Public hearing Wednesday for live/work spaces proposal

Tacoma’s Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Wednesday to gather feedback on proposed revisions to the City’s zoning regulations relative to infill development and the reuse of existing buildings.

The code changes being considered are intended to allow greater flexibility for infill development and the reuse of existing buildings. The proposed changes include increased thresholds for environmental review, expanded allowances for “live-work” and “work-live” uses in the downtown and mixed-use districts, and the addition of a parking exemption for existing buildings in commercial districts. The changes being proposed would amend three chapters of Title 13 of the Tacoma Municipal Code: Chapter 13.06 Zoning, 13.06A Downtown, and 13.12 Environmental.

Additional information, including the complete text of the proposed amendments, associated maps, and other background information, is available on the Planning Division Web site (click on “Code Streamlining 2012”) and from Tacoma’s Community and Economic Development Department, located at 747 Market Street, Room 1036, in Tacoma.

The City has made a preliminary determination that this proposal will not have a significant adverse impact on the environment and has issued a preliminary Determination of Environmental Non-Significance (DNS) after review of a completed environmental checklist, copies of which are available upon request. Comments on the preliminary determination must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Fri., July 20. The City may reconsider or modify the preliminary determination in light of timely comments. The preliminary determination will become final on Fri., July 27, unless modified. If you have additional questions, contact Noah Yacker at (253) 591-5371.

The Planning Commission’s public hearing will be held on Weds., July 18, at 5 p.m. in City Council Chambers, Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market Street, 1st Floor. You can testify at the hearing or provide written comments no later than 5 p.m. on Fri., July 20, by addressing them to the Planning Commission, 747 Market Street, Room 1036, Tacoma, WA 98402, or by facsimile at (253) 591-2002, or via e-mail at

Supporters of live/work spaces in Tacoma point to this century-old firehouse-turned-live/work space in the Whitman neighborhood. Listed on Tacoma's Register of Historic Places, Tacoma Firehouse No. 8 was built in 1909 and served as a fire station until decommissioned in 2003. Two years later, the building, located at 4301 South L Street, was remodeled to provide warehouse space for "With Love Chocolates" and living space for the company's owners on the second floor.