2024 Comprehensive Plan Periodic Review

Welcome to the Lakewood 2024 Comprehensive Plan Periodic Review website. Check back here regularly for the latest information, events, and meetings for the process.

Announcements
2024 Periodic Review
Comprehensive Plan
Housing Changes
FAQs
Email Updates

Announcements

Public Hearing Schedule for 2024 Comprehensive Plan and Development Regulation Periodic Review

July 22, August 12 @ 7:00 pm = City Council Study Sessions

August 19 @ 7:00 pm = City Council Public Hearing. In-Person or Remote Testimony accepted live. Written testimony available until 9/19/24 at noon by submitting to [email protected]

*June 5, June 12, June 26 = Planning Commission Public Hearings. Watch the June 5 meeting here. Watch the June 12 meeting here. Watch the June 26 meeting here.

*May 1: Discussion re draft Comprehensive Plan, draft Tillicum-Woodbrook Subarea Plan, draft updates to Lakewood Station District Subarea Plan. Watch meeting here.

*May 15 = Discussion re draft Development Regulations. Watch meeting here.

July 10 = Planning Commission action on recommendations to the City Council.

Attention Shoreline Property Owners and Parcel Taxpayers: Development Buffers are changing around certain Lakewood waterbodies

The rules and buffer widths for Remodeling and New Construction will be INCREASING around: 1) Boyles Lake, Lost Lake, Carp Lake, Emerson Lake, Flett Creek, Ponce de Leon Creek, and other unnamed fish-bearing streams (called “Type F” streams) in the City; and 2) the Tributaries for Waughop Lake, Lost Lake, Gravelly Lake, Chambers Creek, Clover Creek, and other unnamed non-fishbearing streams (called “Type Np/Ns” and “Type X” waters).

The buffers for remodeling and new development are STAYING THE SAME around: American Lake, Gravelly Lake, Lake Louise, Steilacoom Lake, Waughop Lake, Clover Creek and Chambers Creek.

Watch the discussion about the proposed buffers from the June 26th Planning Commission meeting here.

Allowing more ADUs on residential properties

The state laws that passed in 2023 that allow more ADUs and housing units on residential lots will be part of Lakewood’s 2024 Comprehensive Plan Periodic Review. These changes to what you can develop on your property will not go into effect in Lakewood until December 31, 2024 at the earliest. To keep track of how these new development options are being reviewed by Lakewood, please stay tuned on this page.


Watch 2023 & 2024 Public Meetings about Changes to Housing Rules In Lakewood

You can now access the recordings and materials from the City’s series of public meetings about the pending changes to what residential property owners will be allowed to build on their parcels.

*Watch the 5/21/24 Mayor’s Coffeehouse presentation about the proposed changes to land use and housing here.

*You can watch the February 28, 2024 Open House here.  You can view the meeting presentation here.

*You can watch the January 23, 2024 Open House here.  You can view the meeting presentation here.

*You can watch the November 15, 2023 Open House here. You can view the meeting presentation here.

For more information, please contact Tiffany Speir, Long Range & Strategic Planning Manager, at [email protected].

View 2024 Comprehensive Plan Periodic Review Steering Committee Meetings

Lakewood’s 2024 Comprehensive Plan Periodic Review Steering Committee met for the first time on February 23, 2023. It will focus its efforts on climate change and housing for the first half of 2023, and then begin to review and provide feedback on other issues in the second half of 2023 into 2024.

*2/23/23: View meeting minutes here. Watch the meeting here.

*3/28/23: View meeting materials here. Watch the meeting here.

*5/30/23: View meeting materials here. Watch the meeting here.

*9/18/23: View meeting materials here. Watch the meeting here.

*11/1/23: View Tillicum Woodbrook Subarea Plan Steering Committee Meeting #2 here.

*1/8/24: View meeting materials here. Watch the meeting here.

For more information, please contact Tiffany Speir, Long Range & Strategic Planning Manager, at [email protected].

View Planning Commission and City Council discussions of 2024 Periodic Review Process

The Planning Commission has been hearing from a series of subject matter experts about the 2024 Periodic Review beginning on September 21, 2022 and continuing into 2024. You can view the Planning Commission meeting materials as they are published here. You can watch the meetings live or after the fact here.

* 9/21/22: Introduction to the 2024 Periodic Review Process. Watch meeting here.

* 10/5/22: Housing Part 1. Watch meeting here.

* 10/19/22: Housing Part 2. Watch meeting here.

* 11/2/22: Parks, Recreation, Open Space. Watch meeting here.

*12/7/22: Transportation. Watch meeting here.

