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An Incremental Upzoning Approved in Tacoma

Though it stops well short of a citywide upzoning, the city of Tacoma has still expanded its planned development envelope by upzoning residential neighborhoods around the city.
December 5, 2019, 11am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Mount Rainier
Sean Pavone

"In late September, the Tacoma City Council approved a large slate of areawide rezones and future land use map designation changes, which primarily affected residential properties," reports Stephen Fesler.

"The rezones and land use designation changes were included as part of the annual Comprehensive Plan update process for minor amendments, which were proposed in order to attain consistency between zoning and land use designations," adds Fesler.

According to Fesler, the changes amount to an upzoning, allowing more development intensity in residential areas in the city. "Where zoning of a site was less intensive or inconsistent with a future land use map (FLUM) designation type, the highest and most consistent implementing zoning type was proposed," according to Fesler. Still, Fesler warns, the effect fo the changes should not be overstated: "The changes adopted by the city council represent a small fraction of single-family areas and an even smaller fraction of the city, but they should help the city expand overall development capacity."

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Published on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 in The Urbanist
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