Council Legislation

Proposed Resolution No. R2022-163s

Title: A Resolution of the Pierce County Council Authorizing Release of Funding for a Microhome Village Project Pursuant to Provisos to the 2022-2023 Pierce County Biennial Budget.

Status: Passed

Sponsors: Councilmembers Amy Cruver, Paul Herrera, Dave Morell

Final votes

March 21, 2023
Aye Aye Nay Aye Aye Aye Aye

Additional legislative records are available below Collapse All  Expand All

Public Comments

Name Date Comment
Kari Moore 11/22/22 1:39 PM Our current homeless crisis system can't support chronically homeless individuals well and this is an opportunity to make some real progress. Long-term progress. For people that have been on the streets for months and years. As someone who has worked in the field and supported people experiencing homelessness for some time, I believe this model would be successful in helping these chronic, long-term homeless residents, which would help tremendously with encampments and the visible homelessness so many constituents are upset about.
PennyChoward 12/5/22 2:52 PM Residents were not aware of project before presentation to the board….that is very disheartening that you vote on a proposal without public input. How is it possible that the state agencies have approved this site in a wetland that feeds into a lake that Pierce County should be helping to restore water quality in? I would also ask that you keep your presentation regarding the project brief on Jan. 3….. we are well aware of the project and will be there to share our concerns.
Scott M Munson 12/6/22 11:54 AM The proposed homeless village is located on wetlands adjacent to the lake. There is real concern Spanaway Lake water quality will be impacted. This must not happen. The recently voted in LMD for Spanaway Lake is making progress. Give them the funding they need to clean up Spanaway Lake! A comprehensive EIS should be required for this project prior to permits. No septic tanks. No access from Spanaway Loop. I'll be making further comments at the January 3rd public meeting. Hope to see a big crowd.
Mary cooper 12/6/22 12:12 PM Not a bad idea just the wrong location……please revisit the other 2 sites proposed
Alex (Sandy) Williamson 12/7/22 5:14 PM As chair of Friends of Spanaway Lake, we oppose the plan as stated with septic tanks. We think Sewer connections are mandatory and storm sewers should be be able to be hooked up also. and an EIS should be done to make sure no loss of the positive impact of wetlands providing iron, fe, to the lake and not providing anything harmful in nutrients or pollutants.
James Overway 12/7/22 5:57 PM I have personally spent thousands of $ and hundreds of hours on an effort to clean up Spanaway Lake. This proposal smells like a giant step backwards.
Carrie E Umporowicz 12/7/22 6:03 PM I am concerned about the impact this will have on neighboring communities and the lake.
Sue Thompson 12/7/22 9:49 PM Spanaway Lake is a treasure for Pierce County! If you put the homeless village in this area you are ensuring the demise of the Lake quality with these septic tanks. We are striving to clean up the lake. This council is supposed to represent those of us that live in the county! Why is this project trying to be pushed through without public knowledge? Also, this area should stay the wetland that it is zoned to be! Build your Village, but not in this wetland. Pick one of the other proposed sites. I will also be speaking on January 3rd voicing my concerns.
Laurie and Randie Armatas 12/8/22 9:55 AM Agree Homeless village is a need. Disagree in location due to existing environmental restrictions, potential damage to Spanaway Lake if sited without sanitary sewer connections and apparent lack of following correct protocol for public acceptance.
Ken Straub 12/8/22 11:44 AM It appears that very little (if any) Enviromental impact studies have been done for this project. The proposed site location is on protected wetlands. Will the required Environmental impact studies be done? At the very least Sewers (both sanitary and storm) are needed on the property.
Richard Kotler 12/10/22 2:28 PM I oppose the proposal. The lake and surrounding wetlands cannot survive the septic tank that would be required. If, however, the County were to expand the Sewer system to all houses in the District, I may reconsider.
Linda Heade 12/11/22 2:20 PM I adamantly oppose the Spanaway Loop rd location! This location's proximity to the lake is an obvious threat to the health of the lake. Questions for water surface management...why are you not required to follow same County code requirements when developing near/on wetlands and/or in close proximity to body of water fed by a year round creek (ie Coffe Creek) that flows directly into Spanaway Lake as we private citizens? It is obvious that county agents are blatenly in violation of the Pierce County Shoreline management Act, as well as totally ignoring county's regs reg. wetlands! I am disgusted with how Pierce County is railroading this development. Is anyone truly listening? And, who is benefitting from the sale of this property? Humm??
Robert Berggren 12/12/22 3:57 PM This is an aquifer recharge zone. In the 1980s we had to put in & pay for sewers. This area is on wells, figure it out. Also it has protected oak trees. This is the wrong place!
Jessie Richards 12/12/22 7:57 PM The environmental impact on Spanaway Lake if this project moves forward with septic systems will undo everything that the home owners, county and state have done to improve the water quality of this lake. If this site was a good choice why then do you need to change the codes in order to complete this project?
Melody Atwood 12/14/22 12:59 AM I oppose the location chosen for this proposal. Although I think that the Community First! model has potential to be a very viable solution for many of our homeless, I agree with all the environmental concerns already express in the comments above. These are of vital importance! I'd like to also add a few more concerns. This is an inhumane place to put the homeless! It is isolated with no proximity to the surrounding community. It is landlocked. It is over a mile walk through the woods from the end of the village to 176th St. and then at least an additional mile walk once they reach 176th to the nearest bus stop. It is also right next to JBLM in an area with frequent LOUD day/night ammunitions and directly under the flight zone for LOUD low-flying aircraft coming into the nearby McChord Airfield. It is also an active black bear habitat with frequent loud coyotes. It is neither safe nor trauma-informed for those with PTSD or struggling with addiction or mental health issues, which you have stated in your proposal are the individuals your targeting to house in this "village". This area is also DIRECTLY on the property lines of a long-existing neighborhood of 36 homes that are all on over an acre. Our homes back up to this beautiful wooded and wetland area. To put a 15 buildings/PER ACRE micro-city on our property lines is devastating, and it will cause our property values to plummet. There is very little space between our neighborhood and JBLM and therefore the proposed "village" is sandwiched in a very narrow plot of land. Because of that, the houses will be ONLY 20 FEET off our property lines! All the beautiful old-growth trees will be cut down which is something no one else would be able to do so close to a wetland. Even the County should not be so powerful as to break (uhh..change) all the rules that normal citizens have to abide by. The executive office plans to use "Condition Use Permits" in order to push this proposal through on this land. This is a complete misuse of "Conditional Use Permits"! Your own rules state: "That the granting of the proposed Conditional Use Permit will not: (1) be detrimental to the public health, safety, and general welfare; (2) adversely affect the established character and planned character of the surrounding vicinity; nor (3) be injurious to the uses, planned uses, property, or improvements adjacent to, and in the vicinity of, the site upon which the proposed use is to be located." Take a minute to look at the area using Google Earth. Anyone who is willing to HONESTLY look at the surrounding area would know without any doubt that putting a micro-city in this location is a violation of Pierce County's own rules. It will violate all 3 of your statements above. In addition it is a violation of Federal Law as your own Tax Assessor labels this land a "National Wetland" as well as a "WDFW Priority Habitat and Species". If you want this Community First! Village to be a success and a model for more villages in the future, then you must listen to the voices in your community. If Community First! puts the local community last, it will not succeed in being the model you are hoping for.
Daniel Atwood 12/14/22 8:48 AM I understand the proposed site is good for the county: cheap land and the homeless will be out of sight. But this site is NOT good for the homeless. I've heard some county officials say the site is "Therapeutic." Is it therapeutic to put drug addicted/trauma affected individuals next to sounds of gunfire, exploding munitions, & low flying aircraft? Is it therapeutic to put them in the middle of a wetland full of voracious mosquito's? The idea that people will be outside interacting, developing community is severly limited by the mosquito's and the rain. This isn't Austin, Texas! Is is therapeutic to make them "dependent" on a volunteer shuttle to get anywhere? What happens when a person is trying to work a job or access health care or go shopping & the shuttle is broken, volunteers are absent/sick, or funding is cut? They are stranded and completely dependent on others rather than developing independence if the site was actually near a bus line. What chance do they actually have of reintegrating with the greater community when they are stuck back in the woods out of sight and out of mind? What happens when there are budget cuts and the perpetual stream of money required to prop up all the "features" of the village are lessened? What happens when their drug dealers and friends show up and decide to "linger"? Do we really expect volunteers to be able to do anything about that? Haven't we learned anything from the mistakes we as nation made with Native Americans by isolating them on reservations? The village proposal has merits but the isolation of this site is far from therapeutic. It is further debilitating.
Kurt Reidinger 12/14/22 5:25 PM The Proposed Resolution No. R2022-163 strikes me as quite premature given that the project has not been thoroughly vetted. We were given to believe that an informational meeting was scheduled for January 3 at which time the public would be given a chance get more details, ask questions, and understand what alternatives were considered in the decision to go with this approach. From "Project Open House on January 3, 2023 @ 7pm at Sprinker Recreation Center Please join us January 3, 2023 at 7pm at Sprinker Recreation Center in the Rainier Room for an open house focused on the proposed Pierce County Village. The open house will be in person and live streamed on the website. The open house will include a presentation and a question and answering session. Open House In-Person Address:  Sprinker Recreation Center - Rainier Room, 14824 C St S, Tacoma, WA 98444" What you've telling us with this proposed resolution is that you're simply barreling ahead with that plan regardless of the merits and community input. Providing a link to the original prospectus that was circulated some weeks ago doesn't constitute community input nor is it an acceptable substitute for answering questions put by the public. It may be the case that this is a very flawed idea, and because it constitutes a significant fiscal impact, not to mention potential environmental impacts, I respectfully suggest you consider tabling the proposed resolution R2022-163 until after the above-noted January 3 meeting and the SEPA process has run its course.
Gregory Cooper 12/14/22 9:41 PM The needs of the homeless population in Tacoma/Pierce County certainly needs to be addressed and I agree that this type of project may be a step in the right direction but it needs to be in the right location. I strongly disagree that with the Spanaway Loop Road location. There certainly has to be more suitable sites that are easier and less costly to develop that will not have the environmental impact that this project will bring to Spanaway Lake, the Spanaway community and the downstream watershed. The proposal is to purchase the entire site of 85 acres and only use 27 acres that are ‘buildable’. That fact alone seems to lack logic and prudent judgement. The location is in the middle of protected wetlands that feed into Spanaway Lake. Any disruption or pollution will directly effect the water quality in the lake and the entire downstream ecosystem. Spanaway Lake already has challenges from the septic systems around the lake and from the nearby developed areas that utilize septic tanks. The lakefront property owners and Pierce County are working hard to improve the water quality in the lake. Adding hundreds more septic systems in the middle of the wetlands that feed directly into the lake would significantly undermine the years of work and monies spent and add decades to the clean up efforts not to mention the additional fiscal costs involved. This site has a large stand of Garry Oaks, which are protected, as well as many other tree and vegetation species that add to the surrounding ecosystem. Our tax dollars are being used to help the homeless in our community. We need to spend that money in a manner that gives them the best chance of success and this is not the right place.