*1/4/23: Economic development. Watch meeting here.

*1/18/23:  Utilities and Public Services Part 1. Watch meeting here.

*2/1/23:  Utilities and Public Services Part 2. Watch meeting here.

*2/15/23:  Land Use Map and Text; Community Character. Watch meeting here..

*3/1/23:  Housing Needs Assessment; Racially Disparate Impacts; Equity in All Elements. Watch the meeting here.

*5/17/23:  Status update on Housing Element and Regulations. Watch the meeting here.

*6/7/23:  Status update on Climate Change Element. Watch meeting here.

*6/21/23: Introduction to 2023 State Legislative Session Bills. Watch the meeting here.

*9/20/23: Status update on Subarea Plan updates as part of 2024 Periodic Review. Watch meeting here.

*10/4/23: New climate change & resiliency requirements affecting the 2024 Periodic Review. Watch the meeting here.

*11/1/23: Lakewood residential parking concerns related to new housing densities required. Watch the meeting here.

*11/15/23: Lakewood Climate Change & Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reduction Planning in relation to 2024 Periodic Review and beyond. Watch the meeting here.

*12/6/23: Review of preliminary draft of 2024 Comprehensive Plan Housing Element. Watch the meeting here.

*1/17/24: Overview of 2024 Periodic Review. Watch the meeting here.

*2/21/24: Discussion re biennial reviews of the Downtown and Station District Subareas in conjunction with 2024 Periodic Review. Watch the meeting here.

*4/3/24: Discussion re Transportation Element Audit. Watch the meeting here.

*4/17/24: Review of draft Transportation Element. Watch the meeting here.

*5/1/24: Review of draft 2024 Comprehensive Plan. Watch the meeting here.

*5/15/24: Review of draft 2024 Development Regulations. Watch the meeting here.

*6/5/24: Introduction of the 24CPPR package and the public hearing. Watch the meeting and public hearing part 1 here.

*6/12/24: Review of draft riparian buffers and continued public hearing. Watch the meeting and public hearing part 2 here.


The City Council is holding a series of study sessions about the 2024 Periodic Review in 2023 and 2024. You can view the meeting materials as they are published here. You can watch the meetings live or after the fact here.

*1/9/23: Introduction to the 2024 Comprehensive Plan Periodic Review. Watch the meeting here.

*3/13/23: Housing in the 2024 Periodic Review. Watch the meeting here.

*6/12/23: Climate Change and Critical Areas in the 2024 Periodic Review: Watch the meeting here.

*7/10/23: Housing Needs Assessment, Racially Disparate impacts, and Equity in All Elements in the 2024 Periodic Review. Watch the meeting here.

*8/14/23: Land Use in the 2024 Periodic Review. Watch the meeting here.

*8/28/23: Transportation and Utilities in the 2024 Periodic Review. Watch the meeting here.

*9/25/23: Housing Density Changes under new State Bills E2SHB 1110 and EHB 1337; Introduction of Lakewood Equity Index Map. Watch meeting here.

*11/27/23: Projected residential parking concerns related to new housing density requirements. Watch meeting here.

*1/22/24: Status of 2024 Periodic Review and schedule for public engagement and action to adopt. Watch meeting here.

*3/11/24: Council status update on the 2024 Periodic Review Process. Watch the meeting here.

*5/13/24: City Council discussion of 2024 reviews of Downtown and Station District Subarea Plans and Downtown Transportation Mitigation Fee. Watch the meeting here.

View Planning Partner discussions of 2024 Periodic Review Process

The City is holding meetings with planning partners (utilities, special purpose districts, public agencies, and more) to coordinate the 2024 Comprehensive Plan and Regulation Updates.

*8/4/23 Planning Partner Meeting #1. Watch meeting here.

The 2011 Tillicum Neighborhood Plan will be updated as part of 2024 Process.

View the 2023 Lakewood Equity Index Map

2024 Periodic Review

What is it?

State law requires many cities, including Lakewood, to complete a periodic review of their entire Comprehensive Plan and development regulations, including regulations for critical areas and natural resource lands. Lakewood must complete this review by December 31, 2024, and then future reviews every 10 years after that. City Comprehensive Plans and Regulations must be up-to-date with the requirements of the Growth Management Act to be eligible for grants and loans from certain state infrastructure programs.

What is being reviewed?
Every “element” or chapter of the City’s Comprehensive Plan as well as the development regulation codes that implement them. The City will also be reorganizing the Plan as part of the review to make it more readable.


Comprehensive Plan

Foundation for City Planning
The required elements for Comprehensive Plan are described in state law here. Optional elements are described here.

