Council Legislation

Proposed Ordinance No. 2023-5s

Title: An Ordinance of the Pierce County Council Allowing for Shared Housing Villages in the Residential Resource Zone of the Parkland-Spanaway-Midland Communities Plan Area of Unincorporated Pierce County by Amending Title 18A of the Pierce County Code, "Development Regulations - Zoning"; Adopting Findings of Fact; and Setting an Effective Date.

Effective: May 1, 2023

Status: Passed

Sponsors: Councilmembers Dave Morell

Final votes

March 21, 2023
Aye Aye Nay Aye Aye Aye Nay

Additional legislative records are available below Collapse All  Expand All

Public Comments

Name Date Comment
John Peluso 2/17/23 8:24 AM I am opposed to both the state and County efforts in allowing tiny homes or any other name they are called, into our community that are not in compliance of existing codes that anyone else has to comply with. Setback, flood plane, impact fees apply to everyone, and these residents and builders should not be exempt.
Leslie Petoski 2/17/23 2:58 PM I am adamantly opposed to the proposed ordinance No.2023-5. These properties are bound to greatly increase illicit drug abuse and crime while having a detrimental effect on local property values.
Melissa Fox 2/17/23 8:45 PM I am opposed to Ordinance 2023-5 for the following reasons: drug use on the premises (there will be no oversight of activities within the tiny homes), pollution of Spanaway Lake through run-off, and decreased property values for the surrounding area. Zoning codes are in place to manage resources, balance population, protect property values and ensure standards are applied equally. A zoning exemption is inappropriate for this site and the community has clearly expressed disapproval of the project. Reference recent citizen meeting at Sprinker Center.
Bryan Anderson 2/20/23 10:09 AM As a longtime Parkland/Spanaway area resident, I support the Community First! Village proposal. With all due respect to my neighbors and fellow community members, I feel the opposition to this proposal based on environmental concerns is completely mistaken. Let’s assume for a moment the Village proposal is voted down. What will happen next? 1. The property in question will be developed with full market rate housing. The quantity of housing built will be equal to or greater than the number of units proposed for the Village—after all, this is in line with the current zoning requirements. Bottom line: an opportunity for affordable housing will be lost. 2. The existing encampments will continue and get worse. The recently-cleared encampment at 149th & “C” Street is a perfect example. Like all unsanctioned encampments, human waste, garbage, automotive fluids, and other toxic materials are dumped directly on the ground. These substances go in to Spanaway Lake and our drinking water aquifers. Sadly, most if not all of the individuals at this encampment have moved to other similar encampments in the area. If there is not enough shelter space, police are not allowed to arrest people camping in our parks and public spaces, thanks to the “Martin v. Boise” Federal Court decision. To conclude, opponents cannot name a single environmental law (county, state, or Federal) that is being violated by the Community First! Village. Every single law related to wetlands, storm drainage, and construction will be followed, just like it would be if the property were sold to a private, full-market-rate-housing developer. It’s time to end the unsanitary and unsafe encampments in our community that pollute our water, and provide safe, clean, permanent housing.
Michael Land 3/1/23 11:05 AM It seems the cross-base highway was scrapped after spending millions on the extension. My understanding is that it had to do with environmental concerns. 1. How do those concerns just melt away suddenly? How are these "villages" controlled to ensure sanitary conditions are maintained, who is eligible etc?!?! We need not to be spending tax dollars on a sliver of the community when that majority (AKA taxpayers) still have many problems that could be resolved as well. This homelessness plague we are dealing with right now is nothing more than apathy. It did not exist in this way just a few years ago. It is not illegal to be homeless, but it is illegal to: steal, trespass, litter, dispose of human waste, build shelter without permit, assault others, have illegal fires, and the list goes on. I will support the homeless when the homeless continue to act as citizens in need rather than fiending for their next fix.
Edward Taylor 3/1/23 8:18 PM The bulk of the homeless problem is in Tacoma , within city limits. Why do you think it is a good idea to move the problem out of city limits, that’s ABSOLUTELY the wrong thing to do . Set up a tiny village in the Port of Tacoma or move it to Puyallup in Bruce Dammeir’s neighborhood
Angela Schick 3/5/23 4:40 PM I am opposed to Proposal No 2023-5 or any residential resource policy being altered to give way for tiny home villages or changing the definitions of structures in relation to density of the existing communities zoning. Conditional use permits should only be used in areas that allow for similar structures to the existing zoning and density. Residential resources ought to be used for housing yet provide an opportunity to mitigate greater ecological harm by keeping low density. Urban lands with high density destroy the habitats and show greater potential for ecological impacts. Pierce County must strictly regulate building structures, zoning and density for proper long term planning and growth within the communities. This policy will further harm housing markets and the neighboring communities next to these villages if they are in residential resources. This will allow developers and builders to create an industry that abuses current protections like DNS, EIS and sustainable development such as low impact development while damaging vital needed resources and the environment. This amendment is counter productive to healthy planning and development by feeding urban sprawl into more rural areas, a harmful practice. There will not be the proper infrastructures in these residential resources areas to support these communities needing this housing reform which will further marginalize them. There are currently existing land density regulations that allow for high density housing units in urban areas which will also provide for the services needed in close proximity. Residential resources should only be used for housing and should not include commercial activities, referred to in the existing proposal to Pierce County as Micro inter-prizes, such as administrative building, medical buildings, offices, shops, organic farms, farmers markets or any other business or commercial purposes that will be needed for these villages to be self-sufficient or proficient in helping the community they intend to support. The code amendment given in the staff report to the PC Commission recognizes – existing zoning and density is limited to 1-3 units per acre in the RR zone in recognition of the need for less intensive development near sensitive environmental features. Also, stating it does not amend the density range as set forth in the community plan or county code.” Yet, it completely recreates the letter of the law by redefining the structures. By providing special provisions for the dwellings as “Sleeping Units” under a regulated sq. ft. with NO kitchens/restrooms as .25 for every tiny home dwelling and allowing units, giving the max 3 - full units per acre under current zoning, would equate to 12 sleeping units on an acre. However, this does not even account for the separate communal kitchens, restrooms, shower buildings and recreational areas that must be provided in current PC code nor does it provide guidance or direction for that in RR zoning. The current project structure for this code change and example used for the Commission and PC, the proposal the Community First Village, states there will be 299 buildings total - 250 tiny homes, 10 bath/laundry, 5 communal kitchens, 6 enterprises and 28 larger volunteer residents. While that is approximately 11-14 buildings per acre that is misleading because 250 of these are tiny homes and the other 49 buildings will have significantly larger land impact. The tiny homes selected for this site will vary but all will have a toilet and sinks, some smaller with kitchenette and larger models with full kitchens in them. Tacoma Rescue Mission has also stated that some of the units will possibly house 2 or more people also negating the idea of the .25 definition used for density in average 3-4 population ratio given in full size - single family household dwelling examples given in the staff report to the county commission. Where will these “tiny homes” fall under the definition of the amendments given they have kitchens, restrooms and may have more than single occupants? How will these units be counted as dwelling size for density purposes? This amendment is a short sighted attempt to patch a problem with the current housing crisis and will not even begin to solve the greater homelessness issue. It is an answer provided to try to solve a political problem that is not well defined and missing the root cause. It is the cart before the horse. Our resources and land are very important and it is the Council's job to protect these assets. Please give extra consideration to the long term effects and thought to unintended consequences on this policy. We should not alter the residential resources for a community who needs high density easy access resources like transit, healthcare, shopping, employment and other special commercial needs. I implore you to vote no on amending the Residential Resource Use Code proposed in Proposal No 2023-5.
