Council Legislation

Proposed Ordinance No. 2020-98s2

Title: An Ordinance of the Pierce County Council Adopting Amendments to Title 19A of the Pierce County Code, "Pierce County Comprehensive Plan"; Amending Chapter 14, Appendix D: Frederickson Community Plan; Adopting Findings of Fact; and Setting an Effective Date. (Frederickson Community Plan - Amendments)

Effective: February 1, 2021

Status: Passed

Sponsors: Councilmembers Dave Morell, Douglas G. Richardson

Final votes

October 29, 2020
Aye Excused Aye Nay Aye Aye Aye

Additional legislative records are available below Collapse All  Expand All

Public Comments

Name Date Comment
James L Halmo 9/29/20 10:17 PM September 28, 2020 Mr. Chairman and Members of the Community Development Committee Ref: 2020-98 I have looked at the proposed changes to the Frederickson Community Plan and have a few comments. I will be unavailable to speak to the Committee on ‘Zoom’ due to a prior commitment. First, The County’s planning staff has moved all of the various action items to the Plan’s final chapter from the specific substantive sections of the plan. I find that this removal from each section, removes the importance of what is required in the future for the next 20 years. Clearly, this plan adopted on October 23, 2003 has been in effect for almost 17 years. A number of items remain to be addressed by the County. The current format of the community plan on action items must remain with the substance of the subjects. Second, the proposed changes would reduce the number of potential single family acreage (SF) from 2,712 acres to 279 acres. The number of multiple density single family acreage would go from 100 to 3,961 acres. This is about 50% of the community plan area’s acreage. In essence, this will be moving to multiple residencies, which are almost wholly rental housing, not residences owned by the local citizens. It also will increase transportation problems. Is it the desire of the Pierce County Council to reduce citizens' ownership of residencies in the county? It looks like it. Third, I find that the changes to the community plan do not stress the need for concurrency on the roadways in the County. There is already a lack of sufficient public transport in the plan area. Increasing the number of potential dwelling units without having a better infrastructure in place make no public or logical sense Fourth, I find no firm, well developed policy structure regarding the Frederickson Industrial area, and how it will used over the next 20 years. Over forty percent of all jobs in Frederickson are found in the industrial areas (page D-97). We are seeing a million sq ft. warehouse using up land which should be available for light and medium industrials, plus high technical businesses, such as we might find in the Kent/Auburn business industrial area of King County. They have good paying jobs, while warehouse worked clearly are paid at lower levels. As highlighted on Page D-96: “On average, residents are much less likely than those in the reference geographies to have a commute shorter than 15 minutes, and more likely to spend half an hour or more traveling to work. Only small portions of the people who live in Frederickson actually work within the plan area. About 5 percent of the jobs located in the plan area are filled by people living there, and of the employed population, just over 2 percent work in the area, with the other 98 percent commuting out of Frederickson.” As a member of the Graham Community Planning Board, the Board decided not to add an industrial area in the Graham area, but deferred to having a well developed industrial base in Frederickson. This would allow Graham residents to travel shorter distances for good paying jobs. That has not happened. The future of that industrial area should not continue to be a place of convenience for warehouses. The Community Plan must focus more on limiting the types of actual uses. New policies and regulations are called for to meet the challenge of better jobs for more people. That is a task in which the County leadership must be engaged more vigorously. Fifth, I question the lack of leadership on ensuring that there will be new schools sited in the plan area to address the increased population. The County Comprehensive Plan was amended to increase the requirement for County itself to work with schools more closely on facilitating new facilities. Show us on the maps where they can be located! Future employers look at that issue very closely for their employees. In my professional capacity, prior to my retirement, I did have an opportunity to talk with some senior business executives. They noted that in examining where to locate new business growth opportunities, schools were always on their agendas, particularly when it came to moving senior staffs to new geographical areas. The County needs to 'step-up-to-the plate' now to do more. The economic as well as facilities and services sections of the plan should be amended to show in detail how the County plans for new schools. That is missing from the Community Plan Update. Sincerely, James L. Halmo 9806 247thj Street Ct. East Graham, WA 98338 (253) 875-1890
