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MARCH 21st, 2023, at 3:00pm
930 Tacoma Ave. S. Room 1045, Tacoma | County-City Building,
They will be voting on 3 extremely important items!
To attend & comment remotely call 253-215-8782 . Use Web ID 976-6178-7423, Or use the Zoom link for this meeting: https://piercecountywa.zoom.us/j/9766178
This Council Meeting is of CRITICAL Importance!! It is vital that our Council Members hear from those they are elected to represent! Please be respectful and articulate your concerns. You will have 3 minutes to speak in person or on ZOOM. Also, please comment on the Proposals below so you are on the record.
A proposal to change current zoning-density laws to allow shared-housing villages in our RR Zone which was created to protect environmentally sensitive zones and critical watershed areas. Protect our wetands and watershed!
Proposal to release 22 million dollars to fund a Homeless Village in a critical wetland area. It will be EXTREMELY difficult to fight this project if the Council releases these funds. Help us fight this disastrous project! Comment below and email Council Members.
An Ordinance of the Pierce County Council levying an Additional Sales and Use Tax of One-Tenth of One Percent for Housing and Related Services as Authorized by RCW 82.14.530; and Amending Pierce County Code Chapter 4.28, "Sales and Use Tax," and Section 4.48.020, "Special Revenue Funds."
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The Council votes March 21st whether to allow "shared housing" in the Parkland-Spanaway-Midland Community's RRZones. "Shared housing" does NOT belong in our critical RR Zones! If they pass this, they'll soon open this to ALL RR Zones. Say NO now!!
Thank you for providing the opportunity to comment on the proposed micro city. Thank you also for slowing the reckless pace of the Executive’s Office to ram this through without the Council’s thorough review, without community input (community engagement was schedule after their requested release of funding), and with their disregard of the zoning laws and environmental damage this village will cause.
As Councilmember Hitchin quotes on her letterhead …. The important thing is not to stop questioning." Albert Einstein
Is Pierce County missing the forest for the trees? The focus on addressing chronic homelessness has been on an experimental concept of a “micro city.” What other solutions are being considered to provide housing and dignity to the chronically homeless that could house MORE people FASTER?
Is this a viable solution for Pierce County? Texas has a lot of land. Pierce County does not. Texas has a lot of Christian volunteers committed to this ministry. Pierce County does not. If the Executive’s office can identify only one parcel in all of Pierce County where they could possibly build this, then the idea to replicate this is off the table. Senior Council O’Ban said that this is NOT an EVIDENCED-BASED concept. (July 19, 2022). It might work in Texas, but Pierce County operates under completely different political, religious, legal, and legislative systems.
Why is the Spanaway site still being considered when this use is not allowed? This project was planned in a location where this use is not legal and could be made so only by forcing changes to ordinances to subvert zoning regulations to fit their need.
The original proposal site matrix was biased. You had concerns. When you asked for more options due to doubts with the Spanaway site, the Executive’s office presented you with sites that they knew wouldn’t work. This should NOT invalidate your concerns related to the inappropriateness of the proposed Spanaway site for this use.
Residential Resource Zones (RRZ) are not appropriate for micro cities. Your own Community Development Committee said they must not be permitted in RR Zones of Frederickson Mid-County, and South Hill….What makes it allowable in the Parkland-Spanaway-Midland area? Shared housing villages either fit in Residential Resource Zones or they do not. They do not fit in any Residential resource Zone.
Nothing about this use conditionally fits this area. It is zoned for 1 to 3 homes per acre. If it is necessary to use funny math to manipulate the number of housing units per acre to squeeze the square peg into a round hole, it is wrong and overreaching. This manipulation would NOT be allowed for a citizen contractor, and it should NOT be allowed by the County.
The Executive’s office’ opinion on the appropriateness or inappropriateness of other sites does not change the fact that this site IS NOT APROPRIATE FOR THIS USE.
Leaders lead-- Just say no!
Is a DESIGNER city for 250 chronically homeless over six years a good investment considering the Pierce County has currently 4,300 homeless people? Could the $22 million seed money be allocated more appropriately to projects that house many more homeless faster instead of only 6% in 6 years?
How confident are you that TRM will be able to raise approximately $52 million to advance from phase 1A? I read the Executive’s response to your funding concerns, and it was a lot of hopefulness without committed funds, still relying on the Field of Dreams philosophy of “build it and they will come.”
Has the time to do this passed for such a grand scale experiment?
This project was planned in good economic times. Since then, Pierce County citizens are struggling to live with escalating inflation. Homelessness grows daily. Our Nation’s debt is skyrocketing. 65% of TRM’s operating budget comes from private funding and 35% comes from government funding (Source: TNT). It is highly probable that generous donations will be severely reduced.
Since this project was planned:
I applaud you for seeking solutions to end homelessness. I ask again, are you missing the forest for the trees? Launching into a six-year, $73 million project that will provide only 250 living units for the chronically homeless seems like a designer solution for a few – amidst an ever-growing problem that leaves 4,300 people looking for shelter every night. There must be other possibly more generic options to house the chronically homeless while still providing them with dignity.
What would your answer be if your financial advisor came to you and said he wanted your seed money for a great investment. Give him $22 million to get it started. Then, he will ask other investors to give him $50+ million to continue this over the next six years with no guarantees that this project will reach completion. It is not an evidence-based concept. It’s planned for a location that is not legal and could contaminate the region’s critical watershed; but we’re working with lawyers to change laws so that we can push it through and avoid things like Environmental Impact Statements. On-going, 75% of the operating costs will pay for staff salaries and the actual place will be run by volunteers. People living there can earn money –a total pot of $375,000 per year has been set aside for 250 workers. Among the leftovers in the operating budget is $25,000 a year for transportation for the people who will be isolated one mile from the nearest road, and a pittance amount to provide security for those who live within and around the micro city. Would you write your personal check for this?
County Project Update Webpage:
The Homeless Village Proposal
This location is an environmentally irresponsible choice to construct a high density micro-city and multi-acre farm.
This location does not empower this vulnerable population but further debilitates them.
Other locations offer less cost, faster completion, lower ongoing maintenance, and less risk to the homeless, without damaging our watershed.
PIERCE COUNTY EXECUTIVE
PIERCE COUNTY COUNCIL
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Every yellow and blue rectangles is a tiny home
Requires extensive tree removal & road through the wetlands.
"No amount of buffering will abate the damage this will cause due to the location in a wetland area." - Penny Cooper Howard is a Friends of Spanaway Lake board member and Chairman of Spanaway Lake Management Advisory Board
"This great project needs another site to be successful. I have asked citizens to seek other sites to recommend to the County Exec. The new site must not be on wetlands, must be served by the sewer system and be much closer to public transportation and the management team.
Sewer service is a must to prevent pollution of the wetlands and Spanaway Lake. Septic systems do not remove nitrogen, phosphorus, or drugs. Over the long-term, rain will move the pollutants through the ground into the lake." - Al Schmauder is President, Clover Creek Watershed Council
Private and Pierce County lands outside their current homeless mission in Tacoma off South Tacoma Way have turned into a homeless encampments.
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