James L Halmo 3/5/23 4:48 PM Having tried most unsuccessfully to read the actual text of proposed Ordinance 2023-5, I strongly recommend that the Community Development Committee pull it from its agenda. Both Saturday and now Sunday, just before your meeting, the only part of the proposed Ordinance which can be read is the Title. Normally one can "click" on the proposed legislative number to read the complete text. That has not been the case with this proposed Ordinance. Full transparency in your proceedings is lacking. Have you changed the computer software for your proceedings? I tried a number of "computer searches" and still came up with only the Title.
Daniel Atwood 3/5/23 8:57 PM I oppose this proposal. Shared housing in RR is extremely short sighted as these areas don't have the infrastructure (adequate bus lines, EMS, law enforcement, hospitals, etc.) to sustain such large projects especially geared toward medically fragile, criminally active and chemically addicted individuals. Such services which are already stretched thin will face the potential of collaspe. Cart before the horse. Thank you!
Scott M Munson 3/6/23 9:09 AM I'm opposed to 2023-5. Isolating the homeless in a swamp near military life fire exercises seems incongruous. Please reconsider other sites.
Russell L Netter 3/6/23 1:40 PM I oppose this proposal as it fails to protect our local ecosystem and as it fails to take into consideration the safety and concerns of the people who actually live here.
Jerry Roxbury 3/6/23 9:53 PM I oppose this proposal, I don’t know why we have to change the laws, raise taxes so we can enable people who choose homelessness and a life of crime and drug use. As a working class, taxpayer and home owner in Pierce County who has worked for 40+years, I still can not retire, now you want me to pay for a group of people that have not contributed to society. Why don’t you use taxpayer money to help taxpayers who have worked and contributed to society have a decent retirement instead of building a village for people that have chosen to live a life of crime, drugs and homelessness. As the bible says you reap what you sow, so let them live with what they have sown.
Megan Shriner 3/7/23 3:19 PM I am opposed to Proposal No 2023-5, brining in more homeless when there are better places that are more rural and open to have them come in. We are already overpopulated in this area we don’t need more housing.
Lynette Borcherding 3/8/23 11:01 AM I am a business owner in Spanaway that stands to be negatively impacted by the first proposed tiny home village at the end of 176th St. The fact that residents DO NOT HAVE TO BE CLEAN to live in these brand new, tax payer funded homes is beyond ridiculous. These ridiculously expensive villages will turn in to sh*t holes because addicts are not neat and tidy or respectful. These villages have NO business in residential areas. You will destroy property values and ruin the lives of upstanding citizens that have paid their taxes and followed laws. These addicts need to be arrested when a crime is committed and then offered treatment. The money you want to spend of these homes should be spent on treatment. It's the only way out for homeless addicts. I realize all homeless are not addicts, so if this is your argument, then make the residents of your villages, that should be placed in the city, pass regular drug tests.
Lori Uhler 3/8/23 11:02 AM No way, you don’t put drug addicted people into the community and they bring crime into the neighborhood. This is a bad idea. Next thing you know is you’ll take away our right to defend ourselves. Oh wait ....that’s on the to do list too! Come on people. These people don’t want to change. There are resources out there for the ones that do. Lots of empty buildings to house them in too, without burdening eyesores along the Highway. Tax payers money already decided to put cross base Hwy there decades ago. Us old timers have a longer memory of what we were promised. You shuffle these bums around to make your neighborhood look better for college campus in Tacoma and they trickled down here after 30 years . Bull crap we don’t want them either. Spanaway has turned into an armpit. Do your jobs and quit passing the responsibilities.
Kris Sherwood 3/8/23 4:05 PM This will negatively impact the community as a whole. I support help but this is enabling lawlessness.
Kimberly Swetland 3/8/23 5:01 PM I do not support this proposal because it is unfair to give homeless a place to live when there are families who can’t even get HUD housing or low-cost housing in this area who are working and contributing and not on drugs. This includes people with families who are in situations where they are couch surfing or in other homeless or near homeless situations. We can’t even house poor families who work and you want to give free shelters to people who do nothing, and pay for it with tax payer money. Not to mention all the other reasons people have stated. Build affordable housing for the right group of people FIRST!
Lisa Edwards 3/8/23 5:05 PM I oppose this proposal for a new tiny home village 2023-5. I thought that wetlands were protected land! Why has the cross-base highway been scrapped? Because King county has sky high rents their citizens are moving down here. Since I have moved here 19 years ago the traffic has increased a 10,000 fold! The idea of the cross-base highway was to ease the traffic on Spanaway Loop!! Why can't you help the citizens who pay property taxes, sales tax, road tax, rta tax (which we will never have by the way) and any other taxes you people in government want to dream up. Find existing vacant buildings in Tacoma that you can renovate and let them live there where they can be better supervised, have the medical facilities needed, and the police enforcement that the city has versus what unincorporated Pierce county has! It is sad that a lot of the homeless choose to live their life this way because of mental health (which brings up a whole new can of worms) because there definitely isn't enough medical support for them, drug addicts, or alcoholic, but it is their choice to live this way! Thank you for listening.
