Tacoma City Council will soon review Wedge historic district proposal

A request has been made to Tacoma City Council to hold a public hearing at City Hall regarding a proposal to designate the city’s “Wedge” neighborhood an historic district.

On June 1, the city’s historic preservation officer submitted documents to the council’s office to place the request for a public hearing on the council’s June 29 agenda. If approved, the public hearing would occur during city council’s meeting Tues., July 20 at 5:30 p.m.

The Wedge historic district proposal has worked its way through City Hall since June 2008, when three Wedge residents — Jean Carter, Char Cooper, and Lori Unger — submitted the historic district nomination to the city’s historic preservation office. According to the nomination, the Wedge neighborhood is an area of Tacoma that boasts more than 50 homes dating back 80 years or more. It’s also where Tacoma pioneer Aaron Titlow, candy company entrepreneurs Frank and Ethel Mars, and Titanic survivor Anne Kincaid resided. And it is ringed by Wright Park, the North Slope Historic District, and many of the city’s oldest churches.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) began reviewing the nomination on Sept. 10, 2008. Since then, the commission has held a series of public meetings to discuss several elements of the application, such as district boundaries, buildings inventory, and the neighborhood’s historic significance. Last year, the LPC met Wedge residents, property owners, and other interested parties for a walking tour of the neighborhood.

If approved, the Wedge neighborhood will become the fourth historic district in Tacoma, and the second residential historic district, according to the city’s historic preservation office. The proposed district zoning overlay stretches north to south from Division Avenue to Sixth Avenue, and zig-zags in several places along the eastern border: the alley between South L Street and South M Street; the alley between South M Street and South Sheridan Avenue; and a portion of South M Street near Sixth Avenue. The proposal also includes several conservation districts.

After much discussion and a series of public meetings, on July 22, 2009, the LPC forwarded to the Planning Commission a recommendation to create the historic and conservation district overlay zones. The Planning Commission held a public hearing March 17 to collect feedback on the issue. During that meeting, many people testified for or against the historic district.

On May 19, the Planning Commission voted four-to-two in favor of the proposed boundaries and recommended City Council adopt same.

For more information, visit http://www.tacomaculture.org/wedge.asp .

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The Tacoma Daily Index has followed the Wedge Historic District proposal since September 2008. For additional coverage, visit the Index’s archives for the following articles, or click on the links below:

1. Will Tacoma’s Wedge neighborhood go historic? (09/05/08)

2. A Slice of History: Two meetings will explore Wedge historic district nomination (09/23/08)

3. MultiCare, Wedge residents discuss hospital expansion, historic district effort (10/02/08)

4. MultiCare weighs in on Wedge historic district nomination (02/09/09)

5. Big decision ahead for proposed Wedge historic district (02/11/09)

6. New timeline for Wedge historic district review (02/18/09)

7. A Hike through History (03/05/09)

8. Decision expected this week on preliminary Wedge Historic District boundary (03/24/09)

9. Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission sets ‘working boundary’ for Wedge Historic District (03/27/09)

10. A house in the city, a home to neighborhood history (04/16/09) http://www.wahmee.com/tdi_walkup_residence.pdf

11. Another opportunity to weigh in on Wedge historic district proposal (05/21/09)

12. Wedge Historic District public hearing June 24 (06/19/09)

13. Wedge residents share support for historic district during public hearing (06/25/09)

14. Opposing sides emerge in Wedge historic district nomination (06/30/09)

15. More voices weigh in on Wedge historic district proposal (07/21/09)

16. Key meetings ahead for Wedge Historic District proposal (02/16/10) — http://tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=1717406&more=0

17. Public can weigh in on proposed Wedge Historic District (03/19/10) — http://tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=1729797&more=0

18. More voices heard as Wedge Historic District decision nears (03/24/10) — http://tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=1739504&more=0

19. Planning Commission decision on Wedge Historic District looms (05/18/10) — http://tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=1771954&more=0

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For coverage of the LPC’s walking tour of the neighborhood, visit http://i.feedtacoma.com/TDI-Reporters-Notebook/walking-wedge-photos-from-neighborhood/