Council Legislation

Proposed Ordinance No. 2021-125s2

Title: An Ordinance of the Pierce County Council Amending Pierce County Code Title 2, "Administration", Chapter 8.88, "Watercraft Regulations," Chapter 17B.20, "Improvements Required," Chapter 17C.80, "Property Maintenance Code," Title 18, "Development Regulations – General Provisions," Title 18A, "Development Regulations – Zoning," Chapter 18I.35, "Right to Farm Protections," Title 18J, "Development Regulations – Design Standards and Guidelines," and Section 18A.10.030, "Zoning Atlas," to Provide Minor Code Clean-Up, Including Development Regulations Applying To Unincorporated Areas of Pierce County and All Community Plan Areas; Adopting Findings of Fact; and Setting an Effective Date.

Effective: June 1, 2022

Status: Passed

Sponsors: Councilmembers Ryan Mello

Final votes

April 19, 2022
Aye Aye Aye Aye Aye Aye Aye

Additional legislative records are available below Collapse All  Expand All

Public Comments

Name Date Comment
Oscar Espinosa, Fire Chief 1/25/22 10:18 PM Good morning Pierce County Council Members, On behalf of Graham Fire & Rescue Members and Constituents, I formally request the Pierce County Code Amendments in Title 18J, being reviewed by our County Council on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, not be adopted. Specifically, not adopting the removal of any edits to the Graham Community Plan Area Design Standards and Guidelines located in Chapter 18J.80. The design standards currently located in 18J.80 are essential to allowing our equipment and personnel adequate access to conduct critical life and property saving operations. I have been briefed by Pierce County staff that the proposed standards and guidelines language edits in Chapter 18J.80 are rooted in “code clean up” and the removal of “duplicative language”. Although partially true, there are standards and guidelines located in Chapter 18J.80 that are not fully addressed in the International Building Code or in recently adopted Ordinance No. 2021-46s. I am also aware that the International Wildland-Urban Interface Code has not been adopted by our County Council which causes me concern given there are standards and guidelines located in Chapter 18J.80 that are specific to mitigating the risk to life and structures from intrusion of wildland fires, wildland fire exposures, and fires from adjacent structures. Whereas Graham Fire & Rescue staff were not consulted on the aforementioned edits, I formally request that the proposed Pierce County Code Amendments in Title 18J not be adopted so that our staff can be provided more time to assess the life, property, and incident management impacts of the proposed language changes. Thank you, Oscar J. Espinosa | Fire Chief Graham Fire & Rescue (o) 253-548-2503 (c) 253-677-3101 | Follow us on Social Media Facebook: @GrahamFire Twitter: @GrahamFireWa Instagram: @Graham_Fire_Rescue
James L Halmo 1/27/22 7:42 AM January 27, 2022 Mr. Chairman and Members of the Pierce County Council I wish to discuss a couple of items in the draft legislation before you. First, Exhibit I, deletion of text in Development Regulations 18J.80.060. These are the fire regulations found in the Graham Community Plan. Background. By way of background, the Graham Community Planning Board met bi-weekly for four years at a Graham Fire Station. We had a Fire Commissioner on our Board. Less than 200 yards north of the station, developers created a residential housing complex . The roadway was very narrow, houses close together. Fire standards were questionable. Deputy Fire Chief Gary Franz told the TNT in an interview that the fire department might be able to save one or two of the residences in a major fire, but not the rest. Members on the Board realized first hand what might happen when fire standards are ignored. The regulations we proposed were adopted by the County. They are noted in the text as “enhancements to foster efficient emergency response services.” Subsequently, fire lanes were added in that residential housing complex to prohibit parking along stretches of the roadway. Community Plan regulations can be more restrictive than the general county code. Our work on the Planning Board was clearly legal and one which the citizens of the area supported. Number one, among the issues and complaints we heard from the public, was “do something about the landfill.” Second was, “we do not want to look like South Hill.’ We dealt with both. The housing complex we saw would not be repeated. The local citizens continue to strongly support the Department’s financial requirements. Notification. I find that the text of the public notice for Ordinance 2021-125s contains no reference to “Graham.” Likewise the Findings of Fact found in Exhibit K likewise contains no reference. The Graham Land Use Advisory Commission (LUAC) is not listed as having reviewed this material. Additionally, I called the Chair of the Graham Fire Department Board of Commissioners. He knew nothing about the proposed legislation to delete our strong regulations. The Fire Commissioners are elected officials, just as you and your colleagues on the County Council are elected officials. One would expect that the views of the Commissioners would be taken into account. The Council should reject the proposed changes to 18J.80.060 B. Second. Exhibit E addition of a new Definition for “Unified Control.” This broad delegation of authority to the Director of Planning and Public Works seems to open Pandora’s Box to a variety of interpretations. Does this pertain to both urban and rural areas of the County? Can such ownership and usage be applied across multi-land use classifications? For example, if rural, would ownership of three contiguous land parcels, such as Rural 10 land (R 10), Agricultural Resource Land (ARL), and Rural Sensitive Resource land (RSR) qualify? And, qualify for what? Do the normal regulations on uses for each of these three land use classifications still pertain and must be followed separately? Does this ‘unification’ trump land use classifications and their restrictions? The proposed definition is unclear. Sincerely, James L. Halmo 9806 247th Street Ct East Graham, WA 98338 (253) 875-1890
Oscar Espinosa, Fire Chief 2/8/22 6:38 AM Good morning Pierce County Council Members, Thank you for your recent action to delay the Final Hearing so that Graham Fire & Rescue could have additional time to investigate Proposed Code Amendments. In regards to the 2021-125s Ordinance proposal, Graham Fire & Rescue stands in support of Chapter 18J.80.060 B.1.a and B.1.b. This language covers side yard setbacks and fire resistive construction requirements to prevent fire spread and decrease fire damage to single-family developments where structures have a separation of less than ten feet. We stand in support of proposal to remove this language as it is duplicative and covered in Chapter 17 of the Pierce County Code. We stand in opposition of Chapter 18J.80.060 B.1.c, B.1.d, & Section 2. This language speaks to wildland urban interface requirements designed to prevent fire spread and decrease fire damage in the wildland urban interface environment. We oppose the removal of this language as our County has yet to adopt the International Wildland Urban Interface Code. These design standards are essential to allowing our equipment and personnel adequate access to conduct critical life and property saving operations. They are specific to mitigating the risk to life and structures from intrusion of wildland fires, wildland fire exposures, and fires from adjacent structures. This language should not be removed until the IWUIC or replacement language has been adopted.