Sue demele 3/8/23 5:16 PM This will affect us all and then our property values will go down the toliet. I pay enough taxes already . They need to build on McNeil Island use the old prison for the homeless and druggie. The crime rate has doubled since all this covid crap begain.we have had to make sure our property is secured. At all times I feel like I live in a prison because they are allowed to collect trash and then we have to get charged to for the clean up in the end. Its not fair. And then it's our tax dollars that are spent to house them for free and they aren't mandated to better themselves hell no. I was homeless lived in my truck for 2weeks and held a fulltime job. They need to be made to better themselves and get a job.even day labor. The worst thing our government did was legalize pot. They trade people foodstamps for money to buy their drugs.
Kyle 3/8/23 7:45 PM Inviting more homeless to the Spanaway area will only increase theft, vandalism and littering more. Vehicles and trailers are abandoned frequently and left for property owners to clean up the mess, not to mention shopping carts filled with garbage. Unfortunately making life easier for the homeless does not encourage all of them to better themselves and do right in society but only allows them to continue a life of crime without consequences of loosing housing.
Hwonnie S Ansari-Page 3/9/23 5:32 AM I strongly oppose both propositions. I have been a homeowner for 25 years in Spanaway. I have endured countless crimes such as abandon vehicles left outside my property, one stolen vehicle from my yard, stolen trash (sensitive ) information. I have had two separate incidents where two separate homeless men were on my property when I arrived home. I am outraged at the prospect of knowing More violence, and vandalism is being promoted by non residents of my home and neighborhood. I cannot afford to move or risk any additional decline in my property value. I am a disabled Air Force Veteran. I have completed 21 years of combined federal service. Again, I vehemently object.
JeAnette Colyer 3/9/23 7:07 AM We've already seen what is done to the properties locally where these camps have been. We've also seen how unsuccessful the tiny homes were in Seattle. This will destroy the neighborhood, the crime is bad enough.
Noell Pacho 3/9/23 1:42 PM Please do not allow the rezoning request to pass. The zoning restrictions and requirements currently in place were put there to protect the eco system. Allowing thus to pass would destroy everything the current regulations and zoning are supposed to protect. Thank you Noell Pacho
Sheri A. Mitchell 3/9/23 4:32 PM I do NOT support this proposal. I live at Lake Spanaway and I am concerned about several things. First, I witnessed the homeless population in Olympia (as well as here in Spanaway/Tacoma) and the encampment at the Watershed area. The run off from that encampment almost shut down the watershed from providing water throughout the area. Cleanup was costly and a nightmare. Secondly, how do you change environmental standards that impact not only the environment around the area but the also people, animals and environment. I own an apiary on my property, how will this impact this work that I am doing to better my neighborhood? Moving a problem to another location is just geography. You are not changing or helping the issue, you are moving it to a corner of the city that no one else can see or experience. The homeless situation is out of control, I have not seen any proposals that will control, eliminate or solve the issues. I have only seen proposals to pay someone else to be responsible for a "city" that has no proven track record anywhere in the US. What do we do when this fails, and it will? What type of assistance will our community get when we have to clean up this area from the filth and debris that is left behind? If you think this is a resolution to this homeless issue, I have some beach front in Arizona I can sell you really cheap.
Darcy Slattery 3/9/23 9:02 PM Without any requirement for no drug use, etc. You will be creating an unsafe environment for the taxpaying residents of this area. This is NOT a viable solution to the homeless problem.
Betty Jo Cloninger 3/9/23 11:36 PM This will not be in the best interest of our county.
Carol Stevens 3/10/23 1:24 PM a huge NO from a current victim of the homeless who are already scavenging through Spanaway, pls don't add MORE. too terrifed to go anywhere anymore
Renae Tracy 3/10/23 9:08 PM I strongly oppose this proposal
Rebecca Sexton 3/11/23 9:13 AM These types of projects do not work. As a first responder that works with these types of issues, unless the drug dependency and mental health issues are addressed first, giving free housing to these populations does not solve the problems.
Kathy Manley 3/11/23 1:03 PM Why don't we use federal funding to help with actual treatment programs? It would certainly be more effective than giving them a tiny home that will soon look like the areas they have congregated in. Thank you.
gy 3/12/23 9:19 AM Oppose Ordinance 2023-5s re location. Pierce County already owns property on the proposed location list, so why spend $4MIL of our tax dollars for this location? Why not use the location already owned by P.C.? Too many challenges with 176th & Spanaway Loop, mainly environmental and protected species. Pierce County opposed plans for the proposed Graham Airport for environmental reasons, yet they don't care about the wetlands and/or the impact it may have on Coffee Creek, Spanaway Lake and the adjoining waterways, the endangered species and wetland habitat. 300+ homes in one location? Some will house more than one, so there could be 350-400 people living in the wetlands. Unlike Texas, the wetlands pose danger to anyone compromised or otherwise, especially if someone wanted to wade/swim in these swamp waters. Traffic on Spanaway Loop Road is a nightmare and dangerous to anyone walking the area. With all of the sights and sounds of the military base, the wetlands are not a good place for someone with PTSD. There must be a safer place that doesn't pose so many challenges for the everyone ... the homeless, the environment and the community. Pierce County rezoned the wetlands to meet their needs... they never would have rezoned for anyone else wanting to build a community of 300+ in the wetlands. Sorry for the opposition, but obviously, just too many challenges and concerns. We all understand and appreciate the need to house the homeless, but maybe P.C. can look into the concerns of so many people. If they rezone, can other residence add tiny homes and change their property to high density also?
