 grant would help pay to assist with the implementation of the City of Tacoma’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. Finally, a $3 million grant would help pay for the Gravel Pit Regional Detention Project in the South Tacoma Flett Watershed. Tacoma City Council is tentatively scheduled to vote on three resolutions to accept the grants during its meeting on Tues., April 15.