Erin Sumner 12/17/22 12:43 PM I agree we need to help the homeless. I also believe this is the wrong location. It is a very secluded location and will destroy the wetlands and wild life that live here. This is not a serene place for the homeless with the often military practices and planes.
Elisha Babukas 12/17/22 8:30 PM I live in the neighborhood that this village will be butted up against. I do not think you realize the impact of putting homeless, veterans people with PTSD where guns are going off all the time from the base. Loud planes from McCord that rattle our entire homes at times. Great idea wrong location. There has to be a better location that will work for this. Putting homeless in the middle of the wood surrounded by ft Lewis, McCord and one small neighbor will not benefit them at all
Tyrome Walker 12/17/22 8:39 PM Good idea wrong place
Jon Craig 12/18/22 7:03 AM I oppose this proposal.
Justin 12/18/22 8:55 AM Wrong location. Don't build on wet lands. Too close to schools and children.
Russ Panko 12/18/22 6:56 PM This proposal makes no sense at this location
Richard Gerth 12/19/22 6:35 AM The site for this proposal is on extremely environmentally sensitive and vulnerable land/wetlands, with consequences beyond its boundaries. This should be immediately obvious, even without studies! There are far too many environmental risks for this location and design. In addition, its location presents too many significant disruptions to the established surrounding neighborhoods.
Terry Kaiser 12/19/22 11:57 AM I oppose this proposal. Like many that have already commented, I support a plan to help the chronically homeless, and like so many have mentioned, this is totally the wrong location due to the isolation, environmental issues and impact on the community.. This location only hurts everyone and helps no one.
Addo Aequitas 12/19/22 4:37 PM This is not Texas. You cannot carbon copy a plan from Texas and hope it will work here. This plan has not been thought through, and should be strongly opposed until a plan that will help the people is completed.
Richele E Pogreba 12/19/22 4:43 PM I am surprised by the choice of this location for the homeless. As stated by many of the comments from others, this location is environmentally sensitive, isolated, and exposed to loud noise from JBLM. How can this be an appropriate place for homeless people many of which are either veterans with PTSD or persons who have experienced other forms of trauma in their life. I am surprised that this location was even a consideration. The thought that went into choosing this location seems to be skewed by something other than common sense. The idea may good and we need do need to make progress in helping the homeless but this location is just wrong.
Adam Schick 12/19/22 5:05 PM I Oppose This.. This Is An Idea That Would Make Sense Near An Industrial Area, If The Aim Here Is To Truly Create And Help People Get Back To Work. Becoming A Productive Member Doesn't Happen By Shoving Someone In The The Woods To Destroy The Agriculture And Animals Around While Claiming To Have Transportation And Yet Residences Are All That Are Around. Paper Ideas Always Look Good When Writing Them Down, Poor Execution Can Lose So Quickly. This Idea/Plan To Use Spanaway By Residential Areas Is A Plain Example Of Poor Execution If This Actually Got A Go Ahead, We All Truly Know Is Shouldn't.. I OPPOSE.
Ana Gonzalez 12/19/22 9:49 PM Completely opposed to this project being done in this residential area. The impact on this community will be detrimental to the many citizens that have their homes in the surrounding area. Crime will go up even more than it already has in the last 2 years and property values will go down. This should not be an option in any established community where hard working families have to pay the high price.
Christina Manetti 12/20/22 4:35 PM I strongly oppose this proposal on environmental grounds -- this site is a national wetland and has protected Garry oak woodland. I also oppose the project as a proposed housing solution for a variety of reasons, regardless of site. This project must not be allowed to proceed on this site, which is completely unsuitable for such a development.
James Dunlop 12/20/22 4:58 PM To whom it may concern, I would like to oppose the proposed amendment. My name is James Dunlop and I wish to be a party of record. From an environmental perspective, the development will cause considerable damage. Further, the needs of current residents have not been considered, and I am already aware of the distress they are feeling. From a social perspective, the step is regressive. The homeless are being ghettoized, put in homes without bathrooms. It is almost medieval, reminding me of a leper colony, placed out of public sight in a swamp. Pierce County is better than this. Yours sincerely, James Dunlop
Docere Pharmakis 12/20/22 6:14 PM What is proposed here is to build a work camp in order to engage in the super-exploitation of desperate people. The proposed “micro-village” will be built on wetlands, and the people living there will not only be living in a 10ftx20ft space, but actually expected to work to pay rent in order to stay there. Specifically, they may work as a “tour guide” (because apparently our legislators see the needy as zoo animals to be put on display) or farmers, working the wetlands and selling their crop in order to maintain a meager standard of living (i.e. peasants). The proposal includes fences, guards posted 24/7, and constant electronic surveillance. This is a truly dystopian example of how late-stage capitalism attempts to stave of it’s inevitable collapse with super-exploitation and neo-liberal fascism.
Russell L Netter 12/20/22 8:10 PM Building at this site makes no sense. 200 homes on property that is mostly wetland. There is no way this can be done without harming the the watershed that feeds Coffee Creek and Spanaway Lake. It means cutting down endangered oaks and destroying an Eagles nest. We have wildlife such as bear, otter and beaver that make this wetland their home. That land can't absorb the toxic run off that would come out of the cars and RV's in the parking lot, not to mention the septic waste of 200 homes. It makes no sense to build here and destroy what should be a park, especially when there is vacant land for sale off Mt. Highway and off Thorne Lane where there is already water, power, and sewer readily available. These locations are also distant from housing developements, where it will not affect peoples safety and comfort or affect property values. We moved here because our last neighborhood was ruined by moving homeless and unemployed people into homes HUD bought on our block. Our once quiet neighborhood suffered a never ending crime wave. Almost every home on the block got robbed at least once, the house across from us got robbed 5 times. Our cat was mutilated and killed. My wife had enough, so we moved. Because the neighborhood had turned into a slum, we lost a lot of money on our house. When we moved here, we thought we had found our retirement paradise. Now we find that it's happening to us again. Someone has to be accountable when we lose money on our homes, someone has to be held accountable if our roads flood, someone has to be accountable if we get robbed. This is not a good location for this village. The county has already acquired an apartment building for 286 homeless in Spanaway and now you want to build for for 200 more with only 20 or so homes being reserved for the homeless that are actually from Spanaway. It seems that you are using blue collar Spanaway as a dumping ground. Tell me is the north end of Tacoma getting any shelters, or Brown's Point? How about U.P. or Fircrest? I bet not. It feels like the only person that is going to be happy is the contractor. It makes me question why the County Counsel is pushing so hard for this location.
Sharon A Netter 12/20/22 8:45 PM I oppose this proposal because it will destroy our wetlands and homes to endangered species. There is an active bear den and eagles nest as well on this site. This was one of the reasons JBLM Highway did not go through. You are putting people that have PSD near a firing range from JBLM. It sounds like a war zone some days with the explosions, rapid gun fire, and the military aircraft overhead. This area is not on a bus route, close to stores, or hospitals. It saddens me to hear that the County Council can just change the laws to suit their needs. Nearby residents have much stricker rules about building near wetlands. My neighbors could not subdivide their property, but now the county thinks it is okay to put 200+ homes directly behind their home. How is this fair? What happens to the existing homes if there is flooding? What happens to the toxins that run into neighboring creeks and lakes from these homes? Pierce County needs to look for a better situation for their homeless rather than putting them into existing neighborhoods that will put their taxpayers/voters at risk. We moved near Spanaway Loop Rd because HUD decided to purchase eleven homes in our former neighborhood. This drove the crime rate up and property values down. Now it seems like it is happening all over again. Spanaway seems to be the county's dumping ground to put people at risk.
Sharon A Netter 12/20/22 8:45 PM I oppose this proposal because it will destroy our wetlands and homes to endangered species. There is an active bear den and eagles nest as well on this site. This was one of the reasons JBLM Highway did not go through. You are putting people that have PSD near a firing range from JBLM. It sounds like a war zone some days with the explosions, rapid gun fire, and the military aircraft overhead. This area is not on a bus route, close to stores, or hospitals. It saddens me to hear that the County Council can just change the laws to suit their needs. Nearby residents have much stricker rules about building near wetlands. My neighbors could not subdivide their property, but now the county thinks it is okay to put 200+ homes directly behind their home. How is this fair? What happens to the existing homes if there is flooding? What happens to the toxins that run into neighboring creeks and lakes from these homes? Pierce County needs to look for a better situation for their homeless rather than putting them into existing neighborhoods that will put their taxpayers/voters at risk. We moved near Spanaway Loop Rd because HUD decided to purchase eleven homes in our former neighborhood. This drove the crime rate up and property values down. Now it seems like it is happening all over again. Spanaway seems to be the county's dumping ground to put people at risk.
Kira Murphy 12/21/22 9:36 AM I strongly oppose this change to our existing code. This was not thought out correctly.
Shawn Cross 12/21/22 12:28 PM This is an awful location that is going to be the burden off the unicorporated area and is residents. You have already allowed insanse growth of warehouse and clogged the road with frieghliners on these small roads. Now you want to give away more land to something voters have not had a chance to weigh in on. You are protecting the NIMBYs in Tacoma and farming it out to us to deal with. Placing all that housing on the outskirts, far away from the rest of the city (and the city's amenities) while exclusively catering to the severely economically disadvantaged is a recipe for bad neighbors and not ideal.
Patrick Pimento 12/22/22 8:56 AM i think you people are making a bad mistake as usual. why are you goin to ruin the environment and make spanaway lake worst then it already is with the run off of the little village. you nee the cross base highway more then we need that talk about the grey squirrel stooping the the highway isn't that going to happen to the village too. you people don't have no idea what is going on in this county
Richelle Moore 12/23/22 8:35 PM I’d like to know if this were any other development project proposed in the middle of protected Wetlands, would it be approved?! There is 1 bus stop nearby, bus routes were reduced during Covid, are they also being increased to support this large village? Are you adding to the budget of the police force so that they can respond to incidents that will happen here? What is the waste management system? This micro village is far from many resources, hospitals, mental hospitals, etc. It seems to me that the council members who support this plan likely live in other areas. Only 50 homes will go to the chronically homeless population in Spanaway?! It looks like the plan is to ship all of Tacoma’s homeless to the middle of our community with little resources. This is not Texas and unfortunately our laws have become so relaxed that many of us fear this community being proposed will only bring more crime to the area.
Hailey wheeler 12/24/22 12:30 AM This is not the correct location for this project. There are multiple concerns on the level of environment impact on spanaway lake. Spanaway is also an area that already has had many businesses close up shop and leave due to the crime level and homeless problems they have dealt with. As someone who had lived in spanaway my whole life…. The amount of time that it takes a police officer to respond to our community, there is no way that hundreds of chronically homeless people should be dropped off in spanaway. We need to think of an alternative placement. Spanaway is jot the place that will work for a project like this.