James L Halmo 10/18/20 7:27 PM October 18, 2020 Mr. Chairman and Members of the Community Development Committee Ref: Ordinance 2020-98s (Frederickson Community Plan) I wish to draw your attention to Exhibit A, Page D-144 I on Public Schools. The County’s Comprehensive Plan states, in part: ‘LU-78.3.1 Each school district siting schools in the rural area area shall participate in the County’s periodic updates to its Comprehensive Plan as required by RCW 36.70A.130(1)(b) by: …. Identifying school siting criteria with the County, cities, and regional transportation planning organizations; Identifying suitable school sites with the County and cities, with priority to siting urban-serving schools in existing cities and towns in locations where students can safely walk and bicycle to the school from their homes and that can effectively be served with transit.” The language found on page D-144 misconstrues what is found in the Comprehensive Plan. The initial focus must be on siting schools in urban areas serving an urban population. That is State law. A school district is not just the sole ‘responsible entity. Cities and Counties clearly share that responsibility. State Growth Management Hearings Board decisions are about on governmental responsibilities. I strongly encourage you to utilize the Comprehensive Plan language to modify the skewed information being added to the Frederickson Community Plan. Sincerely, James L. Halmo 9806 247th Street Ct. East Graham, WA 98338 (253) 875-1890
James L Halmo 10/25/20 5:52 PM October 25, 2020 Mr. Chairman and Members of the Pierce County Council Ref: Proposal No. 2020-96s, Frederickson Communities Plan – Amendments Transportation Concurrency. As I highlighted in my earlier comments on the Parkland-Spanaway-Midland Communities Plan, the whole issue of transposition concurrency is woefully inadequate. You plan for a major increase in population but lack the details about how concurrency will be achieved, if it ever will. As the State’s Growth Management Act states, in RCW 36.70A.070 (6), “"concurrent with the development" means that improvements or strategies are in place at the time of development, or that a financial commitment is in place to complete the improvements or strategies within six years.” Schools. The failure to address a major call by parents of children in this community is unacceptable. I refer to the new language on schools in the plan area. (page D-144 [electronic version p. 149]) The GMA requires that schools be considered as communities are being planned, and specifically considered when permitting large developments. This clearly applies to the whole ‘City of Pierce’ approach in the six ordinances under review today. The lands under review could be vacant or “redevelopable.” The GMA also requires counties to identify lands useful for public purposes, such as schools. In addition, as part of subdivision approval, permitting jurisdictions must ensure appropriate provisions are made for schools and school grounds. As the State Department of Commerce stated in its formal guidance on Siting of School Facilities and the Growth Management Act: “As schools are considered in the rural arras, the long-term plan for the area should be considered, but new school development should never be used to intentionally drive urban development in a rural area.” By June 30, 2023, Pierce County is required by State law to provide the following in its Comprehensive Plan update with schools, by: “Coordinating its enrollment forecasts and projections with the county’s adopted population projections. Identifying school siting criteria with the county, cities and regional transportation planning organizations. Identifying suitable school sites with the county and cities, with priority to siting urban serving schools in existing cities and towns in locations where students can safely walk and bicycle to the school from their homes and that can effectively be served by transit. (Emphasis added) Working with the county and cities to identify school costs and funding sources to include in the capital facilities element of the Pierce County Comprehensive Plan.” In essence, the framework for extensive statistical data collection should be ongoing now, given that children resident in Frederickson are attending schools in rural arras. RCW 36.70A.213(10(b) further states:” The applicable school district has made a finding, with the concurrence of the county legislative authority and the legislative authorities of any affected cities, that the district's proposed site is suitable to site the school and any associated recreational facilities that the district has determined cannot reasonably be collocated on an existing school site, taking into consideration the policy adopted in (a) of this subsection and the extent to which vacant or developable land within the growth area meets those requirements” (Emphasis added) The language provided in the draft Ordinance (page D-144 [electronic version p. 149]) should mimic the language highlighted above. What you have drafted is, most frankly, incomplete and an obvious attempt to site schools solely in rural areas. Eliminate the ambiguity. Clearly, this calls for placing the emphasis on siting school serving an urban population in urban areas. This must be adopted in the text of the draft school policy. Sincerely, James L. Halmo 9806 247th Street Ct. East Graham, WA 98338 (253) 875-1890