Terry Kaiser 3/13/23 11:58 AM I oppose this proposition to re-zone or allow a conditional use permit to allow for tiny home villages in rural areas such as the purposed village in Spanaway. The needed resources to make this work are excessive with adding the cost of sewer and road work that is needed in the wetlands. And to think that pollution will not happen is ridiculous. There are better options. I am a home-owner in the neighborhood and I am also concerned for the potential increase of crime and the lack of safety that is provided currently. Please give our sheriff's dept. the resources and needed funds to properly address crime. Along with that, allocate more funds to address the mental and drug crisis that is so prevalent in the current camps. Housing alone has not and will not solve the homeless crisis. Also, I don't believe the volunteer mental health and drug rehab programs for the "village" are sustainable and if they were, people have to want to get help and history has proven that's not the case.
Leah Warnke 3/14/23 4:47 AM I’m opposed to this proposal! For all the same reasons that have been relentlessly talked about throughout our community already! The idea is good BUT the location will have a negative impact on the lakes and streams in the surrounding areas that will negatively impact generations! We don’t have a police presence now to support what’s already happening and want to add over 300 people in an unstable, drug addicted, mental health changes without substantial mental health resources and alongside a military base that has shooting happening that we can hear clearly in the other side of the lake, seriously??? We need some common sense here!! They need help! Have looked into what other states are doing,like North Carolina, for their homeless population?? It maybe more of a rural community out there but they seem to have foodies some stuff out!!
Gina Ennis 3/14/23 2:36 PM I strongly oppose this proposal.
Sarah A Marshall 3/14/23 9:39 PM Washington‘s natural beauty is becoming trashed along our highways street corners and empty parking lots! And for sure businesses that are open have To deal with the disgusting trash left behind. Please stop making being homeless an easy option. I’d rather see Pierce county put low income housing in there or affordable senior living. I don’t understand why we need to take care of people who don’t wanna follow the rules and contribute to our state. We all drive that road every day. As a commercial driver I can tell you I see way too many trashed encampments all over the Pacific Northwest. This is absolutely ridiculous there’s no proof there anything we have done is helping. Whatever happened to they have to want to be helped and hit their own rock-bottom. government and state programs are getting in the way of that rock-bottom. S
Richele E Pogreba 3/16/23 7:21 AM I do not support this legislation. It unfairly targets one part of Pierce County.
MICHAEL J NOLLAN 3/16/23 8:16 AM This is a poor location choice and will be an attractive nuisance for drugs and crime without continual monitoring and financial support. It will do nothing to correct the issues that have created our current homeless crisis. Mental care facilities should be constructed on site and participation mandatory for residency, including job skill training. Require whomever builds and runs this place to put up a bond and be financially responsible for security and pay for the degradation in the area including loss of local property values or any future ecological or social damages. Then... maybe... This WILL make our area very attractive to homeless from other cities, counties and states... "If you build it, they will come"
jerry roxbury 3/16/23 5:54 PM listen to your Pierce County citizens and vote no on all the proposal for the homeless village. it is not right to ask people to give up part of their lives to support criminals, drug addicts and alcoholics who refuse to work. that is what you are asking the working class to do because we give up part of our lives every day, when we go to work to earn money to pay for our homes and taxes. do the right thing and stand up for the working class, VOTE NO!!!!!
Bethany Graciano 3/17/23 1:10 PM I oppose this proposal. These areas don't have the infrastructure (adequate bussing, EMS, law enforcement, medical care, etc.) to sustain such large projects especially geared toward medically fragile, criminally active and chemically addicted individuals. This is not in the best interest of this vulnerable community.
I stewar 3/18/23 9:56 AM The original zoning was put in place for good reason. Community feels PC is deceitful and maybe corrupt to now change the zoning for their needs in building this very large project. PC would not rezone if a contractor wanted to build something similar. Why change the zoning when there are other properties that don't need to be rezoned and that don't pose so many issues and costs with these wetlands? Maybe we can rethink this and do the right thing??? PC has their back up against a wall to get something done and has put tons of money and man hours into this before the public even knew about it. They are continuing to spend money and move forward even though some ordinances have not yet passed. We continue to see surveyors on the property as we speak, which means this is moving forward without concerns of the tax payors. What's going on??
I stewar 3/18/23 9:58 AM To continue my post, NO to Ordinance 2023-5s.
Susan D Turner 3/18/23 12:05 PM All you have to do is look at the reports of the former encampment name wonderland next to McDonald's off of military road. It was a sewer and that's exactly what anything else would turn into that you're proposing. Will there be people of law enforcement patrolling constantly? Will the city state or county provide toilets and dumpsters? Where will the enforcement come from that this doesn't turn into a pit.? Spanaway is already turning into bumville
Kitti Wheeler 3/18/23 4:20 PM I normally don’t take the time to read this stuff let alone make a comment. I’m unable to attend the upcoming vote on March 21, but I’m strongly Opposed and I trusting our elected officials to listen to the people’s voice.
Ashley 3/19/23 12:13 AM Enough is enough. Put money into rehab, start enforcing our laws. Quit enabling junkies. Your economy cannot stand without us working citizens. Start valuing us - we're tired of homeless junkies being the only thing you care about. We are human too. You need us.
Lynn Laurance 3/19/23 8:14 AM No more charging us to provide housing by taxation to address what is really a drug addiction and mental health issue. We need to put funding toward addressing THE ROOT CAUSE!!!
rick ceccanti 3/19/23 6:08 PM Pease don't spend my tax dollars on a homeless camp that will destroy our watershed into Spanaway Lake!!! This has been tried in California, do some research!! it cost California over $800,000. per home site!! Please spend my tax dollars fixing our traffic problems!!! Please spend my tax dollars fighting our drug problem where most of this homelessness comes from!!
SJ Thirtyacre 3/20/23 12:06 AM Please do not support this proposal. I'm opposed to Ordinance 2023-5 for the these reasons: drug use on the premises (there will be no requirement that these people need to be clean in order to live there); pollution of Spanaway Lake from run-off, bodily fluids, waste, and trash; increased crime; and decreased property values for the surrounding area. Zoning codes exist to manage resources, balance population, protect property values and ensure standards are applied equally. Everyone else has abided by the existing zoning codes; to change them now for this purpose with such overt opposition from the existing community is wrong. The existing community overwhelmingly disapproves of this proposal. Please be respectful of our positions on the matter and go back to the drawing board on this one.
