Tacoma's Landmarks Preservation Commission to consider live/work lofts

Tacoma's Landmarks Preservation Commission will be briefed this week on an effort under way to amend existing ordinances in order...

Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission will be briefed this week on an effort under way to amend existing ordinances in order to allow artist live/work spaces in some of the city’s older warehouse, commercial, and industrial spaces.

The briefing will include comments by City of Tacoma Long Range Planning Manager Ian Munce, who will provide introductory remarks on the context of the live/work discussion and policy developments that are under way, and Sharon Winters, co-founder and past President of Historic Tacoma, who will present the organization’s perspective in support of the live/work code revisions.

According to Historic Tacoma, the creation of live/work spaces would encourage the occupation and adaptive re-use of historic buildings and serve as an economic development tool for the city, returning under-utilized buildings to the tax rolls.

“We’ve seen a number of opportunities to create affordable live/work spaces, if we only had the ordinances in place,” wrote a Historic Tacoma spokesperson in the organization’s most recent newsletter. “At a February meeting with senior city planning staff, Historic Tacoma was asked to play a lead role in studying and recommending the zoning changes necessary to implement live/work spaces, while planning staff will work on drafting building code changes.”

Historic Tacoma has prepared a white paper on the issue. A copy of that report is online here. The Landmarks Preservation Commission will discuss the issue during its meeting on Weds., April 11 at 5 p.m. at 747 Market Street, Tacoma Municipal Building, Room 248. A copy of the agenda is online here.

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