Port of Tacoma Commission, Tacoma City Council to discuss public access plan

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to meet Tuesday at the Port of Tacoma’s Fabulich Center to discuss shoreline public access projects by the Port of Tacoma and possible public access partnerships with the City of Tacoma through an interlocal agreement.

The City of Tacoma’s locally adopted Shoreline Master Program requires public agencies, including the Port of Tacoma, to provide public access when new development projects require a City of Tacoma shoreline permit. In the past, the City of Tacoma waived public access requirements for projects with safety and/or security concerns. However, under the new Shoreline Master Program, if safety and/or security issues prevent public access from being provided on-site, the City of Tacoma requires that public access must be provided at another location. Port of Tacoma staff developed a Public Access Plan in accordance with the City of Tacoma’s Shoreline Master Program to ensure a predictable and streamlined shoreline permitting process.

Port of Tacoma Commissioners Connie Bacon and Don Meyer attended five meetings with City of Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Tacoma City Councilmember Ryan Mello to share visibility and coordinate the Port of Tacoma’s draft Public Access Plan with the City of Tacoma’s Shoreline Master Program and Public Access Alternatives Plan. Following more discussions, the City of Tacoma and the Port of Tacoma have drafted an interlocal agreement (ILA) that authorizes a flexible approach to shoreline public access provisions including a fee-in-lieu option. Tacoma City Council was briefed on the draft ILA during a meeting May 21 at Tacoma City Hall. The Port of Tacoma Commission received a similar briefing on May 30.

Tacoma City Councilmembers and Port of Tacoma Commissioners will not take public comment during the study session, which will be held on Tues., June 11 at 12 p.m. in Room 104 of the Fabulich Center, located at 3600 Port of Tacoma Road. Audio from the meeting will be broadcast live on TV Tacoma and online at tvtacoma.com. On-demand audio archives are available on the Web within 24 hours of the meeting online at tvtacoma.com.