Taylor Underwood 3/20/23 12:29 AM Dear Pierce County Councilmembers: I am writing in opposition to the proposed ordinance 2023-5s and urge my county representatives to do the same. Rezoning the Parkland-Midland-Spanaway area not only permits the construction of the densely packed micro-home village but similar projects as well. This will result in reduced green space which studies show significantly affects residents' mental health. The reduced green space will also decrease wildlife habitat and biodiversity, increase pollutants, and can further catalyze the effects of climate change. Additionally, the resulting overdevelopment of these areas will increase the risk of flooding which will come at a significant cost to the county. Not only does increased urbanization of these areas have deleterious effects on the environment, but it will also negatively affect the residents who reside there. A study conducted by the NIH found those who lived in more densely populated areas suffered from higher mortality rates of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory issues. Other issues associated with changing the current rezoning laws include lower quality of life, lower income per capita, higher unemployment rates, higher rates of natural resource exploitation, increased traffic congestion resulting in higher road repair costs, higher energy consumption, decreased water availability, increased levels of social inequality and exclusion, wasted disposal problems and poor air quality. The list goes on. Through careful research, it is evident that there are more cons than pros to rezoning the Parkland-Midland-Spanaway area. As stated previously I strongly urge members of this council to think critically about the long-term effects of the decisions you make today. Please stand with me and the members of this community and oppose ordinance 2023-5s.
Warner 3/20/23 8:35 AM Why don't you use this money to keep taking from the Washington taxpayers to build a drug treatment facility to help the individuals that are in these homeless camps? This current government keeps wanting the taxpayers to give more and more money to these tiny home plans with no end in sight. Our communities are riddled with crime and garbage, while you continue to preach green energy. Why don't you look around and see what your policies have caused and the harm you are doing to the communities? Washington is becoming unaffordable for people retiring and soon you will be left with the younger generation just sitting around waiting for their handout when the smart people leave this state.
Sherry Haviland 3/20/23 9:30 AM Please don't allow this tiny home village to happen in the Spanaway Loop road proposed area. This is a wetland area and an aquifer for our drinking water. There are better places for this tiny home village. Larger parcels that are not on a wetland and aquifer recharge area.
James Halmo 3/20/23 9:44 AM Mr. Chairman and Members of the Pierce County Council: I wish to comment about proposed Ordinance 2023-5s. Extensive public comments about this amended Ordinance reflect strong public displeasure. First, it is the issue of one of two tandem legislative actions – this proposed Ordinance and a proposed Resolution (R2022-163) regarding placement of a new type of residential property in the Spanaway area of the Parkland-Spanaway-Midland Community Plan area. You also have a proposed ordinance (2022-81s). The proposed Ordinance 2023-5s is a “non-project” proposal, but the underlying reason for it has drawn sharp comments from the public. Your original Ordinance had to be amended due to, as I see it, some behind the scenes “not-in my back yard” Council opposition. Thus, it is recommended that you read all of the public comments for the other two legislative proposals to ensure you fully understand what your voting citizens are saying. Second, the Determination of Nonsignificant (DNS) as well as its Revision (Environmental Application Number 1002286) state that it has no bearing on the future environmental review of a proposed project (the subject of proposed Resolution on your agenda). However, the guidelines from the State Department of Ecology state: “If the non-project action deals with a land-use decision or a proposal to govern future development, the likely environmental impacts need to be considered. An early, detailed analysis can result in a less in-depth environmental review since the work has been done up front.” Throughout the whole public review process, staff from the Department of Planning and Public Works (PWW ) made obvious efforts to minimize such recommendations. That future review would include all three land parcels involved in the project (0319294135, 0319293002, and 0319293004), not just the smaller area for the proposed future project. Will there be environmental impacts? Yes, according to the project proposal: “The project will impact existing wetland buffers. The project proposes enhancing existing buffers and buffer averaging to mitigate buffer impacts. The mitigation will be reviewed as part of SEPA and Pierce County Land Use permitting.” Third, I do disagree with the comments made by one lawyer on page 6 of 13 from the County Executive’s Office paper entitled “Additional Information Requested by the Pierce County Council (Resolution 2022-174).” He states “the environmental review process under the statute (SEPA) is primarily to focus in on those environmental issues that are not the subject of development regulations.” Some clarity is clearly called for with such a comment. Additionally, with regard to possible legal challenges, he states that an appeal of a Hearing Examiner’s decision on a conditional use Permit (CUP) “would be heard by a Pierce County Superior Court judge.” However, as he knows from his court experiences, such an appeal can be filed with a Superior Court in an adjoining county, such as King County. That’s the law. Filing elsewhere can make more sense in avoiding some of the political winds in Pierce County. Fourth, the Project Proposal states: “On-site Sewage System Permit from Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. The site is too far from existing Pierce County sanitary sewer mains and thus on-site septic is required. A permit will be required to construct the septic systems for the development.” However, this may be environmentally impossible based on some recent analysis. Now we hear about sewer connections. There is no cost factor found in the Project Proposal for extending a sewer line into the housing area along with a significant pumping/pressure station. Such a station, located at the end of the sewer line, goes down much further than simply 20-30 feet. Cracking into the sole source aquifer is almost a given. Where is the cost factor? Who pays for sewers? I saw the problem many years ago when the County installed sewers in Lakewood. When trying to install a new pumping/pressure station (not three blocks from my mother’s house) cracked into the aquifer. What a mess for many months. Fifth, Transportation. The Project Proposal states: “Parking. Parking within the site will be at a ratio of one stall for every two microunits as current public transportation is not within range of the site. In order to access the public transportation system, it is proposed that a bus or shuttle will connect to the Pierce Transit System (PTS) located on Pacific Ave S. This run could become more permanent if the loop were to add an additional stop within the site once the village has sufficient residents.” TRM Van services was also discussed. Public transportation is essential in dealing with the homeless. “Should” and “could” language is not acceptable. The County’s bus service must run along 176th Street from State Highway 7 down to Canyon Road, where homeless, seeking to expand their education and job possibilities, can attend the Bethel Technical College. Is that not part of the mission of this project? Sixth, Housing Rent is to be charged for those staying in these proposed units. It would be nice if some detailed factors could be cited. Do the homeless have the income or money to afford living there? That rent is an assumed factor in paying for operating costs. Inconsistency. I recommend that you re-read public comments made March 5, 2023 by Angela Schick, regarding some legal inconsistencies with your new interpretation or lack thereof with the RR zoning and the Proposed Project. She makes a valid point. Seventh, Environmental Issues. I will repeat what I have stated on proposed Resolution R2022-163: Having review many of comments about this project, there is one serious issue about the character of the land and particularly the Spanaway Marsh, Coffee Creek, and Upper Spanaway Creek area complex. A detailed research paper was prepared and one of the authors (Don Russell) stated most clearly to the County (staffer Angie Silva) on February 1, 2023: “it functions to provide clean, cold, low nutrient concentration surface and ground water to Spanaway Lake.” He overlayed the proposed location of the Tacoma Rescue Mission microhome urban development Village on the map of the area. “It should be abundantly clear to all that the location of a micro-home asphalt paved urban city in the middle of the critical area Spanaway marsh complex and headwaters of the Spanaway Creek fork of the Clover Creek watershed is clearly contrary to the intent of the Growth Management Act and would constitute an illegal act.” He also referred to various laws which would be violated. Members of the Council should read his report prior to any voting on the three legislative issues on your calendar for March 21, 2023. It is time to consider another possible location for the homeless project. James Halmo
SHARON COSTELLO 3/20/23 3:34 PM 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 2 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 APPROPRIATE FOR THIS USE. Leaders lead-- Just say no!