Comprehensive Plans have a 20-year time horizon. The Plan is intended to shape Lakewood’s operations and growth for the next two decades by including policies, goals, and strategies about:

  • Land Use (general distribution, location and extent of the uses of land (e.g., residential, commercial, industrial, parks and open space, public institutional, military))
  • Housing (ensuring the vitality and character of established residential neighborhoods; identifying sufficient capacity of land for housing including, but not limited to, government-assisted housing, housing for moderate, low, very low, and extremely low-income households, manufactured housing, multifamily housing, group homes, foster care facilities, emergency housing, emergency shelters, permanent supportive housing, and within an urban growth area boundary, consideration of duplexes, triplexes, and townhomes)
  • Capital Facilities (streets, roads, highways, sidewalks, street and road lighting systems, traffic signals, domestic water systems, storm and sanitary sewer systems, parks and recreational facilities, and schools)
  • Utilities (including, but not limited to, electrical lines, telecommunication lines, and natural gas lines)
  • Transportation (implements, and is consistent with, the land use element; discusses air, water, and ground transportation facilities and services)

Lakewood’s Optional Comprehensive Plan Items
Lakewood has adopted optional elements to its Plan, including:


Housing Changes

The following table* summarizes where portions of the 2044 Lakewood housing and job growth targets are currently planned:

2044 Citywide Growth Targets2035 Targets ID’d for Downtown Subarea2035 Targets ID’d for Station District Subarea2044 Targets ID’d for outside subareas2044 Citywide Emergency Housing Unit Target
Housing Units9,378 net new units2,257 net new units (~24% of citywide ’44 target)1,722 net new units (~18% of citywide ’44 target)5,399
(~58% of citywide ’44 target)
574
Jobs9,863 net new jobs7,317 net new jobs
(~74% of citywide ’44 target)
1,276 net new jobs (~13% of citywide ’44 target)1,270
(~13% of citywide ’44 target)

*This table corrects previous errors in the calculation of housing unit and job targets in the Downtown Subarea.

WATCH THE JANUARY 23, 2024 OPEN HOUSE here: The City must adopt new housing laws by the end of 2024 offering property owners choices to build more housing units in historically single family areas in the City. You can view the meeting presentation here.

Watch the November 15, 2023 Open House HERE. You can see the presentation materials packet here.

Planning for Housing under Washington State Law:

Since 2020, in reaction to the lack of affordable housing, the State Legislature has taken a more active role in setting rules for how cities can plan for housing growth in their boundaries.  One of the major focuses in the 2024 Comprehensive Plan review is planning for housing.  To understand the basic issues, check out these videos developed by the WA Department of Commerce:

In its Comprehensive Plan, Lakewood must have a Housing Element and Zoning Map ensuring the vitality and character of established residential neighborhoods; identifying sufficient capacity of land for housing including, but not limited to, government-assisted housing, housing for moderate, low, very low, and extremely low-income households, manufactured housing, multifamily housing, group homes, foster care facilities, emergency housing, emergency shelters, permanent supportive housing, and within an urban growth area boundary, consideration of duplexes, triplexes, and townhomes.

In 2024, Lakewood is conducting a full review of its residential areas and other land use zones that allow housing to update them to current state law rules.  This means reviewing where to allow for:

  • accessory dwelling units,
  • more than one housing unit per lot,
  • more housing units per acre, and
  • allowing more than single-family housing in traditionally single-family neighborhoods

FAQs

2024 Periodic Review FAQ

Who decides what changes are incorporated during the 2024 Periodic Review?

The City Council will take action to adopt any updates to Lakewood’s Comprehensive Plan and development regulations before December 31, 2024. In addition, the WA State Department of Commerce and Puget Sound Regional Council will be involved in reviews of the Plan and regulations, and may require additional changes before the process is complete.

How can I get involved in the Periodic Review?

Lakewood needs your input! The City will be reviewing many topics as part of this review and needs the expertise and feedback of residents, businesses and organizations to make this Plan review the best it can be. Please sign up for updates and leave your comments below, and thank you!

Where can I find more information about the 2024 periodic review?

This page and www.lakewoodwaspeaks.org will be the best place to watch for more information and updates about the 2024 Periodic Review. For specific questions you can find answers to here, please contact Tiffany Speir, Long Range & Strategic Planning Manager, at [email protected]

Housing & ADU Update FAQ

Allowed Types of Housing

The City of Lakewood is will be adopting new rules about housing and how many units can be built on a single residential lot in 2024 in its R1, R2, R3, R4, and ARC zones.  The new rules will go into effect early 2025.

