By John Marshall
The Pierce County Council is currently considering an amendment to their Comprehensive Plan & the Frederickson Community Plan. The group of investors who own the 50+ acre site on the NW corner of 176th & Canyon have requested that the County re-zone about 1/2 of the property to allow them to add retail uses. 1/2 of the property is currently zoned “light Industrial”. That light Industrial zone will allow a restaurant, but will also allow such things as a Sewage Collection Facility. What a great combination, don’t you think?
This group of investors has been working with members of the community, myself included, and came up with a plan that was first approved by some, certainly not by all who live here. They then applied for amendments to the comprehensive plan that were reviewed by the Frederickson Land Use Advisory Commission (FAC) for their approval.
After receiving a favorable vote from the FAC, the amendments went forward to the Pierce County Planning Commission. At that level, they received a 6/1 vote in favor of passage. From then, this proposal went before the Pierce County Community Development Committee (CDC) on June 4, only to be met with opposition from the Economic Development Director and 2 others.
The CDC committee met on June 8th in Gig Harbor and once again on June 15th at which time they introduced 18 amendments to the entire Comprehensive Plan. Some of those amendments could have been detrimental to the Frederickson Community, but amendment 18 tried to eliminate the Town Center Project all together. It squeaked by the Committee with a 3/2 vote.
It’s next hurdle will be making it past next (June 22nd) Monday’s CDC 1:00 PM meeting. Many people are planning on attending that meeting to show support. You too, can have your voice heard, Pro or Con. The meeting is at the County City Building, 930 Tacoma Ave, 10th Floor in Council Chambers. If this amendment survives the 6-22 meeting, It will go on to the full Council for a vote on June 30th.
If you want to see more retail opportunities in Frederickson than is presently planned, now may be the time to get involved. At this point, maybe it’s time for some compromise so that everyone involved wins, a win/win.
The community wants to be able to shop local, attract more jobs to our community and increase sales tax revenues. The county’s position is that they don’t want to see an increase in traffic on Canyon. The Developers position is that they want to build a quality retail shopping center and that they need the zone change and a big box anchor tenant. The question is, can anyone find that middle ground? Stay tuned.
I have described this as best that I can and I’m trying to be fair to all sides of this issue. I would ask you to study this issue on your own and make up your own mind as to what is best for Pierce County, and what is best for Frederickson.
I am sure that this will be discussed at the Saturday 6/20/15 FCCCC meeting, so you might want to show up and listen or voice your opinion. FCCC meetings are open to the public and start at 9AM @ 8016 176th st. E. (Christ Community Baptist Church)