Kandi Crawford 12/27/22 12:22 PM Pierce county has the opportunity to make a long term impact on chronic homelessness especially since Federal funding is available now, but needs to be released promptly in order to proceed. This is a unique opportunity where onsite services for individuals including mental health, physical health, and case management support would be provided. Residents will be paying rent and job opportunities would be available onsite with an expectation to participate to earn money to pay rent.
Austin Miller 12/28/22 10:01 AM I support this proposal. I had a chance to visit Community First Village in Texas, and it was one of the most incredible things I've seen. It was a community of formerly homeless individuals living with dignity and purpose in a beautiful neighborhood that anyone would be lucky to call home. Homelessness will continue to get worse and more lives will be impacted if we do not create solutions. There will never be unanimous agreement about the best solution, but this is a tested and proven method that would help hundreds of people in Pierce County get off the streets permanently.
Rebecca Vinson 12/28/22 11:34 AM I support this proposal. I have worked extensively with the homeless population since 2015. The Community First Village is the first real solution to address chronic homelessness. This gives those individuals a chance to live in a community with dignity and have supportive services to maintain their housing. When we help these members of our community, we help our whole community.
Darius Alexander 12/28/22 8:17 PM As a long time resident of Spanaway I support this proposal. This will bring much needed relief in this area for those suffering chronic homelessness. In an area which often feels ignored, this is a great opportunity to bring resources to people needing them most.
Elisha babukas 12/30/22 7:33 AM This is the wrong location for the tiny home village. You’re putting homeless people out of sight out of mind where they don’t have very great routes for transportation in the middle of the woods with gunfire and low air planes going off constantly you’re not thinking about how it will impact the neighborhood surrounding the proposed site.
Rick Ceccanti 12/30/22 2:31 PM Regarding the homeless village. This has been tried many times before!! Way too expensive for the amount of people you will be helping. Looking at other projects done by other counties, there cost were over $800,000.00 per door. The wetlands and virgin piece of property away form utilitees add an extra degree of difficulty. This project will cost closer to one million per door when done. And take a minimum of three to five years to complete. Im a contractor developer and that is what it takes now days!! Better use of funds to help ten times as many people and start helping almost immediately is by buying existing buildings such as Hotels and Motels with cost below $250 thousand dollars per door.
Dan Keech 12/31/22 1:38 PM i oppose this homeless village. please do not vote to approve or fund this proposal.
Kathy Woods 1/1/23 3:31 PM Please do not built this village at this location. It is so wrong on so many levels. No one benefits from this including the homeless. No bus lines. It is such pristine land full of racoons,bears, deers, porcupines, colored. Do you not care? And the people who live around here. Our property values will.plummet. some of us have lived here for years watching our property values increase. Many of us counting on that for our retirements. You are killing us. It is said the most chronic homeless people will move in. What that is saying is the most mentally ill. Otherwise they could have got help if they wanted it. We will have to live in fear in our own homes. This is just the wrong location. not do this
Kim Underwood 1/1/23 4:59 PM Kim Underwood December 31, 2022 Re: Community First Village Ms. Cruver, Mr. Herrera, Mr. Morell, Although the Community First Village does have merit, we should support it only if it is constructed in a suitable location. Instead, this is what we found: • Of 86 acres, only 27 are buildable • Proposed building site lies within a federally protected wetland • Will require an Environmental Impact Statement • Washington State (ESA) Wetland Plant Area (Howellia Aqatilis) • No sewer hook-up availability • This project will add to the water-nutrient load via septic systems • Little to no access to public transportation • Nearest pharmacy or grocery store miles away. • Tac Rescue Mission estimates they will need 2.5 – 3 million a year. 65% private/35% government funding. (TNT July 19, this is 30% of TRM operating budget) • Additional funding, (HUD) will not fund housing within federal wetland areas • WDFW will require hydraulic permits • Army Corp of Engineers will require fill permits • Pierce County does not maintain existing culvert • Property is not securely located • Modeled after a farming community (Phosphates will exacerbate current water quality issues within Spanaway Lake) • I have personally walked this entire site, it is only fit for mosquitos • Washington is not, Texas • Not all tiny home villages are success stories Every effort should be made to locate homeless shelters in areas that have developed infrastructure much like the tiny home village on Orchard Street in Tacoma. These villages must be secure and above all maintained. Residents must have access to food, water, power, and sanitation. Instead, this proposed building site lies within a federally protected wetland/flood overlay of the Chambers/Clover Creek Watershed and offers none of the above. It is my understanding that the City of Lakewood has wisely placed contingencies on Tacoma Mission’s request for the release of one-million dollars of ARPA funding until a suitable location might be found. Multiple, plausible, locations have been submitted to Pierce County council, with no return response. Aside from the increased negative effects, the Community First Village will add to the Chambers/Clover Creek Watershed, the council should consider the water resource itself. The Parkland, and Spanaway area, among others, is out of the water! Water rights have been exhausted, and now there is the need to import water from the Lakewood Water District at an additional cost. Can governing agencies guarantee sustainable water supplies? No, they can’t. Cause and effect? Indeed…, The bottom line; responsible decisions are made by responsible, elected officials. As always, thank you for your prompt consideration of this matter. Regards, Kim Underwood Lakewood Resident & Citizen Member
Allen Crouser 1/1/23 5:39 PM You are not ignorant; you know this is wrong. Put them in your area. But you won't do that.
Elizabeth Taunt 1/1/23 9:33 PM I totally oppose the proposal
Sara Netter 1/1/23 10:14 PM These tiny houses should not be but on this location! There are a number of environmental reasons on top of the fact that there is no easy access to a bus stop so these individuals can get health care from specialist which most of them need. Putting the location here is wrong on every level. For the individuals that this is suppose to benefit (they would benefit more from another location where there are plenty of properties that would be better suited in Spanaway) and this is terrible for the environment. Plus who is going to take care of that private road and the damage to the swamp? So many creatures and species live there that would be negatively impacted by this. This project is all about lining pockets and keeping these people out of sight which again is wrong on so many levels.
Roxy Giddings 1/1/23 11:00 PM R2022-163 Microhome $ Jan 1 2023 Comments from Roxy Giddings on Draft Proposal R2022-163 A Resolution of the Pierce County Council Authorizing Release of Funding for a Microhome Village Project. If “a Microhome Village Project” is in fact “the” MVP South of Spanaway Lake then DO NOT RELEASE FUNDING FOR A MICROHOME VILLAGE PROJECT THAT INCLUDES THE DESTRUCTION OF WETLAND HABITAT AND WETLAND BUFFERS that are critical to the health of Coffee Creek, Spanaway Lake, Spanaway Creek, Morey Creek and Chambers Creek, all if which flow into the waters of Puget Sound where the Orcas live. Save the Orcas. The funds that should be released for such property should be from the Emergency Reserve Funds the County Council sets aside from the Conservation Futures Funds for the purpose of saving properties that are at immediate risk of being lost to development. This property Qualifies in every way for Conservation Futures Funds. The military base might be willing to provide the required matching funds just to keep 300 fewer people from crowding up against the base. (The 1970’s Parkland/Spanaway plan tried to zone buildable properties next to the base for one in 10 acres. The fear at that time was the possibility of the airbase leaving because of danger to the civilian population. Now the potential is much worse. We could get SeaTac II.) The Council should immediately call for action to save this valuable, irreplaceable clean water resource. And it is not just the sole source aquifer, artesian springs, surface water and wetlands habitat to protect but this property has plants and animals that are at risk of completely disappearing from our region. A good birder in spring time has named 30 species of birds in 30 minutes in that area. The property is also in the migratory bird Pacific Flyway. The Western Gray Squirrel may already have been forced out. What kind of excuse could be used to cut the protected Gerry Oaks? If this is the example of what will be a use of Residential Resource Land then every RR zone will obviously need to have (as this proposed project must have) a fully studied Environmental Impact Statement prepared by outside experts in the various natural environment fields. An EIS would give citizens along with their government a realistic look at the environmental costs of a project. Perhaps “the release of funds for a Microhome Village Project” could start with the following: A FUND WILL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE PIERCE COUNTY COUNCIL TO PAY FOR A FULL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT ON ALL PROPOSED PROJECTS IN A RESIDENTIAL RESOURCE ZONE. IN ORDER TO GET A MORE COMPLETE DOCUMENT A MINIMUM OF 30 DAYS WILL BE OFFERED TO THE PUBLIC TO PROVIDE SCOPING FOR A RESIDENTIAL RESOURCE DRAFT EIS.
Winfield Giddings 1/1/23 11:06 PM The release of funding should not happen when the project it funds is an environmental disaster, and is too far from transit.
Noell Pacho 1/2/23 8:14 AM I Oppose this proposal. Breaking all of the states rules and regulations,re-zoning etc. to put in a micro village that will destroy the very thing those rules and regulations were put in place to protect is ludicrous! Not to mention the increased crime and filth that will result. The pollution that will directly impact an already compromised eco system will be astromonical. This location would also be detrimental to those individuals you are trying to help. Gun fire, mortars, Low flying aircraft. No bus lines, street lights, controlled intersections, and Mosquitoes! Our property values will plummet. We all bought our homes in this neighborhood because of its location, the beauty and isolation from city living. We take great pride in our neighborhood and do not want to see it destroyed. Please Choose another location for your village.
Ron O’Neill 1/2/23 11:03 AM I have owned my home for 32+ years adjacent just north of the proposed site. I am not looking forward to the noise and seeing the disturbance this project will bring to our area. I take care of my disabled wife and assist my son who is medically discharged from the Army. We have enjoyed the years living in this location because of the wild life and serenity of the area. The tranquil setting has been beneficial to both my wife and son. Now you are proposing to disrupt our neighborhood by introducing noise and unwanted visitors and possibly homeless people coming through our properties to visit friends they shared the street life with. You also want to disrupt the forest and wetlands for this project. It seems hypocritical of the county to come in removing wetlands and habitats that helps support the wild life in our area that the state and county had halted others from privet sector projects to satisfy their own needs. The noise and lighting for the project will be a huge disturbance to the disabled that I care for. Our home is directly north of the project. The noise of construction and of the completed project will severely interfere with the ability of my wife and son to sleep a relax. They no longer will have peace and tranquillity of their own residence. Which they need to be comfortable. We will likely loose the serenity of the nights because of noise and lights. No longer have peace and quiet. We bought our property as an investment in our future. The house and property are all I have to live on as I grow older and care for my loved ones. I cannot afford to have the property values go down because no one wants to buy into the area do to the proposed project. This project could have very detrimental consequences on our future and directly on my ability to care for my wife and son financially. I cannot image the county could not find property would not infringe on wetlands an wildlife and the composition of a community. Please donot construct this project here. Leave the wetlands and wildlife habitat in place It is hard to believe the county would come in and so blatantly ignore the wishes of the existing community and trash their own statutes and regulations. Totally unethical and irresponsible of the county to proceed.