Germy 3/20/23 7:43 PM Oppose. Most people who don't live in Spanaway know nothing about this plan. The ones who do, don't care because it's not in their neighborhood. The root of problem here is drugs and alcohol, damaging one's brain, resulting in mental illness. The potency of drugs these days is no joke. Years ago, if you were caught with drugs or broke the law, you went to Raymond Hall or jail, making people think twice about doing it again. Now, not even a slap on the hand. It's okay to take drugs, not work, live by the rules, pay taxes or contribute to society. Of course, there are people with real mental illness, but today, it seems most are due to drugs. How can we slow tis down? We need a place for these people, but maybe we can start with a smaller footprint that doesn't cost so much to see if this will even work, not just for the homeless, but for community as well. It's a step backward to build this village and yet allow the residents to use drugs and alcohol because it's not legal. The density of 300-400 people is outrageous! This is not Austin, TX, it's little Spanaway wetlands that connect to and may affect other waterways and lakes. P.C. opposed the Graham airport due to environmental reasons so this all doesn't make sense. Maybe build along with affordable housing in an area that doesn't have so many issues ... there are other areas. Also, if P.C. rezones, will it continue to rezone other areas whenever they feel like it, just to meet there needs? Let's not forget "why" P.C. zoned this land the first place. Thank you to Counsel members for your efforts, but can we please rethink this? It's too big and expensive of a project to make a mistake.
Germy 3/20/23 7:49 PM Oppose. Most people who don't live in Spanaway know nothing about this plan. The ones who do, don't care because it's not in their neighborhood. The root of problem here is drugs and alcohol, damaging one's brain, resulting in mental illness. The potency of drugs these days is no joke. Years ago, if you were caught with drugs or broke the law, you went to Raymond Hall or jail, making people think twice about doing it again. Now, not even a slap on the hand. It's okay to take drugs, not work, live by the rules, pay taxes or contribute to society. Of course, there are people with real mental illness, but today, it seems most are due to drugs. How can we slow this down? We need a place for these people, but maybe we can start with a smaller footprint that doesn't cost so much to see if this will even work, not just for the homeless, but for community as well. It's a step backward to build this village and yet allow the residents to use drugs and alcohol because it's not illegal. The density of 300-400 people is outrageous! This is not Austin, TX, it's little Spanaway wetlands that connect to and may affect other waterways and lakes. P.C. opposed the Graham airport due to environmental reasons so this all doesn't make sense. Maybe build along with affordable housing in an area that doesn't have so many issues ... there are other areas. Also, if P.C. rezones, will they continue to rezone other areas whenever they feel like it, just to meet there needs? Let's not forget "why" P.C. zoned this land the first place. Thank you to Counsel members for your efforts, but can we please rethink this? It's too big and expensive of a project to make a mistake. Do our comments of concerns even count? When driving by the area, looks like work has commenced.
Janine Tollin 3/20/23 9:02 PM I do not live in the Spanaway/Parkland/Midland areas, but this is a huge burden on those small blue collar communities. Pierce county as a whole should bear the burden of the homeless - not a small section because land is cheap or because the Pierce County wealth and subsequent political contributions come from other areas in the county. Gig Harbor, UP, Fircrest, Puyallup and even Edgewood, where I live, should share equally in this. If this Zoning does not work for all, it should not work for any. You are unfairly asking the homeowners and businesses to bear the brunt of the increase in crime and de-valuation of property that will come with basically 'dumping' the county's problem in the lower income areas. This is a disservice to those citizens.
Natalia DeVore 3/20/23 9:38 PM Ridiculous reason to rezone. I am so sick of my tax dollars going to help the homeless. I would rather pay for more police and jails to house the criminals because the majority of them are criminals. Stop helping them and stop supporting them. Stop making it easier for people to live like this. Stop making it easier to buy and sell drugs. Stop putting more into the people that want to see the world burn,and start investing in children and teens to prevent them from ending up like this.
Eli Tollin 3/20/23 9:41 PM I oppose this proposal. This would put the entire burden of homelessness on three small communities when it is a county wide problem.
Donna Robinson 3/20/23 9:57 PM We are opposed to the "tiny homes" being built in this proposed area! There are not adequate resources to house these individuals and the impact on the current residence is UNFAIR! It will destroy the environment, wetland area, and eco system. Please do NOT pass this on to this neighborhood. Put the tiny homes in an area that has built in resources, medical, church, psychological, transportation etc. If this is built, they will be moved from the street and more instability, drug use, illegal activity, trash, and the environment will be destroyed- not preserved!
