"Tacoma City Council Agenda News for Tuesday, March 21, 2000"

“Tacoma City CouncilStudy SessionNoon, TuesdayMarch 21, 2000Room 16 Municipal Building North728 St. Helens AvenueTacomaCapital Project PrioritiesCity Manager Ray E. Corpuz, Jr. and department directors will present an update on the City’s list of primary capital projects. The list of projects for the year 2000 was updated by Council members in February to include a total of nine A list projects:- New Convention Center construction- Foss Waterway development- Harold LeMay car museum and Tacoma Dome area improvements- Police headquarters construction- Downtown parking system- Housing/Housing Trust Fund- Neighborhood and business district enhancements- Broadway Center for Performing Arts renovations- Greenspace additions to entryways and major arterials- Ruston Way upgradesDuring the study session, Council members will receive status reports on these projects and other details on proposed actions and financing options.Tacoma City CouncilCouncil Meeting5:00 p.m., TuesdayMarch 21, 2000Room 16, Municipal Building North728 St. Helens AvenueTacomaCostco ComplexA new 15-acre Costco complex may spread onto portions of several vacated streets. The Council will vote on a request for the vacation of Colorado and Wyoming avenues and portions of Oregon Avenue and Idaho Street for the new development.Late last year Costco officials began buying up property to build an expanded store off South 38th Street in South Tacoma. They have purchased a portion of Lincoln Heights Park and several homes in the area.In exchange for the City giving up its rights to the streets, Costco would deed and extend Steele Street north of South 37th Street and connect the Steele Street extension with Idaho Street to facilitate traffic flow through the neighborhood. The company would also place sidewalks along both sides of Steele Street.The cost of the Steele Street improvements would be credited toward one-half of the appraised value of the streets vacated – a compensation formula set by state law. The Issaquah-based company will sell its previous facility on South Pine Street once the new building is opened.Downtown Drive-through BanOver the next couple of weeks the Council will consider putting Tacoma’s ban on drive-through businesses along Pacific Avenue back in place. Citizens may comment on a regulation that would prohibit businesses such as drive-through restaurants, drugstores, and banks within 100 feet of Tacoma’s Link light rail route.The City has enforced a ban on drive-through uses on the busiest sections of the Pacific Avenue corridor between South Ninth Street and South 25th Street since 1991.The Council asked the Planning Commission to take a second look at drive-through uses in one section along Pacific Avenue when it adopted Destination Downtown, the new downtown zoning code that includes plans for development surrounding the Tacoma Link light rail line, last December. The Planning Commission has reiterated its earlier stance by advocating a drive-through use ban on streets served by the light rail.The two streets impacted by the proposed regulations are Pacific Avenue from South 15th to South 17th streets and South 25th Street from Pacific Avenue to the Tacoma Dome Station. If the Council adopts the recommendations, restrictions on all streets along the light rail route will be consistent.The Council plans to vote on the ban March 28.Foss Dock GrantVisiting boaters may be able to dock outside of the International Museum of Glass on the Thea Foss Waterway by the year 2002 if all goes as planned.A $750,000 state Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation grant before the Council for public testimony would be applied toward creating 30 new slips near old Albers Mill, reconstruction of a dilapidated 240-foot-long wharf and building other boaters’ facilities such as picnic tables and limited restroom, shower and laundry facilities nearby.The state grant, combined with federal grant money of nearly $342,000 and City contributions of $142,000 will pay for the project. The site will likely require additional environmental cleanup and work on the planned esplanade.Albers Mill stands at 1821 Dock Street abutting the International Museum of Glass site.The Council plans to vote March 28 whether to accept the state grant. If approved, construction of the new boat slips could begin in 2001.North Tacoma Historic DistrictThe North Slope Historic District is looking to set its final boundaries. At the Council meeting, citizens may comment on the North Slope Neighborhood Coalition’s request to expand its district. The change would bring in properties between Division Avenue and Steele Street up to Grant Street to better preserve the cohesiveness of the area.The City approved the existing district – centered at North J Street and extending from North Third Street to Steele Street – in 1995 and in 1997. The proposed change would encompass over 200 additional buildings.Historic district residents agree to design regulations that safeguard the character of their neighborhoods and also make them eligible for property tax credits for substantial building repairs.The Planning Commission and Landmarks Preservation Commission both recommend expanding the North Slope Historic District. City research reports that 90 percent of the buildings in the proposed expansion area contribute to the historic character of the district. Many homes represent American architectural styles for the period between 1880 and 1940.The public hearing before the Council will begin at approximately 5:30 p.m. The Council plans to take a final roll call on the expansion at a later meeting.”