Chris Mercurio 1/2/23 1:13 PM Dear-County Executive and Council It is with extreme disappointment that I’m contacting you regarding the village project off of 176th and Spanaway Loop Rd. I’m not sure why I didn’t get the original notification of this project when it went into design phase approximately a year ago, now I get the notice via Facebook a day before a public hearing that I won’t be able to attend. It has been my experience that these public hearings really don’t do any good because by the looks of the agenda, this is well on its way and will become another problem for our area. We are taxpayers for Pierce County, prior business owners and own investment properties in the near vicinity of this village. It is so frustrating that our council comes up with decisions that affect residential areas and others. These projects are never good for the community and I don’t understand why we don’t just nip this in the bud and treat it head-on, all this is, is enablement for a society that needs help. I am sure this will be a haven of drug use, crime and will have a negative impact on this area just like the others areas around the country and city like Hosmer and South Tacoma. Please reconsider this and work with the state to reopen a facility to help treat these people and get them back into society as functioning citizens and stop the enabling.
Rebecca Sok 1/2/23 6:20 PM Hard stop on housing people in tiny homes in the County. There are many schools and crime already in the immediate area. Wetlands and promised Cross Base will be severely impacted, if not destroyed with this suggestion to build. Put them in the city limits where they can be treated and housed with less community impact! No one wants these tiny homes out here in the county.
Ruben Pacho 1/2/23 8:29 PM I am Petroleum contractor (Gasoline Staion). Having to deal with envirnmental issue, such as the parking in this Little House. Is the property self contained with water retention and Oil/Water Seperator containment? When the station Oil/water seperator fill the overflow goes into the sewer system. There is no sewer on this property that is being considered. Then the water retention for this porperty, does the water just filters through the the ground and seeps into the Wetlands. I am addressing the automobiles that will leaking oil, radiator, and transmission fuilds that will be leaking. I am sure there will be signs posted no auto repairs on the property. The individual that will living at the property will not have the capital to take their vehicle to a local shop. We are talking about close 300 homes in several years, I have heard on 1 cars per every 2 houses. How can you prevent an individual from purchasing and vehicle? Check around you neighborhood driveways for these oil leaks. I was in Seattle in Elliot Ave north of Mercer, Bay area there is a Tiny House location and the businesses placed fences and security guards. They used to get a break in's everyday. I say NO...
Lee Tracy 1/3/23 4:15 PM I oppose this proposal. This will ruin our neighborhood and will harm the environment. The value of our homes will plummet and for most of us in the neighborhood our homes are a big part of our retirement. The drugs and crime that this will bring is not acceptable. Please stop this craziness!!!
Erin Sumner 1/3/23 4:42 PM I believe building this tiny home village in this location will greatly harm the environment. The wetlands and wildlife that live here would all be destroyed. Nature is already in jeopardy everywhere and to loose this piece of it would be tragic.
Patrick Wetterlind 1/3/23 4:49 PM This is a little piece of nature that would be devastating to loose. It is secluded and would not benefit the homeless with the support they will need. It will destroy the wetlands and wildlife that live here. There are several other locations much better suited for this kind of development.
Kathy Woods 1/3/23 9:35 PM Any Cruver, this is directed to you. You came to Melody’s house which you called her an old friend. You met with us. You saw our faces, you heard our stories, you saw some of us crying including your friend Melody. But you still coted for it. Have you no compassion? Shame on you!!!
Brian Shaver 1/4/23 1:55 PM After going to the open house on this proposal. I oppose this site for being used due enviromental issue with the wetlands and to Spanaway Lake. I also oppose this site because pretty much what the county is doing is sticking the homeless pretty much on a island out of complete site. If you wanted to do that then why not put them on a island like McNeil. If you want the homeless to feel like they are a part of the community. Then put them on a site thats not hidden and is easy for them to get on a bus or even to palces they need to go. You asking for a lot of things that can go bad on this site. Its surrounded by wetlands. What happens when those wetlands flood an traps the homeless from going anywhere. When the one road going in is flooded and not one emergency vehicles can't get to the site to help. I think everyone understands that this might help with the homeless but not this site. There are several sites on Pacific that would and can be better for this camp. Starting with Roy Y and heading out towards 224th. Roy Y has a bus station right there. Please council members use your brain for once and listen to the people who elected you into office. Also this is pretty much 2 years down the road and most likley longer due to challenges and law suites. BUT WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO NOW TO FIX THE PROBLEM!!!
Stephanie Grazzini 1/4/23 4:56 PM After attending the public meeting last night, I have to say how strongly disappointed I am with these Pierce County officials!! You completely disregarded every public comment that was made! You don't care about the community you are supposed to represent, you are all disgraceful! Our community does NOT support this proposal, you better start listening to the people you were elected to represent!
Andrew Grazzini 1/4/23 5:07 PM I extremely disagree with this proposal. It is a huge disrespect to everyone in this community, you didn't bother to ask for our opinion. You did this all behind our backs and are expecting us to just accept it. The tax payer money that is set aside could be put to better use. Shame on all of you. This is not the place for a homeless village, especially since you will not be drug testing, you are not going to fix the problem you are just going to enable it and put it in my backyard! Remember you work for us, we pay your salary, and I guarantee we will remember your decisions come next voting season.
Donna Haley 1/4/23 5:31 PM I have lived in this community for 40+ years and was what once a great place has deteriorated to a crime ridden community with countless problems. The Loop Road is not policed at all and people it like it’s a freeway. I hear sirens daily. And now you want to add housing for chronic homeless with no bus services that won’t be supervised to ensure it is drug-free. I am concerned that you have progressed this far before asking for public comment, it would seem that you should have involved affected community members before now! I believe this is a proposal that will go sideways fast at the expense of those that live here.
Daniel 1/4/23 5:38 PM I support the proposal. How can I help?
Murray Clarno 1/4/23 6:58 PM In viewing all comments made I agree with two. I oppose the site and a homeless person that needs help if they want it and can follow the rules of no drugs and no booze i agree, get a differnt site council.The council is embarrassing and should be fired. Not giving any notification is wrong. I live 40 sec from the site.this area of swamps,standing water, feeding Spanaway Lake is its last life line. This lake struggles with other issue's now. Taking away or damaging this outside water source would be devastating. I'm shocked that no notice was given. I never recieved anything. It was word of mouth. Pierce County council your report card is a F.
Jacob Wheeler 1/4/23 9:02 PM This is not a solution for the homeless population. Permanent housing for career homeless will not solve any issues. The land is protected by federal codes. Use existing buildings throughout the county for a short term opportunity for these people.
Jerry Roxbury 1/4/23 9:07 PM I strongly oppose this proposal, this will crush our property values, increase crime and hurt the wet lands. Pierce county council is using Spanaway to dump their homeless population on us and Amy Cruver who is suppose to represent the Spanaway community has turned her back on our community, and along with the other council members have decided to Sacrifice our safety and our financial well being so the rest of pierce county has a place to dump their unwanted homeless population. I was at the January 3 meeting, which our council member Amy Cruver did not attend, the council members that were there, spoke to us with contempt in their voices and didn’t take any of our concerns seriously. If you are a resident of Spanaway and care about our community you should let Amy Cruver know that you do not want this village in your back yard.
Kelsey Grindstaff 1/5/23 5:04 AM We already have programs in place to help the homeless, so it boggles my mind as to why we would spend more tax dollars to put them somewhere that isn’t even safe for them or the rest of the public. The land is wetland, and having a micro city there can cause contamination. Also, bears and coyotes live in that area. Are we planning to discourage them from coming to that area before we put people there? This whole project seems to have been not only not thought out but also rushed in the hopes that the general public wouldn’t find out about it.
Sandra Davis 1/5/23 12:31 PM Beside the fact that it is environmentally destructive due to the wetlands located there, I truly believe that they are not being honest with this plan. I attended the meeting at Sprinker this past Tuesday and the community was definitely outraged at this plan, as well as myself. Why in the world would they want to disturb the wetlands in this area which can cause devastation to the wildlife, fish and water ways in our area. There are so many other locations in the Graham, Roy and Yelm areas that are not butted up against other homes and not next to wetlands. I also understand that the person who owns this property wanted to build on it years ago, but Pierce County denied it due to the wetlands, but for some reason they can now re-write the codes to meet their needs. I also truly believe that this plan is a waste of money after hearing the speakers where they said they cannot control drug use on the property even though they plan to vet the possible residents. They could not answer so many of the questions the community put forth, it was if this was a done deal and our voices did not matter. With over 4,500 homeless in Pierce County, how in the world will a community for 250 people. That leaves 4,250 people still homeless. Instead of wasting this money on building a sewer system, homes, etc. why are we looking at using the hotels that are out there and other empty buildings and creating something similar? Finally, why not do an intake of those out there now, and if they are not from this state, send them back to where they came from. After that, vet those who are addicted to drugs/alcohol, have mental health issues, criminals and move them to treatment or jail. Those that don't want help go to jail and get clean there. Those that want treatment, use the hotels or other vacant facilities and create this village. Create a dorm facility. I'm sorry for going on and on, but I am so frustrated with the Pierce County Council and don't trust what they are saying
Claudia Finseth 1/5/23 2:16 PM Dear Pierce County Council and Executive, I’m working today, as I always do, from my home near the intersection of Spanaway Loop Road and 138th Street South. Close by is Joint Base Lewis McCord, and as on most days, I am experiencing its considerable noise pollution. Today it is the running or warming up of the big transport plane engines. At least once a week it is transport planes practicing what I think are called ‘touch and go,’ (I am not an expert on these things) or repeated take off and landings. They take off, turn, fly over Parkland and Spanaway at a very low altitude, and land, then repeat. And repeat. The house shakes, windows rattle, the noise gets so loud I have to pause any conversation. When I was a student at PLU, class lectures were interrupted while we waited for the planes to pass. Frequently there are night departures. It’s not unusual to wake at midnight, one or two a.m. to the noise. And that’s just the air base part of it. Several times a year the army base runs what sounds like war game exercises. Explosions and gunfire. Now the Washington State Department of Transportation wants to build a new large airport in the same area, out of which would fly passenger jets. All three proposed sites for this new airport are close to Joint Base Lewis McCord. Each one of them could double the heavy noise pollution residents already experience. You, the Pierce County Council and Executive, wrote a letter objecting to this proposal, pointing out that this part of the county lacks “transportation, sewer and water infrastructure” to support such an airport. They state the sites are ‘outside the boundaries of the Public Transportation Benefit Area and no transit service is available or planned . . . Providing the required infrastructure is likely cost prohibitive and brings with it concerns regarding development and growth outside the Urban Growth Area.’ Okay. All good reasons to my mind. Now consider that, simultaneously, you,as the leadership officials of Pierce County itself—the very people who oppose the proposed airport—want to locate a large homeless Tiny Village on eighty acres in the same area. Don’t their objections to the airport also apply to a homeless village? Out here we have a very small tax base, few employment opportunities or services. We have no hospital, no technical or community college, no YMCA or public swimming pool. We have minimal public transportation. How will the homeless make their way out of homelessness in such a location? Many homeless people are traumatized people. Will it help them heal to be near the artillery, gunfire and heavy noises of the base? And if another airport is built out here, won’t that only traumatize our homeless even more? The County claims services will be provided for the homeless village. But for how long? And then what? All our homeless corralled together in a semi-rural area. I guess I’m concerned that eventually could become not unlike a modern day leper colony. Out of sight, out of mind. Is this what they really deserve? Does this really help their plight? Simultaneously I’m deeply concerned, as a resident in an unincorporated area that has no mayoral oversight protection, that we are an easy dumping ground for unpopular projects by both the county and the state. Certainly there seems to be little or no coordination between WSDOT and Pierce County. The proposed airport and the proposed homeless village are a lot to impose on any one area. Sincerely, Claudia Finseth
Chris Airey 1/6/23 3:00 PM Good idea WRONG LOCATION!!! DO NOT DAMAGE OUR LAKE. PLEASE!? This is a horrible location and none of you have even done a real environmental impact report nor have any of you even thought about the impact of those you're trying to help. A.) Next to military gun range and air strip. B.) Going to pollute nearby lake and protected wetlands due to run off of sludge created by the homeless and parking lots. C.) Neighboring communities STRONGLY OPPOSE THIS LOCATION IN IT'S ENTIRETY! Pick another location for this. Cause this isn't even throughly thought out since this is the "cheapest" location you can waste our overly taxed populous dollars on. Since we're already the highest taxed County in the state, you should listen to the actual community members and go somewhere else with this tragedy waiting to happen!
Bryan Anderson 1/6/23 9:19 PM I’m writing in support of the Community First! Village. I’ve lived in the Parkland/Spanaway area most of my life. There will never be a perfect site for this kind of use, especially with the need for it to be in the Urban Growth Area. Those opposing this development on environmental grounds are, with all due respect, mistaken in their claims. No construction will be allowed in the wetlands. In fact, the wetland mitigation proposed will fence off, protect, and even enhance all sensitive areas on this site. Wetland experts will oversee the marking and protection of the wetland areas. All tree preservation laws will be followed. Second, I understand the latest proposal is to connect to sewer, but even if septic is used, Pierce County and Washington State requirements for septic systems are very stringent. In fact, I am supporting this project because of the environment. The un-sanctioned homeless camps around Pierce County are extremely unsanitary and detrimental to the environment. Human waste, trash, and other wastes are simply dumped on the ground. Neither do these camps have any rules or security. Although the camp at 149th & C Street was swept by the Sheriff, there are many smaller, equally unsanitary camps in this area. The "Martin v. Boise" Federal Court decision makes clear that counties must have adequate shelter space. We need Community First! Village to be built as soon as possible.
Larry Fritz 1/7/23 9:27 AM Please stop this now! Beside the enviormental problems the people in this vilage will have a direct line past my house to Pacific Ave.
Shannon Scacciotti 1/7/23 6:02 PM As long as the justifiable concerns such as environmental/sewer, reasonable costs etc pass further study and review, I support this program which brings an opportunity for true healing and restoration of dignity to our most vulnerable of the homeless; many of whom are at or near end of life and often end up being housed in our hospitals, taking up beds that are much needed for our other community members with acute illness and/or are creating areas of blight and public health concerns.
Jeremy Vahle 1/7/23 7:34 PM Ridiculous on many fronts. The government shouldn’t be dumping $20,000,000 into a project ASSUMING other necessary funds will be provided magically. That is gambling with the tax payers money. If the other funding doesn’t materialize what’s the plan? We’re out the $20M or in order not to throw it away you just authorize more tax payer funds and tax us more to cover the bad decision. If the project is partially funded nothing should move forward until all other “private” funds you expect have been received and are in a trust. You are catering to a population that in general has DEMANDED the government give to them and provide what they want the way they want it. It’s cute there will be “rules” in the Micro Village because for the last two years the LAWS in this state have been disregarded with no consequences and a new jail we funded years ago displaying a “No Vacancy” sign despite having plenty of rooms available. I’d rather see you take the $20M, go to downtown Tacoma, and hand out $25,000 checks and a one-way plane ticket to the east coast to 800 people. The citizens who have to deal with the daily rate of crime and filth the politicians have allowed to grow would be better served that way. In the future when your web designer creates a page on a topic like this how about you have them create two links? One that says “sign your name in support” like this one ONLY does and one that says “sign your name in opposition”. The way it sits right now someone can grab your link, go in front of the council and media, and truthfully say “X members of the community put their name on our link for supporting this Micro Village” while disregarding what the citizens actually wrote. Make two links, run a tally, and then you, us, and the media can see where the balance lies. If all of you truly believe this project is going to work then sign a declaration stating so and that if it doesn’t or it goes over budget you’ll resign from office for wasting our money. As it stands right now the only people with any skin in this game are us the taxpaying citizens.
David L Sweet 1/8/23 1:49 PM There is already enough crime and poverty in the area! This will just further hurt a bad situation. I oppose this location.
Kathy Warnke 1/8/23 5:25 PM Why, Why, Why ??? I believe this site is only considered because Pierce Cpunty underestimates this community. I for one am glad you have brought out new passion for fairness and accountabilty to us, Thank you.
Chris Nelson 1/9/23 9:01 AM This is not the place for 300 tiny homes, in our wetlands. Pierce County needs to rethink this. Can't believe our elected officials want to put 300 people in a gated concentration camp in the middle of our wetlands next to the base, isolated from the community. this project is wrong on several levels
Dan Pielak 1/9/23 2:50 PM Having attended the January 3rd meeting. I found it fascinating to observe the community outcry for this ongoing dilemma we all find ourselves in. We have asked our public servants to deal with this homeless issue and this is the solution they have arrived at. I personally am opposed to the site and the proposed plan. Why do we settle for a model that is not at all what we need. We are willing to invest money in a project that based on the answer from the TRM Executive Director, “will this be a drug free/alcohol free community?” His response, “What residence do in their tiny home we will not monitor”. When I heard this from the Executive Director, I knew we were giving the residence no accountability. That this plan was destined to fail. When will we learn that people need tough love not a limp rag The goal should be a 100% homelessness solution in Pierce County. We should be the model on how to deal with homelessness. How can this ever happen if there is no accountability and a zero tolerance plan is not in place. I wonder how many of the Spanaway folks would have come out if this was a proposal for a 192nd and Canyon Road site. My presumption would be less than 5 percent. This is a shame on all of us not just those we have hired to solve this issue. So how many Spanaway folks would have engaged if it were not in their backyard. Not that these folks aren’t concerned. But we have not really come up with a solution that has real consequences for peoples actions. By the way, I believe there were enough folks in that meeting Tuesday night to solve this issue if we had the guts and desire to engage. Most folks will say “I am only getting involved if it is convenient”. I was in attendance myself out of shear frustration in my own experiences and am seeking to coordinate a serious group of folks who will create a real solution. The Pierce County council only does what Government does. Did we really think this would be solved by bureaucrats. Our Communities, cities, counties, state, and country are up to our eyeballs with this upside down solutions to a people problem. We have been cowards including myself. I am so done with this ineffective stance. Will men and women rise up and join a movement to stop this insanity? This is a Pierce County issue. Austin, Texas solutions won’t fix. Question is How bad do we want it? Council member Amy Cruver from District 3 has probably the best thoughts so far. My member Marty in District 5 needs to get engaged with his folks to fully garner a real solution. My thoughts begin with: #1- Law & Order #2- Transformational intervention #3- Eliminate “The Business of Homelessness” #4- P.C. Creates Zero tolerance on Homelessness. #5- Create the answer for the nation.
Barry 1/10/23 11:08 AM I attended the community assembly at Sprinkler and saw that the community is totally against construction at the proposed location for all the logical reasons. I also saw that the elected leadership have already decided to go forward with their construction. The only reason I can come up with for the leadership to push through the construction is to bridge Coffee creek and the spill off from the Ft. Lewis swamp into Spanaway lake. After the sensitive water ways are bridged then they can complete the Cross Base HWY. I believe the leadership could care less about the homeless and the impact to the Spanaway Community. This project is all about bridging the sensitive water ways.
Jerry 2/1/23 9:03 PM Great the screw Spanaway citizens proposal is back. Bruce Dammeier is the culprit behind this unjust legislation he must be getting dark money for pushing this. Unfortunately l voted for him, he ran as a republican, furthest thing from! He is what people hate about politicians, arrogant, detached from reality and a distain for the working class.he won’t be putting Spanaway homeless in this so called village he will be dumping homeless from his community Puyallup and other big cities like Tacoma and when they get kicked out for not following the rules, which is why they are where they are, they will not be taken back to were they came from they will be let out into our community to fuel more drugs and crime in our neighborhoods. This is a win win for Bruce. Amy Cruver and the other 6 county council members don’t vote for this proposal, don’t turn your backs on the tax paying citizens you are supposed to be working for. We won’t forget how you vote. Alternative idea why don’t you put the village in Bruce Dammeier rich white neighborhood in Puyallup.
Ron 2/5/23 9:03 AM First of the homelessness problem in Washington was created by politicians. Now the taxpayer has to bail out bad policies and political gaslighting politicians again. Instead of building homeless camps in Spanaway, maybe the camps should be located in the neighborhoods of the politicians that failed to act responsibly or did not act by passing known failed policy after failed policy for political gains. It’s your mess. Go back in history to a time when it first got out of hand say 2010 and get the names and addresses of every politician who hat supported this nonsense and or failed to act and put these tiny homes in their neighborhoods. Since they have all answers and power, if it crime rises and drug use increases they can see first hand and introduce and pass more legislation to curtail it all. They won’t have to take the word of any of constituents because they see for themselves and combat the problems quicker and more effectively
Jerry 2/5/23 9:03 PM I could not understand why the Pierce County Executive would screw hard working, tax paying and homeowners with this village for people that have chosen their lifestyle. But then It came to me, it’s about the Money, it is always about the money with politicians, 22million of taxpayer funded Covid money to spend.Tacoma Rescue Mission and the contractor that is going to build the village have turned homelessness into a money making machine. Politicians have been throwing money at the problem with little or no results that’s what is going on here only this time they are not only fleeing the tax’s payer but they will be destroying wetlands and scares woodlands for animals.
Carol Stevens 2/11/23 12:44 PM there is already WAY too many homeless causing way too many problems in Spanaway for there to be more "chronically" homeless added to my area.......find somewhere else, like where YOU live
Michelle Ash 3/6/23 6:37 PM The community spoke against this and you are pushing it through regardless of what they neighbors are saying. This village is being setup to only fail. Please vote no on this.
Carolyn Sanders 3/9/23 11:18 AM I am not in favor of the Microhome Village to house the homeless. The concept might have its benefits, but the area for this project should not be established in the area being looked at - the environmental impact is a major concern as well as putting so many homeless individuals so close to established neighborhoods. We pay our taxes, work hard for what we have, and all if this is going to be negatively impacted by this village. It is time to take our concerns seriously and not have our lives impacted for the benefit of the few who have chosen to live the way they do.