Donna Robinson 3/20/23 10:04 PM We are opposed to the "tiny homes" being built in this proposed area! There are not adequate resources to house these individuals and the impact on the current residence is UNFAIR! It will destroy the environment, wetland area, and eco system. Please do NOT pass this on to this neighborhood. Put the tiny homes in an area that has built in resources, medical, church, psychological, transportation etc. If this is built, they will be moved from the street and more instability, drug use, illegal activity, trash, and the environment will be destroyed- not preserved!
Rashelle B 3/20/23 10:31 PM I STRONGLY OPPOSE THIS
Tracey Taunt 3/20/23 10:53 PM I strongly oppose this proposal. Buying land to stick the homeless on that is near water sources and right on top of a military base does not serve the homeless well. I say NO
Alicia Netter 3/20/23 11:40 PM I vehemently oppose this proposal. This zoning is inhumane and its main purpose is to cram more vulnerable people into smaller spaces. Their houses will lack basic amenities just to meet the new code and to put in even more houses. It also allows more tiny homes to be built on small patches of "good" land that are sandwiched between unusable wetlands. However, these lands need to be protected and need that space as buffer zones to function properly. Wetlands help prevent flooding and sequester carbon emissions, both of which are important as climate change is becoming more drastic. These areas were listed as low density housing for a reason! The environment hasn't changed and yet there are plenty of vacant lots that already disturbed and have all the hookups to hold more people safely. This change will cost more than you realize in the long run.
Michael DeVore 3/21/23 1:13 AM I do Not support this proposal! Please consider the effects of this proposal on the local tax paying residents. I understand homelessness is a tough issue to deal with but putting this homeless village in one of the few remaining rural/residential areas is just not the way to go about this. Homelessness starts with upbringing and we need to focus our efforts families and children first! Community centers and resource centers are where we as pierce county need to focus. Tiny homes and another tax hike is a bandaid and a waste of efforts. This has not truly worked anywhere and is not gonna work now! Please consider the majority of comments in opposition to this proposal and side with your hard working tax paying citizens.
George Wearn 3/21/23 1:31 AM Dear Chair and Council members, •The Council is essentially being asked to loan $22 million to an applicant with no credit rating, risking a taxpayer-funded bailout. Executive Counsel Steve Oban suggested to the Council that the loan might be “forgivable”, a red flag. • The environmental DNS for the proposal is invalid. Proposed ordinance 2023-5S adds kitchens and bathrooms, changing the density and requiring a new SEPA review. •The proposal is inconsistent with the policies of the Parkland Spanaway Midland Community Plan (LU 26.3, ENV-9, ENV-17, ENV-18), the Comprehensive Plan (ENV-1, ENV-5, ENV-9) and Vision 2050 (MPP-En 10, MPP-En-13, MPP-En-17, and MPP-En-18). In fact, a conditional use permit would be properly denied based on the Comprehensive Plan. •This proposal is not urgent. The proponent claims that if a rushed schedule is not met, the County will fill the site with single family residences. Don’t be fooled. There is no application on file for either the shared housing village or the threatened alternative. •This a thinly veiled attempt at spot zoning. The Council’s job is to make policy, not to determine what happens on specific parcels of land. Any assertion that the proposal 2022-5S is a “non-project action” is contradicted by its simultaneous enactment with rushed funding for the Executive’s Pierce County Village proposal on Spanaway Loop Road. •Don’t believe the "scary math" used to eliminate alternative sites. The criteria applied would also disqualify the current site. •Pay attention to the details of House Bill 1220. It does not call for large-scale emergency housing in rural or environmentally sensitive areas. It does not extend sewers into protected wetlands, like we have on this site. It promotes affordable housing close to employment, which is nowhere near the proposed site, and housing on a very small scale – adding accessory units to existing homes. •While Ordinance 2022-49 provides for “micro-enterprises,” such commercial uses are not allowed in the Residential Resource zone here. Overall the proposed ordinance creates an environmental threat and a planning mess that will not survive an appeal. The community does not want it. Please vote no. Thank you for your consideration.
Melody Atwood 3/21/23 7:38 AM Do NOT change our Code to allow "shared housing" in the RR Zones! I live in the RR Zone in Spanaway, right next to the very first place this amendment will destroy with the PCV. Our neighborhood is all 1-5 acre plots. We are surrounded by forests and wetlands. The RR Zones are zoned low density (1-3 homes per/acre) to protect environmentally sensitive areas. If you allow "shared housing" in our RR Zones, you are destroying the entire purpose of these areas. The Executive Office and TRM have clearly demonstrated what they will do if you give into their demand. They plan to turn our beautiful RR Zones into cities while they try and say with a straight face that they are not changing the density of 1-3 houses per acre. With their very first prototype, the PCV, they are actually cramming around 15 buildings per acre which they say is perfectly fine using their newly invented "funny math"...but it is not funny. If you allow this, not only will you destroy one of our most important and beautiful watersheds and seriously impact our already compromised water table, you will also destroy the life-savings and entire way of life for those who purposely bought acreage in the RR Zone for the peaceful quietness it brings. If you amend the Code to allow "shared housing" you are really amending the Code to allow cities to move into protected areas. If the Executive Office wants to build in this pristine watershed, they should have to actually RE-ZONE the area. I'm guessing they know that would never be possible because of how blatantly obvious it is that this is a watershed/wetland area...and one of the most known and documented RR Zones because of all the battles that went into stopping the Crossbase Hwy. Manipulating the Code to fit specific projects should not be allowed. You all know that because you just amended the Commissioner's amendment. The Commissioners said that it wasn't right for Spanaway, Parkland, Midland to be singled out for this change to the RR Zone and sent the Council that amendment, but you all amended it back to just Parkland, Spanaway, Midland. WHY? If it isn't good for the other districts why is it good for us? This is bad politics!! JUST SAY NO!
Megan Shriner 3/21/23 7:40 AM I do not support this
Vaughan Leiper 3/21/23 8:40 AM I oppose the proposed tiny home village. Not that there is not a need to address homelessness in Pierce county but this does not seem like a practical long lasting solution to ending the problem in our community. The nearest bus line is well over a mile away and the goal of projects like this i imagine are not only to give people a place to stay but also give them a pathway to pull themselves out of homelessness. Will there be transportation provided for the residents to make it to medical appointments? How will the tiny home village be secured? How will we ensure that this does not just turn into another large encampment that has pronounced effects on the wetlands and surrounding areas? The information provided in the detailed report does not appear to address these questions. Philosophically it sounds like a great idea but I just can’t see this solution being feasible and sustainable. Ultimately I dont believe this will achieve the goal of ending homelessness but instead kick the can down the road.
