City Hall News: Link light rail expansion, Hilltop development update and Human Rights Commission

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

On Tuesday, Tacoma City Council will hold its regular weekly study session and council meeting. Also on Tuesday, City Council’s Economic Development Committee will hold its regularly scheduled meeting (UPDATE: The meeting has been cancelled).

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

LINK LIGHT RAIL DISCUSSION CONTINUES

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to meet Tuesday at City Hall to hear from members of the Pierce County Coordinating Council, a group that represents five local technical and community colleges, on their legislative initiatives.

Additionally, city councilmembers will continue their discussion of Tacoma’s Link light rail expansion. Last year, Sound Transit Board of Directors identified the North Downtown Central Corridor (Hilltop via the Stadium District) as the preferred corridor for the potential expansion of Tacoma Link light rail. Sound Transit, in cooperation with the City of Tacoma and Pierce Transit, is now beginning the next phase of the project to further define and evaluate route alignments in the corridor. Sound Transit held a public open house earlier this month to discuss the plan. Last week, Tacoma’s Planning Commission formally recommended that preferred route alignments should offer the best opportunity to maximize economic development, incentivize transit-oriented development, minimize the disruption to the urban fabric and urban lifestyles, be consistent with the Draft Hilltop Subarea Plan, and ensure the ease of accessibility.

The study session will be held on Tues., Jan. 28, at 12 p.m., at Tacoma City Hall, 733 Market St., Room 16, in downtown Tacoma. A copy of the agenda is available online here.

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To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of Tacoma Link light rail expansion plans, click on the following links:

TACOMA HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION APPOINTMENTS

Appointments to Tacoma’s Human Rights Commission are expected to be finalized next week.

The 15-member commission is tasked with studying, investigating, and mediating community issues that may result from prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination. Commission members serve three-year appointments and include representatives of the general public and the employer, labor, religious, racial, ethnic, handicapped, and women’s groups in the city. The commission meets every third Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Tacoma City Hall.

If a resolution is adopted on Tues., Jan. 28, Fred Schuneman would be re-appointed, and Vazaskia Caldwell and Christina Zinkgraf would be appointed to the commission. Each term would expire Dec. 31, 2016. More information is available online here and here.

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

UPDATE: HILLTOP TRANSIT DEVELOPMENT

Two companies — Bellevue, Wash.-based Team Six Creative and San Diego, Calif.-based Pacifica Companies – have expressed preliminary interests in a plan to develop approximately 1.5 acres of property in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood.

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According to a Request for Development Proposals (RFP) prepared by the City of Tacoma, the site, which is located near Martin Luther King, Jr. Way and South 11th Street, will be developed into a mixed-use, transit-oriented, commercial-residential project. The property is owned by the Washington State Department of Commerce. A pre-bidders conference was held in Mid-December at Tacoma City Hall, and the City of Tacoma began accepting proposals on Tues., Jan. 14. Proposals will continue to be accepted every Tuesday thereafter until the solicitation is closed.

A copy of the RFP is available online here. Proposals and questions from developers should be directed to Chuck Blankenship in the Finance Department’s Purchasing Division at cblankenship@cityoftacoma.org.

CITY SEEKS ‘VIBRANT COMMUNITY’ GRANT

Also of interest, the City of Tacoma has applied for a $10,000 “Vibrant Community” grant from the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation to help fund the City’s “Healthy Homes, Healthy Neighborhoods” pilot project on Tacoma’s East Side. The program is a collaboration between organizations in Tacoma and Pierce County that share a goal of promoting sustainability programs and incentives by utilizing comprehensive and direct public outreach in historically underserved low-income neighborhoods. The grant deadline expired on Jan. 15. Grant recipients will be announced this summer.

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To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, click on the following links: