Tacoma City Council schedules public hearing on "big-box" retail zone changes

Tacoma City Council is considering revisions to the City’s zoning regulations relative to large scale retail uses, as recommended by the Planning Commission. The City Council is holding a public hearing to obtain community feedback on these proposed code changes. The meeting will be held on Tues., Jan. 31 at approximately 5:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers, Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market Street, First Floor.

The Planning Commission has proposed changes to the City’s zoning regulations which would add a requirement that all large scale retail uses located within certain zoning districts that exceed specific size thresholds secure a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). Under this amendment, a Conditional Use Permit would be required for new or significantly modified retail businesses that exceed 45,000 square feet in size within the C-2, CCX, UCX, UCX-TD, and CIX Districts. Likewise, a CUP would be required for those retail businesses that exceed 65,000 square feet in size that are located within the M-1 and M-2 Districts and are located outside of the South Tacoma Manufacturing and Industrial Center (where large scale retail uses are already prohibited). In addition, the draft code changes would:

— Create specific Conditional Use Permit decision criteria for large scale retail uses, with an enhanced focus on ensuring projects are designed to be compatible with the Comprehensive Plan policies for the area (particularly in Mixed-Use Centers), mitigate potential impacts to the surrounding area, and ensure the feasibility of future building reuse;

— Conditional Use Permits for large scale retail uses would require a pre-application community meeting, a public hearing, and be subject to approval by the Hearing Examiner;

— Revise the RCX District to limit large scale retail development to 30,000 square feet in size per business and 45,000 square feet in size for full service grocery stores (similar to the existing limitations in the NCX and C-1 Districts).

Additional information, including the complete text of the proposed amendments, a map of the areas affected, the Planning Commission’s Findings and Recommendations Report, and other background information, is available from the Community and Economic Development Department, 747 Market Street, Room 1036, and on the Long-Range Planning Division Web site — http://www.cityoftacoma.org/planning (Click on “Large Scale Retail Moratorium”).

All persons will have an opportunity to present their oral comments at the City Council meeting. Those wishing to submit written comments may do so at the public hearing or may submit them to the City Clerk’s Office at 747 Market Street, Room 220, Tacoma, WA 98402, by 4 p.m. on Tues., Jan. 31, 2012.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact Brian Boudet at (253) 573-2389.

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Tacoma’s Planning Commission to hold “big-box” retail public hearing (11/21/11) — http://www.tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=2073002&more=0

Tacoma City Council schedules public hearing on large-scale retail moratorium (10/14/11) — http://www.tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=2052699&more=0

Tacoma Planning Commission schedules public hearing on large-scale retail moratorium (09/30/11) — http://www.tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=2045387&more=0