Lakewood must allow at least 2 middle housing units per lot in single family areas, and 4 middle housing units per lot in single family areas within 1/4 mile of major transit stops.

Lakewood must also allow up to 2 accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in single family areas.

What is “middle housing”?

Middle housing includes duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, fiveplexes, sixplexes, townhouses, stacked flats, courtyard apartments, and cottage housing.

What is an ADU?

ADUs are small housing units built on existing lots. ADUs can be attached to an existing home as an attached addition, a portion of the home, a free-standing housing unit, or a unit-above-garage style dwelling.

What do current homeowners have to do?

Are homeowners required to build accessory dwelling units (ADUs) or “middle housing” units on their land?

No. Homeowners who wish to build ADUs or middle housing units on their own property will have more opportunities to do so.

Homeowners who do not want to build more units on their property are not required to build units.

Is the government taking private or public land to build more housing units in Lakewood?

No. The City, State, and Federal government will NOT be buying or taking land in order to build ADUs or other housing.

Is the government building public housing in Lakewood?

No. There are currently no plans for public housing in the City of Lakewood. 

The City’s code does allow supportive and emergency housing to be built by affordable housing providers as required by state law. 

Why is Lakewood adopting these changes? Can the City refuse to allow ADUs?

Washington State requires cities, including Lakewood, to follow the Growth Management Act (GMA).  Lakewood must allow property owners to build ADUs and middle housing units under the laws adopted by the State Legislature in 2023.

Cities which do not comply with the GMA are subject to financial sanctions, including losing funding for road improvements. More information can be found in RCW 36.70A.345 Sanctions.

Building ADUs and Middle Housing

Are ADUs and middle housing units required to meet building codes and other city requirements?

Yes. ADUs and middle housing units are subject to all the same building codes and city requirements (sewer, setbacks, etc.) as any other type of housing.

If I choose to build an ADU on my property, who owns the ADU?

The landowner who owns the property and builds an ADU owns the ADU unless they sell it.

If I choose to build an ADU or middle housing on my property, does my property split into multiple properties?

ADUs and middle housing are built on the existing lot, which is owned by the owner of that property unless the lot is also split under a separate permit. Lots are not required to be split in order to build allowed ADUs or middle housing.

What parking will be required in areas where ADUs and new housing are built?

This question has several answers, depending on how close the housing is located to major transit stops.

            State law says Lakewood may NOT require:

  • off-street/on-site parking as a condition of permitting development of middle housing or ADUs within ½ mile walking distance of a major transit stop;
  • public street improvements as a condition of permitting ADUs;
  • more than 1 off-street/on-site parking space per unit for middle housing or ADUs on lots smaller than 6,000 square feet; or
  • more than 2 off-street/on-site parking spaces per unit for middle housing or ADUs on lots greater than 6,000 square feet.

Please see RCW 36.70A.681 (2) for more details.

Since HB 1337 allows me to build ADUs on my land, will my property tax increase to the new “maximum use” of my land even if I do not build ADUs?

The City is still reviewing what the Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer will do about property values when the rules change and a single family lot is allowed to have multiple housing units on it.

How will my insurance change now that I am allowed to build ADUs on my land?

If a homeowner plans to build ADUs or middle housing units on their land, they need to consult with their insurance provider to determine the cost of insuring their property.

Other Housing Concerns

Is the City of Lakewood planning to raze the Puget Sound Wildlife Area (PSWA) to make way for a housing development?

No. The PSWA is administered by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (DFW). Neither the City of Lakewood, the State of Washington, nor DFW are planning any housing developments in the PSWA.

For more information, please visit the Puget Sound Wildlife Area page.

I see people walking around the wildlife area with construction vests and surveying equipment. What is going on over there?

City staff reached out to DFW to inquire about construction activity in the PSWA. Staff from the PSWA reports the facility has recently completed a number of upgrades including fencing, gates, and sewer improvements. Surveyors are surveying the area to explore possible construction of a new wildlife health facility on the property. This new construction is planned to consist of an office, a lab, and storage space.

All construction in the PSWA is in service to the mission of the wildlife area. No housing developments are being considered in the PSWA.

Adult Family Homes (AFHs)

Are AFHs allowed in Lakewood?

Yes, AFHs are allowed in Lakewood.

How many AFHs are allowed in Lakewood?

There is no numerical limit to the amount of AFHs in Lakewood. AFHs must comply with a number of state and city regulations.

Please see https://www.dshs.wa.gov/altsa/residential-care-services/about-adult-family-homes and LMC 18A.40.120 Special Needs Housing for more information.


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