Karen Marchesini 3/21/23 10:18 AM I vote NO. The original ordinance is here for a reason. The change will ruin this very fragile environment!
James F. 3/21/23 10:22 AM I support the idea of the tiny home village after hearing Duke Paulson speak on the impact this can have for chronically homeless persons. There is an alarming perception that all homeless people are drug addicted. What about the elderly on fixed incomes, growing families who experience loss of employment of major medical setbacks. I suggest that many of the commenters take a meeting with Duke Paulson from the Tacoma Rescue mission to gain some insight into what this village can actually do. I had some negative concerns at first but after seeking out information from those in favor and those opposed, the rhetoric of vilifying struggling people is pretty sad from the opposed community. Once again people will allow fear and laziness to dictate their knee jerk reactions. Instead talk to people, request meetings with those making decisions and speak to those who are actually going to be the recipients of this village.
Roy Marchesini 3/21/23 11:33 AM Please vote No
Roy Marchesini 3/21/23 11:52 AM Please vote NO
Elizabeth Taunt 3/21/23 12:09 PM I adamantly oppose this change in the zoning. Putting a micro city, complete with amphitheaters, dog parks, and micro business in a RESIDENTIAL RESOURCE AREA is completely absurd. Not only is it totally opposite of the character of the community, the resources are not available to support this type of development in the Spanaway-Midland-Parkland area. Sending all of Pierce County's homeless to this economically struggling area is a rush to failure.
Les Dreeson 3/21/23 12:23 PM Reasons stated in opposition response to R2022-163s
Donna Kercher 3/21/23 12:30 PM Yesterday I picked up aluminum foil as it bobbed at the headwaters of Spanaway Creek. (This is about 40 feet from where a motorcycle is dumped on its side.) This was smoked foil left in a camp near the water’s edge. Now that the water level is higher, the foil is floating in the creek. After the encampment on 149th street closed, the druggie campers moved to the northwest corner of Spanaway Park and set up about 30 encampments. The main north trail is blocked by tents, coolers, Goodwill clothing, and garbage. Some camps have been cleared by park employees but most of the garbage remains. And yes, public works knows about this, too. All camps have had drug debris and three camps were burnt with gallons of hand sanitizer. Four license plates I found were stolen. Cut wire can be found in multiple locations (thieves do not know the difference between steel core and copper wire). Last week, I found about 20 batteries a day, including corroded dry cell batteries and various solvents. I also picked up three uncapped needles and many pills. I have done this daily for one year now. This corner of the park is not safe for children or pets. It is impossible to see under the clothing, mattresses, ferns, pine needles and ivy to avoid nails and needles. You clearly do not have the resources to maintain what we already have! Now you want to invite the same type of people to muck up the headwaters of Spanaway Lake! The foil burners will burn down our taxpayer funded tiny homes just like they do elsewhere. They will go out on their bicycle patrols to find everything that is free (our cars, trailers, mail and package deliveries, etc.) You want to raise our taxes to subsidize their behavior. The Texas concept will not work where drug use is subsidized and promoted by government agencies and in the lawless environment we have now. Please do not continue contributing to the tragedy of the commons!
Sharon Costello 3/21/23 1:03 PM Placing a micro city in a rural residential neighborhood where THE RULES OF THIS HOMELESS VILLAGE WILL BE DECIDED BY THE "FORMERLY HOMELESS" is DANGEROUS and presents SAFETY RISKS for nearby residents and the community at large. This proposed ordinance is of the same ilk - the Executive's office is making up their own rules to get what they want. They keep saying what what they are doing is legal, because THEY KEEP CHANGING THE LAW. Micro cities - aka villages -- in RURAL RESIDENTIAL ZONES ARE NOT ALLOWED .... Pierce County's credibility is taking a big hit as citizens watch this contortion of the law, especially if the requirements of Environmental Impact Statements and Dept of Wildlife Reviews are avoided whereas a citizen would definitely have to perform these requirements. JUST SAY NO.
Chris Camire 3/21/23 1:03 PM I STRONGLY OPPOSE ! ! !
Raquel Gonzalez 3/21/23 3:01 PM I do not support this.
Jina 3/21/23 3:03 PM Vote NO on this Ordinance. It does not take a scholar to look around and see that whatever "we" are doing is NOT working. We do NOT have an obligation to provide free housing to anyone. Pierce County is one of few reasonable counties in the state but it is quickly losing support from the residents. People are fed up with the nonsense. I served over 20 years in the military and my husband has worked his Kroger job almost 30 years. We scraped to pay off our house and now we have to save still to pay almost FOUR THOUSAND dollars per year just for property taxes. If it went toward improvements we would gladly support, but things are only in decline. Headlines: KIRO 7 News 2020 "Property taxes in Pierce County to rise in 2021"; KING 5 News 2020 "Pierce County Homeowners will see double digit increase in property taxes"; The Center Square, Washington 2023 "Pierce County property tax totals$1.9B in 2023". When is this going to result in positive change for the taxpayers? From one end of the county to the other, the streets are littered with trash, shopping carts, tents, and graffiti. Refuse from vagrants is spilling out into the streets, putting people at unnecessary risk. I have an idea. Criminalize hard drugs, because that makes sense; always has. Have the offenders come out and clean up their mess. When the activists want to protest common sense solutions in favor of their emotions, have them put a card with their name and phone number on it into a big jar. Hold a raffle, and just keep picking cards until each "homeless" person is paired up and goes home with one of these caring, accepting, helpful individuals. You must vote NO on any more taxes for the residents of Pierce County. Thank you.
Penny howard 3/21/23 5:48 PM So sad that you think that those of us who are contributing citizens and pay our own way, sometimes barely, should bear the responsibility of housing, clothing, and feeding others. I have worked hard d all my life and supported myself and cannot afford to care for everyone else.