Noell Pacho 3/9/23 1:14 PM Please, listen to the people. I totally Oppose the use of covid relief funds being used to build a micro village. Please use those funds as they were intended. I'm certain there are still working classes families being affected since it's still a thing, with new variants all the time Thank you Noell Pacho
GY 3/9/23 8:13 PM Oppose the location but support the concept on a smaller scale. 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.
Lynette Borcherding 3/10/23 10:36 AM I do NOT support this proposal ANYWHERE. This expensive village will not fix the homeless problem. The majority of the homeless are addicts. People are NOT required to be clean to live in these homes, which is ridiculous! The drug problem needs to be fixed first and foremost. Law abiding, tax paying citizens are tired of our money being wasted on expensive, useless projects that line the pockets of those being paid.
Carol Stevens 3/10/23 1:22 PM a resounding NO on funding this environmentally disastrous proposal. plus it is less than a mile from my home and we're already overrun with the homeless checking our doors at night and rummaging thru our things.....pls don't add MORE
Rebecca Sexton 3/11/23 9:14 AM I do not support this.
GY 3/12/23 9:38 AM No to R2022-163 to release funds. P.C. does not need to build in the wetlands. There are other options. With all of the costs due to environmental issues, etc. our money would be best spent at a more suitable location. Building in wetlands and now having to add sewers instead of septic and the cost of adding kitchens and toilets and the future maintenance may threaten budget. NOTE City of Lakewood's letter of support. They have been opposing freeway going through this area for many years due to ecological reasons and now they're donating money and support a high density village on the same property? If the village is built, no freeway will ever go in, which is the City of Lakewood's intension. In support of housing the homeless, but not at this costly location. P.C. already owns property listed in the proposal, so why not use it instead of spending $4,000,000 for this land where only a small portion can be used. Sorry, but no to releasing funds until we see other options that may not be so costly. This is the first attempt on such a village, so lets take our time and do it right. This village will fill up fast and more will need to be built and further costs. Lets look at less costly options maybe?
Terry Kaiser 3/13/23 12:07 PM I oppose using County funds to fund this Village in Spanaway. The expenditure of resources to make this property "work" is excessive, especially when there are other properties that the county already owns the will work better at a much cheaper cost.
John Leslie 3/13/23 7:45 PM Since this is a "low barrier" project where the residents are free to use drugs, I am STRONGLY opposed. This is not a solution. It adds to the problem.
Gina Ennis 3/14/23 2:33 PM Don't approve the location.
Jerrica Tkel 3/14/23 5:34 PM Hello, I live in the community that this project is set to take place in. Currently, I am working helping the homeless population find housing and employment to assist in their reentry back into the community. What most people are focused on is how much trouble they will cause and how having a village like this is not welcomed. However, living in this community, and having a village like this would be a positive and life changing experience for both sides. From my understanding, there is a strict requirement that has to be met by the individual before qualifying to reside in the village. This isn't a homeless shelter, but rather a place that someone can finally call home. No one wants to be homeless, these are people like you and me that were caught in a difficult situation that led to homelessness. Most of these people want to live decent lives like you and me, but need a little help getting them back on track. They too deserve to be acknowledged, and accepted. They just want a sense of belonging, especially in a community. When your car breaks down, you pay a mechanic to fix it. When your roof is leaking, you pay someone to repair it. We try to find ways to fix what is broken. How about finding a way to help people who are broken? There is no better feeling than seeing the look on their faces and hearing the sigh of relief from someone who was at a breaking point in their lives. HOPE goes a long way! Please take this into consideration... Give them hope, give them a chance to live once again. Thank you
Jerry Roxbury 3/14/23 8:48 PM I don’t think it is right for Pierce county to tax’s the working class to pay for a retirement home for people who have chosen a life of drugs, alcohol and homelessness. I have worked for 40 years to pay for my house for me and my family and now you want to ruin my community and my property values so you can build a homeless village to enable the homeless to keep living off the taxpayers. We will remember the council members who vote against the taxpaying citizens come election time.
Jim Overway 3/15/23 9:15 PM Has anybody on the PCC considered the impact of a major geological disruption of the area being considered for the Spanaway Tiny Home village? What effect would a major earthquake have on the currently defined wetland area? The whole "village" could be decimated. Surely there are less vulnerable locations from which to choose. I know ground water dynamics are unstable even under absent less catastrophic events because back in the 60'a I used to have a spring at the end of my dock but ongoing changes in the geology of the area sufficient to alter the ground water dynamics and the spring. I am not a geologist but I can tell when a spring disappears! Of more concern though is the lack of transparency of this whole project. It smells like behind-the-curtain, under-the-radar malfeasance and unethical politicing. You have created a major credibility problem for yourselves no matter how this turns out.
Laurence C Mays 3/16/23 7:48 AM Before approval I feel we should find out what has caused the spike in Homeless. There was not nearly as many before the pandemic. Where did they all come from? I feel that the Govt. has caused this by a liberal regulation by providing almost unlimited funds to those individual's.(extended unemployment, poor regulation of food stamps Etc.) Why should We have to pay for housing for the homeless. Put them to work. Get our roads cleaned up, our parks and trails restored Etc.
Richele E Pogreba 3/16/23 7:50 AM I do not support this legislation. It ignores the concerns of the all who live in the surrounding area. The location is not in the best interest of the homeless it seeks to protect due to it's location from gunfire and air traffic on JBLM. Building a Microhome Village does not solve the problem of the homeless until the issues of mental health and/or substance abuse is resolved for the individual. Every one of the homeless need help to develop proper life skills to thrive. This focus on just putting a roof over the homeless is putting the cart before the horse because they are not ready to be a good neighbor.
Penny Cooper Howard 3/16/23 8:37 AM Please respect the citizens concerns and Do Not approve funding the homeless village in the current proposed location. I do not believe that there isn’t one other property in all of Pierce County that would be better suited than an environmentally protected wetland area. I am also not in favor of any tax supporting this project. The developers met some but not all of the concerns they said they would to mitigate damage to the water quality!
Samantha Cooper 3/16/23 5:47 PM Our community is in serious need of solutions to support the housing needs that those who are homeless are experiencing. As a worker in the field, I see the necessity for it every day. Not all of those who are homeless are criminals or drug addicts. Due to the climbing prices of housing and not having enough affordable housing, people who have jobs are living in homeless shelters, because they do not make enough money to pay the rising rent costs. Right now, a large portion of who we assist are elderly who do not have family to assist them and cannot afford housing with their SSI or SSDI checks. I believe this is a
Samantha Cooper 3/16/23 5:51 PM Our community is in serious need of solutions to support the housing needs that those who are homeless are experiencing. As a worker in the field, I see the necessity for it every day. Not all of those who are homeless are criminals or drug addicts. Due to the climbing prices of housing and not having enough affordable housing, people who have jobs are living in homeless shelters, because they do not make enough money to pay the rising rent costs. Right now, a large portion of who we assist are elderly who do not have family to assist them and cannot afford housing with their SSI or SSDI checks. I believe this is a promising option to assist those who are in this demographic. There needs to be more affordable housing available and this will aid in this effort.
jerry roxbury 3/16/23 6:00 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 1:16 PM I do not support this legislation. While the needs of the homeless community are critical & in desperate need of solutions - this is the wrong location & will not serve this vulnerable population. They would be isolated from necessary infrastructure, surrounded by an active military base (not a trauma informed environment for healing) and endangering critical wetlands. This location simply will not accomplish the very real needs of this community & it is short sighted and harmful to push this forward.
I Stewart 3/18/23 9:31 AM Oppose. No, if you build it, they will come. We appreciate PC's efforts trying to house the homeless. However, the shared village and size of the footprint is too costly. The community fears the village will attract homeless from other states, so our problem could snowball. PC already owns property that can be used. Building next to wetlands will cause ongoing expenses. We strongly oppose to releasing funds for this project until PC comes up with a less expensive solution.
Beverly Rarey 3/18/23 4:08 PM They are already clearing the land, so this is actually a mute point to the tax payers of Pierce County!
Kitti Wheeler 3/18/23 6:59 PM There’s a problem but this isn’t the solution. You’re not getting to the root of the issue (drugs and mental illness) You can do better for them. It’s a matter of life and death.
Ashley 3/18/23 11:42 PM You have dumped enough tax payers money into housing resources and it has done nothing particularly when You allow them to refuse services and continue to squander. Motels and other tiny homes we've tried have all caught on fire and failed. We need to be putting money into mental health centers and rehab ND not allow them to say no and do as they please. Tiny homes is not the answer es0 in such a delicate area. Im convinced you guys are trying push tax payers to a revolt so you can have an excuse to take more right away and find other things to tax us for. I'm tired of being walked on by my city only to keep putting money into this city to cater to junkie criminals. DO BETTER WASHINGTON
Lynn Laurance 3/19/23 8:13 AM No more housing taxes, we need to address the drug addiction and mental health issues that are causing people to living on streets. They are NOT interested in housing when they have to be accountable to follow rules!
Debra Dearinger 3/19/23 8:20 AM Environmentally and practically the wrong place for this
Taylor Underwood 3/19/23 10:24 PM Dear Pierce County Council Members: I am writing today in opposition to the proposed resolution NoR2022-163 which grants funding for the proposed micro-home village site located in Spanaway wetlands. This proposed site would deleteriously affect the environment, the residents within the area, and those this project seeks to help. Development near or arguably within a designated wetland area can have significant impacts on the environment. Nearly fifty percent of our nation's wetlands have been destroyed by human activity. As a result, we are now learning the critical roles they play in our environment and how they improve our quality of life. Wetlands not only provide habitat for our local wildlife, but they also store water; they allow for infiltration; they filter pollutants aiding in delivering clean, safe drinking water to residents; they help mitigate flooding which according to Lakewood's Director of Public Works, has become a significant, costly issue that has resulted from projects greenlit by Pierce County; and they act as carbon sinks which combat carbon emissions. These benefits directly address many of the environmental issues faced by Pierce County and development within wetland areas could negate them. Furthermore, the proposed site is located within the headwaters of the Clover Creek-Chambers Creek watershed. Mismanagement of these environmentally critical areas will have negative effects on the entire watershed and appropriate measures must be considered. In addition to the negative effects of development, we can expect further damage as a result of increased human activity. With this newly available resource, we can expect increased homeless encampments within the area. This will introduce excessive trash, human waste, and drug paraphernalia to an environmentally sensitive area. The proposed site will also significantly impact the current residents within that area. As stated previously, this resource will attract other homeless to the area. Residents in areas with a high homeless population are 40 times more likely to be victims of violent crime and 27 times more likely to experience non-violent crime. Residents should also expect to see a ten percent or greater drop in their property values as a result of the proposed micro-home village. These residents have worked hard all their lives. Some are starting families; others are getting ready to retire. These members of the community deserve to feel safe within their homes and have their lifelong investments preserved. Finally, the proposed site will negatively affect the homeless population it intends to serve. Many of the homeless population are veterans unable to reacclimate to societal norms. Being close to an active military base, many of the actions carried out will most likely cause significant psychological trauma. Those housed at this facility will also be more isolated and lack access to infrastructure such as healthcare facilities and grocery stores. To summarize, the road to ruin is paved with good intentions. Although this proposed project aims to address the needs of the unhoused, the site chosen does not adequately serve its target demographic. I urge the esteemed members of this council to withhold ARPA funding until a more suitable location is chosen. Placing the micro-home village in a more urban environment would address all the issues listed above and supply more opportunities for recovery. Additionally, the creation of several smaller villages as opposed to one large village would allow officials to create a more tailored environment for those they serve and reduce the impact on the surrounding area. Thank you for your consideration regarding this matter. I hope that the resolutions made seek to serve all members of the community.
