Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tacoma City Council Leads the Way to Create Vibrant Communities

Tuesday night the Tacoma City Council passed their mixed-use centers update. This is great news for Tacoma and a good regional model of how to plan for growth is a way that is compact and connected. TCC, Futurewise, and Cascade Land Conservancy worked hard on this package. Here is the press release I just sent out. Thank you everyone who got involved with this effort.

July 30, 2009
Ryan Mello, Cascade Land Conservancy, (253) 861-8356;
Andrew Austin, Transportation Choices Coalition, (253) 732-9434

Tacoma City Council Leads the Way to Create Vibrant Communities

Cascade Land Conservancy, Futurewise, and Transportation Choices Coalition applaud their visionary decision

Tacoma, WA- After two years of hard work and hours of debate, Tuesday night the Tacoma City Council unanimously approved an updated Mixed-Use Centers (MUC) Plan. The plan will encourage livable, walkable development within Tacoma’s neighborhood Centers by creating incentives for investment, improving design and encouraging well-planned growth. For a complete list of the mixed use-centers affected please see

Passing the plan was a 2009 priority for the Pierce County Sustainability Coalition, a group of organizations that support innovative policies that enhance quality of life throughout the region. Tacoma’s MUC updates presented an opportunity to ensure sustainable growth in the region.

The plan does just that. It protects neighborhood character and curbs urban sprawl by focusing growth within the Centers; it encourages private economic development; it provides incentives to developers to use energy efficient building materials; and it protects local farm and forest lands through a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) option.

“Passing the Tacoma Mixed-Use Centers plan is an enormous win for sustainability in Pierce County,” stated Ryan Mello, Chair of the Pierce County Sustainability Coalition and Pierce County Conservation Director at Cascade Land Conservancy, “the Tacoma City Council has demonstrated leadership by taking an important step forward to concentrate growth within the City and protect our working forests and farmlands.”

“The City of Tacoma is expected to grow by 127,000 people in the next 30 years,” Stated Sara Nikolic, Urban Strategies Director of Futurewise, “The City Council has decided to focus that growth in vibrant walkable communities while protecting single family neighborhoods.”

“People want to have the choice of walking to the grocery store, biking to school, or taking a bus to work,” said Andrew Austin, Policy Associate at Transportation Choices Coalition, “Yesterday’s action by the City Council means land use policies will support that choice and create healthier more livable communities.”

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