Upping Tacoma's Missing Middle Housing Game

Tacoma is looking to expand on the accessory dwelling unit reforms of the Home in Tacoma project by planning for new residential density along the city's transit routes.

January 26, 2021, 11:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Mount Rainier

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

Rubén Casas reports on renewed efforts in Tacoma, Washington to ease land use regulations and encourage the development of Missing Middle Housing.

The city's current efforts would "create more housing for more people along more of the city’s transit corridors, many of which still serve areas of the city zoned for single-family homes," writes Casas. The effort to locate new housing development along transit routes will require coordination with the city's transit policies, according to Casas. The article includes a few recommendations for how the city can better integrate its land use and transportation goals.

According to Casas, Tacoma's work builds on the zoning reforms of other cities in recent years and months—including significant innovations in Portland, Oregon in August, 2020; Sacramento, California in January 2021; and nearby Olympia, Washington in December 2020, among other examples.

Tacoma already relaxed regulations on accessory dwelling units in March 2019 with its Home in Tacoma project and approved sweeping regulatory reform later the same year.

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