On Tuesday evening, Tacoma City Council voted 7 – 2 in favor of Phase 1 of the City’s “Home in Tacoma” plan. Home In Tacoma aims to achieve a shared vision of all Tacomans having an opportunity for home ownership in a thriving, diverse, and growing city.
Home in Tacoma creates a new vision for housing growth and will allow for better zoning standards to create more housing for those who live and work in Tacoma. One of the priorities of the legislation is to enable the creation of more “missing middle” home ownership opportunities at the more affordable end of the market. Single-family designations, which had applied to nearly 90% of the city, are also re-labeled as “low-density,” which encompasses ADU units, townhouses with up-to three units, duplexes, triplexes, small lot homes, and cottage homes.
Mid-scale development would be focused in areas along transit routes and where higher densities can be easily absorbed without major disturbance to the neighboring areas.
The final draft included amendments which will ensure that zoning and standards are consistent with goals of historic areas in the city and to discourage demotion in those low-scale areas, to encourage development in areas which are not currently meeting density targets, and to establish maximum density standards.
Tacoma-Pierce County Association of REALTORS® was very active in working with Council on this legislation, as well as playing a lead role in forming the O.N.E. Home Tacoma coalition which included partners DADU Homes, Downtown On the Go!, Elevate Health, Ferguson Architecture, Homeownership Center Northwest, Landlord Liaison Program, Master Builders of Pierce County, OnePierce, Pierce Transit, Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity, Tacoma Urban League, and Tacoma-Pierce County Association of REALTORS®.
The coalition’s priorities for Home in Tacoma are to create new homeownership opportunities, address the “missing middle” gap in housing selection in the City to create more affordable first-home opportunities, develop underutilized corridors in the city, and ensure that new development fits within the scope and feel of Tacoma’s existing neighborhoods.
Work on Phase 2 of the legislation, which focuses on items such as zoning and development standards, is set to begin in early-2022.