SJ Thirtyacre 3/20/23 12:26 AM Please don't release funds for this proposal. Find a more suitable location and create some rules for living in this tiny home village. Clean and sober, looking for employment, enrolled in training or classes or something beneficial to lift them out of their situation. There are many worthwhile things this money could be used towards that could provide training, skills, medical care, etc. in efforts to lift people out of homelessness, drug addiction, and poverty. Please go back to the drawing board on this one.
Sherry Haviland 3/20/23 9:28 AM I'm very disappointed that our council members are allowing developers to sidestep rules to make these tiny home camps happen in areas where there are wetlands, failing sewers, adjoining neighbors with young children, next to jblm with it's loud noises that they practice on a regular basis. Why would our council feel it's safe to let this tiny village be built in spanaway off the loop road where there's a wetland? Even the cross base highway was not built because of it. Really!? Why is it the council feels it's ok to fund this project when there are so many other sites better suited for their needs? This is a great concept, just not the right spot. Please don't allow this to go through and pollute our lake more than it is. The trees support the aquifer, which is going to be disturbed and polluted by building homes on this wetland. Please, don't let big money and developers talk you into this bad decision which all of us will regret. Thank you for considering my information.
James Halmo 3/20/23 9:45 AM Mr. Chairman and Members of the Pierce County Council: I will comment briefly about proposed Resolution 2022-163, which addresses a Community First Village in the Spanaway area of the Parkland-Spanaway-Midland Community Plan area. First, Site Location. I read and re-read the portion of the County Executive’s 13 page “Additional Information Requested by the Pierce County Council (Resolution 2022-174).” Pages 7-9 discuss site locations and real estate transactions for a new homeless village. I would offer one site, which has a large open 17-acre field. It is zoned industrial (which you could easily be rezone to RR) along State Highway 7, just south of the Roy Y. It meets the minimum size of 10 acres, and has a property value far less than what is being discussed. Rezoning seems to have been ignored as a viable option in this whole exercise. That’s a major flaw in the whole review process. Additionally, in looking at places for housing the homeless, you have overlooked a vacant major department store, K-Mart, in the strip mall located at the SE corner of State Highway 7 and 176th street. It is not 10 aces in size. However, it the type of building which could be used as temporary housing for the homeless, similar to what the Tacoma Rescue Mission (TRM) does in the City of Tacoma. It can provide generous office space for human and social service agencies. They have few staffing offices outside of Tacoma’s city limits. The Proposed First Village will be set back in the woods, out of sight. Usage of the K-mart large building has been a decade long missed opportunity. Second, Social Services. The Spanaway area totally lacks governmental social services, the type of services essential to addressing homelessness, to offering mental-health resources, and to providing social work services for youth and families. Demographically, Spanaway has a lower average income per family than other parts of the urban areas in Pierce County. The scale between having ‘a roof over your head’ and homeless can tip to the latter during hard economic times. In Spanaway, the 2008 economic sharp turn-down highlighted for many families how thin it is to having “livable” (not affordable) housing as opposed to homeless. They remember. You never forget tough times. Based on the Community First Village Operating Budget, there are no social workers or mental health specialists on the Project’s Staff. Thus, there will not be any ‘excess personnel’ to deal with others in the Spanaway community. Right now, the only true local help for Spanaway residents comes from the local schools and churches. They offer what they can for those having difficulties coping with personal difficulties. My spouse and I reside in Graham but have volunteered for some twenty years at a non-profit Food Bank in Spanaway. We have seen how sifting economics affect peoples’ lives. We talked with the homeless. Has any Council member taken time to talk with them in Spanaway? You should. Third, Spanaway’s Priority. I do not see any strong outreach to the whole Spanaway community through this effort. The Tacoma Rescue Mission (TRM) undoubtedly has a running list of who needs the type of shelter being proposed. Estimates place the total number of homeless in the County to be around 4,000. The majority would appear to be found in Tacoma. Will the identified homeless in Spanaway be added to the bottom of some list, or will they have some priority for openings at the project, in a community they know fairly well? An answer to this aspect of managing the facility would be appreciated. The Community First Village model is not the final answer. It’s time to allocate more resources to addressing the human sources of homeless in Spanaway. Fourth, Environmental Issues. 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 March21, 2023. It is time to consider another possible location for the homeless project. James Halmo
SHARON COSTELLO 3/20/23 3:29 PM 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 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 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: • The stock market continues to deep dive. • Our Country is at risk for a Systemic Failure of Community Banks –It could be a contagion that hursts many industries like to 2008 crisis. • The President is planning for a tremendous amount of new taxes to pay for weapons and humanitarian assistance in the Ukraine war, our Nation’s weaponry stockpile replenishment and bank bailouts. • WA State wants more and more taxes on business and individual capital gains. • Pierce County wants more tax money to pay for housing the homeless. • Temporary SNAP benefits and medical Covid assistance programs are ending. • Construction costs have skyrocketed since the initial proposal of almost $74 million. Material shortages are critical. Building delays are prevalent. Civil engineering contractors have trouble getting equipment to sites because parts aren’t available to fix what has broken. • The charitable base higher earners – especially tech – are experiencing unprecedented layoffs. • Some of our country’s most intelligent financial minds are advising undertaking austerity measures in 2023 and 2024. They expect this downturn in the economy to potentially double-dip into a deeper recessionary phase. 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? Thank you for your time. Sharon
Zenna Dunning 3/20/23 3:58 PM Greetings Council Members, Subject: Reject Release of Funding for Microhome Villages in Pierce County The voter feedback to reject the release of funds for the microhome villages is obvious, passionate and the comments are very well written. If these comments only reflect the people directly affected in Council District 3, imagine what it will be like when the voters in the rest of the county find out. What happens then? Will the voters find out their County Council Rep. failed to inform them of this highly emotional project and failed to seek their feedback and input? It seems apparent that all the council members that vote to release the funding should be concerned at next election. Council Members, the comments from the voters are a gift for you on the issues that are grievously upsetting the Pierce County residents. The voters/residents are being threatened by the “lawless”. The voters see lawbreakers that are being rewarded under the facade of “Homeless”. Lawlessness is impacting the safety of their homes, families and their ability to safely shop at local businesses. Lawlessness threatens the prosperity of the county and businesses within. At this point, the thought of giving more to the “lawless” inhibits any thought of compassion toward taking care of the truly “Homeless”. Listen to the people that have responsibly and lawfully worked to create capital that pays the taxes which in turn allows the county to maintain services. The voters/residents are being intentionally disenfranchised by the county’s choices to reward the “lawless” instead of the “lawful”. These are the voters that may or may not support you in the future. If something is rejected, it is should be helpful to suggest options. Perhaps there is a county council rep that is confident their district would fully embrace the microhome villages (District 3 does not). Maybe you could step forward and volunteer your district? Possibly North Tacoma, Stadium area, by the hospitals or Gig Harbor? There are parks, hospitals, public transportation, stores, many opportunities for work and services at the hospitals, stores, private homes, city maintenance, and even marine opportunities. Opportunities to heal, socialize and work in diverse ways with the wealthy North Tacoma or Gig Harbor residents. It would be a great opportunity for these areas to show their selfless compassion in Diversity, Inclusion and Equity. The “Homeless” do appear to like the Tacoma area as many street corner tent camps exist there. Give the “Homeless” homes where they want to be. (This might require that the council be creative with funding challenges.) Best wishes to you all. Let’s find the correct the root cause not continue to throw money at a never-ending symptom.
Germy 3/20/23 7:54 PM No. Oppose to R2022-163s. Please do not release funds. Looks like P.C. is working on the property even though release of funds has not been approved. Looks like P.C. has no concerns for the community or the affect it will have on the waters and wetlands. Maybe get together with some contractors and find an area that is better suited and can also include affordable housing where people will want to buy. Be wise with the tax payors money please.
Janine Tollin 3/20/23 8:56 PM I strongly oppose spending tax revenue on an unproven project that does not solve the homeless problem. This village does not work to change the root cause of homelessness. It is not a sober village. This is an enormous risk TRA has not secured ongoing funding to run this village. If they are unable to secure funding (we are heading into a possible recession so free money is not out there) then you are basically throwing our tax dollars in the garbage. This has great potential to be a misuse of tax dollars. Please say no. This is not a no vote to help homeless, but a no vote to not waste our hard -earned money.
Eli Tollin 3/20/23 9:38 PM I oppose this proposal. It is a misuse of taxpayer dollars.
Natalia DeVore 3/20/23 9:42 PM 22 million dollars of tax payer money to spend on the homeless? To destroy new housing and have a nice warm place to shoot up? Are you kidding me? The only thing I want that 22 million to go towards is more police and to jail criminals. Most of the homeless choose to live as criminals. House them in jail and leave the rest to take advantage of the plethora of other services our community offers. . .
C Stuart 3/20/23 9:43 PM I live in the nearby 55+ mobile home community, just a few blocks down from 176th and Spanaway Loop Road. I am opposed to this project (though I am for the merits of it, if run with accountability and on-site management team, in a better spot.) Our community is one made up of residents in age from 55 to 95. We have carports and the community is not gated. So far, this is a quiet community, and we keep an eye on each other. I can speak for others who are also concerned, as our lakeside community would be an "attractive nuisance" for addicts who would wander the streets in search of items to steal. We don't have much security here, and it's a fragile community that doesn't deserve to lose our dignity, peace and quiet. Even now I wonder if I will open my shed and find someone in there, and I know many of us will live in fear if this microhome community happens. What will you do to make sure our aged population is safe? The empty lot at the Roy Y seems like a better option, close to transit, wal-mart, and health clinic.
