Sweeping Residential Zoning Reform Advances in Tacoma

Zoning and land use changes proposed in the Home in Tacoma plan, an element of the One Tacoma Comprehensive Plan, was approved this month by the Tacoma Planning Commission.

Read Time: 2 minutes

May 28, 2021, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Tacoma Washington

Dicklyon / Wikimedia Commons

The Tacoma Planning Commission voted, 6-3, to advance the Home in Tacoma equitable affordable housing strategy as an element of the One Tacoma Comprehensive Plan, reports Stephen Fesler.

Central to Home in Tacoma is a "deep" revision of the city's future land use map in all areas zoned single-family and multifamily in Tacoma, according to Fesler.

If adopted, this would essentially end the concept of single-family zones in the city in both name and regulation. Single-family areas would be redesignated and rezoned to Low-Scale Residential or Mid-Scale Residential zoning types, which would permit a mix of housing types like duplexes, rowhouses, and apartments. Low-Density Multifamily areas would also get a boost to Mid-Scale Residential, a more intensive land use designation than the current one.

The article includes more details about the proposed zoning and land use changes, and the process by which the approved Home in Tacoma plan evolved into its final form. Among those detail is a phased approach for adoption. "Under the phased approach, comprehensive plan changes and some near-term land use code and programmatic changes would be adopted in the first phase. Deeper land use code policies and zoning changes would follow in the second phase," explains Fesler.

Planetizen previewed the potential of the Home in Tacoma plan to eliminate single-family zoning in favor of Missing Middle Housing typologies in January and March this year.

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