Tacoma Density Plan Moves to Phase Two

The Home in Tacoma plan would amend the city's zoning code to include more 'missing middle' housing types and encourage infill development.

2 minute read

April 7, 2022, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Mount Rainier

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

"With the official passage of Home in Tacoma in December 2021, the City of Tacoma is finally making moves towards Phase Two: implementation," writes Kevin Le. The initiative was designed to increase flexibility in housing construction, boost construction of 'missing middle housing,' and improve affordability.

"This would be accomplished through rezoning much of the existing single household zoning, which composes about 75% of Tacoma’s residential land. It would also allow homeowners and property developers to modify existing single household homes into multi-unit dwellings (duplexes, triplexes, and the like) or completely replace them with small apartment buildings up to 3 or 4 stories tall, depending on the location," the article states.

"In the Home in Tacoma Scope Report published in mid-March, it’s noted that the City wants to shift away from housing types like single household homes and focus more on building form, design and scale. This would present Tacoma residents with a range of housing options beyond the generic cookie cutter housing quickly built up by non-local developers."

The Scope Report outlines specific housing goals, including "Zoning capacity to accommodate up to 60,000 new units" and "Accommodate 80% of the City’s new housing units in and within walking distance of Centers." According to Le, the city is also working on an anti-displacement strategy and other tools to boost affordability and prevent evictions and displacement caused by rising rents and mortgages.

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