Janine Tollin 3/20/23 10:21 PM One very important item I have not seen adequately addressed is the budget for the Spanaway Community First Village project. It is my understanding that approximately $22 million will come from the COVID-19 American Rescue Plan funds (this is still our tax dollars). Has the money for the remainder of the project and subsequent ongoing operating budget been secured and if so, for how many years? I have seen comments to the effect of basically build it and the money will come. That is a very scary and unsound business plan. You are playing Russian Roulette with our hard-earned tax dollars. If the funding does not materialize you will have wasted tax monies that could have been spent on projects that better serve Pierce County as a whole. Considering this will be handed over to the Tacoma Rescue Mission to run, how can taxpayers be assured this will continue to operate as planned once the county steps away and has no more responsibility for the Village? If 'rent' is being considered as part of the income budget, how will that be made up when the resident refuse or are unable to pay? If this is using HUD vouchers, what happens if the residents refuse to sign over their vouchers? We all know it is nearly impossible to evict residents in this state, so there is no reason for the residents to pay if they do not wish to. Again, how will that budget shortfall be made up? Once Pierce County steps away, will they still have responsibility to clear out the subsequent tent areas that pop up when others learn of this site? This would be a strain on our police force and additional cost to taxpayers. I understand a cursory look was given to two other properties. One site was deemed too expensive, although it is closer to sewer lines therefore less development money needed. The additional large amount of funds being spent to hook up to sewers at the wetlands site could easily be put toward the purchase price of the other site. With all the additional development needed at the wetland site that is not needed at other sites, the cost would be close to a wash. Another site was rejected because it is close to an elementary school. The wetlands site is also close to an elementary school - why does one school carry more weight than another, and why is that even a concern if this village is such a good idea and ok to be placed in neighborhoods with no security for the residents of those neighborhoods? I fear the taxpayers are at great risk of paying for a project that has not been thoroughly vetted when it comes to cost and ongoing maintenance. I do not believe other sites have been seriously considered. This has the appearance of pushing through somebody's personal agenda without considering the consequences to taxpayer dollars. As our elected officials, we trust you to make the best use of our tax dollars, even if it means choosing an option that may have been your second choice, but makes financial sense for our dollars.
Rashelle B 3/20/23 10:35 PM I STRONGLY OPPOSE THIS
Tracey Taunt 3/20/23 10:56 PM These funds can and should not be used on such a project. It should be spent on better homeless resources.
Angela Schick 3/21/23 1:38 AM I know you all have been working tirelessly to try to solve the homeless crisis in our area, adopting and implementing the Pierce County Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness. I don't want to completely discourage you or offer a zero-sum end game solution. Instead by the end I'd like to offer the Council, as policy makers, hope and assurance. First, a challenge to the updated proposal in resolution 2022-174. "The joint relationship" TRM, executive and developers, presented an alternative privately built site with upwards 185 upscale single family homes built on the 27 to now 30+ buildable acres, is a misrepresentation of truth and pure speculation. Given the cost of development (the access road and bridge) noted at the end of the revised proposal, the contractor would have to weigh the risk benefit. Not explained, is how the market is far more volatile and uncertain as it recently was and mortgage rates and building material costs are much higher as well. This creates substantial risk for a private project that is pending on approval from public works, SEPA, possible EIP and conditional use permits with the area surrounded by critical areas and wetlands. Pierce County Public Works would only permit, by PC code and would require a SEPA evaluation and a possible EIS for a normal situation. Three (3) (max) single family homes are allowed on 1 acre in an RR zone density. The number of homes presented is substantially inflated unless the builder was granted a PDD which would be a difficult process and gamble in this RR critical resource. The inflated number is pending the permitting in front of a hearing examiner that runs much higher risk for a cost benefit risk if they were not granted the permitting. Essentially, the executive office took an additional $250,000.00 dollars the council granted them for the resolution 2022-174 requests and used it to lobby against the people opposed to this project. While providing further feasibility and alternate design of the current property selected using the money to plan and test feasibility on a speculative development for an unnamed possible developer. This should have not been allowed or authorized with these funds. There were many learning lessons to be had from this project. It is not all lost if this proposal or developmental regulation doesn't pass like portrayed in the 2022-174 update. If the model is successful, there will be many other organizations willing to model the Community First Village even if this project fails initial fruition. While various funds have been invested in this project, most of these funds have been provided by the County and tax payers, who either don't support the level of spending on 300 units alone or the area that has been selected. Most of the proposal and all the design information would remain property of the county to be possibly used in the future when the right property is located and housing model is selected. Another important element to this experience has provided knowledge is to set boundaries and ensure there is a distinguishable line where the government ends and the private sector begins. This is to protect public trust, keep all accountable and provide checks and balances for projects like these. This should have strictly been a NOFA without the executives 'joint relationship" for the planning and implementation of the project and proposal. This is how developmental rules and regulations would have been followed rather than altered. Your constituents' input is important, please listen. If this project is unsuccessful the county will be losing far more of the funding than using the ARPA in other various housing opportunities that currently already exist and are in need of funding to continue or grow. This project modeled after the Community First Village model is not an evidence base model. Washington also holds far more stringent housing laws. Dumping all the funds into one basket is a substantial risk. Diversifying investment is always the safest portfolio. I advocate for you to not take the risk, there are still many possible hurdles for this project including funding, policy reviews, permitting - hearing examiner, injunction and appeals. The County Council requested the proposal to bring them 150 units. How did that number double to 300 units? According to the, the Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness that nearly doubles the operation budget in a cost per bed metric. The county requested 150 units. Given the Rule of 150 in a historical context this was at most what the community should be. It has been found over various disciplines, "a number of relatively minor changes in our external environment can have a dramatic effect on how we behave." (Gladwell, p.182) For those unfamiliar, "The Rule of 150 was coined by British Anthropologist, Robin Dunbar, and is defined as the “suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships and thus numbers larger than this generally require more restrictive rules, laws, and enforced norms to maintain a stable, cohesive group.” Various examples of tipping points can be found throughout history. In reverse, abundant models of success of organizations, businesses and groups have utilized this rule. I request the council force this project back to the drawing board. Last thought is from these included tables from the Comprehensive Plan to End Homeless. There are 3,300 homeless in Pierce County. Under the Shelter Locations Need table on page 9 only 200-250 beds are needed in Spanaway. Why is Spanaway getting more shelters than homeless needs in our area? This same table also lists that it should only be approximately $10,380.00 to build the tiny homes without land acquisition. With these models you should be able to supply a tiny house for all homeless (3,300 including Tacoma) for a capital budget under 40 million dollars. How did TRM models which will only house 300 people inflate to $245,000 dollars a unit? We need emergency housing right now, permanent housing is the next step. In the Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness the county did not say our county will adopt the Community First model. It merely said it would promote that model. It also names various other needs to dealing with this crisis. There are many successful housing and various programs in our area that could be quickly granted money to utilize this funding by Dec 2024. The Community First Village is not the only option. The county has ample time to use NOFA and procurement of other contracts. As provided by County Council ORDINANCE NO. 2021-100s2, "PROVIDED FURTHER, any remaining funds allocated to advance micro home village projects but not authorized for expenditure by January 1, 2023, may be allocated to other eligible uses that serve chronically homeless residents in Pierce County subject to Council authorization by Resolution or Ordinance. I implore everyone of the council to look beyond the curtain TRM, the executive, developers and builders have attempted to pull over the stage. There are various positions and interests that have driven this project and those can't be ignored for the needs of the greater good including the 3000 people this proposal will overlook. Please do not vote to release the funds to TRM for this project on the site proposed. Gladwell, M. (2000). The Tipping Point. Little Brown and Company. New York, NY Version 1.6 (11/02/2021). Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness. Pierce County (Retreivied March 05, 2022).
Megan Shriner 3/21/23 7:39 AM I do not support this!!
PennyChoward 3/21/23 9:50 AM Please vote NO
Karen Marchesini 3/21/23 10:12 AM I have lived in this community for 47 years. This community is not safe anymore to live in this proposal is the worst idea! Move to another area that won't impact our lake and environment. I vote NO.
ROY MARCHESINI 3/21/23 11:32 AM Please vote NO
Dawn McGinnis 3/21/23 11:41 AM This proposal should not continue. The Pierce County Council is elected by the voters! The voters DO NOT WANT THIS TINY VILLAGE. The citizens of Parkland/Spanaway should not have to bear the load of the chronically homeless drug addicts or the crime it brings. This tiny home village is yet another attempt to force law abiding tax paying citizens to police ourselves, provide our own safety, and increase our taxes when this will decrease our property values! There is no guarantee that this village will be successful, there hasn't been enough conversation on the impact this 300 to 400 permeant village will destroy! it will destroy our property values. We do not have any resources out to help drug addict the mentally ill or the criminals. Why are we allowing other cities to push their responsibilities on us? We currently don't have 300 to 400 homeless/addict out here! None of the planning, development, input or notifications, was allowed or given by the citizens out here. We were not properly notified of this. Bruce Dameier refuses to look at any other site. I know of many sites located in Puyallup, that could better served by this Village, why hasn't he looked at those. It is very concerning that The Council and Bruce are changing the code to benefit themselves. When citizens put in request to build were denied because they were told no you are on wet lands, now its ok because they need it to build this village. Unacceptable, different rules for the Council and Bruce Damineir office than for Law abiding tax paying citizens. Shame on you!. This Tiny Village does nothing to stop drug use as it was said by the Council and representative of Bruce Daminer Office that the people in these homes can do their drugs! How can anyone say this will be successful? If you want to help the homeless/Addicts make drug illegal, do not allow drug use. NO to the code changes No to this Tiny Home Village in SPANAWAY/ Parkland. If your approach to ending homelessness was going in the right direction how come there are more homeless now than ever before. What you are doing isn't and wont work! Are you going and willing to take personal responsibility for this Village? NO NO NO!
Roy Marchesini 3/21/23 11:51 AM Please vote NO
Elizabeth Taunt 3/21/23 12:02 PM I do not support this proposal in any way.The homeless will be the only losers if you release the funds for the village to be built on the Spanaway site as it is fraught with obstacles that will create lengthy delays in getting it built or even stopping the project, and getting any one off of the streets.
Les Dreeson 3/21/23 12:18 PM By building a homeless village, the council is enabling the homeless behavior; telling people there is no need to do their part-the taxpayers will take care of them. This will not address the root cause and will become a money pit. Use these additional funds towards education, so that children will have a better chance of not becoming homeless. Current test scores have been decreasing for many years now!
Elizabeth Taunt 3/21/23 12:37 PM Why, in these tough, declining economic times are you considering such an elaborate project to serve a few? How about putting in a free amphitheater for hard-working families of the Spanaway-Midland-Parkland area who have NO MONEY LEFT OVER for ANY FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT after FEEDING and CLOTHING their own families in this decline, asking them to pay more taxes to support dog parks, a/c units and outdoor entertainment for the homeless. It's outrageous!
Chris Camire 3/21/23 1:03 PM I STRONGLY OPPOSE ! ! !
Marion Opdahl 3/21/23 1:13 PM This proposal is wrong on so many levels. We're concerned about the environmental effects on the lake and all the tributaries. We're concerned about additional crime that will undoubtedly come with this to an already crime ridden area. We've already had our pickup truck stolen twice and numerous break ins and vandalism on our property as well as all the surrounding neighbors. Our property values will certainly take a big hit. We've lived in t Our home for over 27 years and had planned to live out our days here as we're getting older now. Now we're scared to think what more is going to happen to this beloved area. It's very sad situation!
Jeneen 3/21/23 2:56 PM 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.
Raquel Gonzalez 3/21/23 3:03 PM I strongly oppose