January 28, 2022: Summary of the Week
Lakewood’s 2022 events calendar is taking shape: SummerFest is back and a new series of Saturday Street Festivals is coming to Colonial Plaza
Mayor Whalen held his first “Community Coffeehouse” to chat with residents about plans to improve local parks and Lakewood’s 2022 events.
The City has begun to study whether it is feasible to repair the famous “H-barn” at Fort Steilacoom Park. The project would likely be funded through private donations, lodging tax funds, and various grants.
The City completed the purchase of a commercial property in the “JBLM North Clear Zone”, a big step forward in a complex multi-agency effort to expand the buffer around the airstrip to comply with federal regulations.
Free N-95 masks are available at the City Hall and Police Station front desks (as well as local pharmacies. Free at-home COVID-19 rapid test kits are available from the State Department of Health.
SummerFest is Back; Lakewood’s 2022 Events Announced
SummerFest is coming back! After a two-year hiatus, Lakewood’s famous summer soirée will return. Enjoy extraordinary entertainment, live music, food, games, rides, and family-friendly fun on Saturday, July 23.
The City will host four thrilling Saturday Street Festivals in 2022 at newly-renovated Colonial Plaza: “Dancing in the Streets” on May 21, “Carnival of Cultures” on June 18, “Jazz Night & Car Show” on Aug. 13, and “Fiesta de la Familia” on Sept. 17.
The Lakewood Farmers Market has moved to Tuesdays from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m., beginning on June 7. The market will accept SNAP/EBT benefits for the first time this year, and the new Tuesday time slot will attract even more vendors.
Our Summer Nights at the Pavilion concert series lineup is now posted; six concerts will follow the farmers market on Tuesday nights in June, July, and August.
Mayor Whalen and Lakewood residents convened for the first of many “Community Coffeehouse” events, casual discussions about important community issues.
Coffeehouse sessions are casual, conversational meetings where residents enjoy a personal audience with the mayor and City staff to discuss important topics.
Mayor Whalen and Parks & Recreation Director Mary Dodsworth discussed upcoming improvements to Lakewood parks and the 2022 events calendar.
Review the full presentation of parks updates and event previews, and sign up below to be notified of future sessions.
Lakewood Evaluating Feasibility of “H-Barn” Restoration at Fort Steilacoom Park
The City has begun to study whether it is feasible to repair the famous “H-barn” at Fort Steilacoom Park. Partners for Parks conducted some preliminary research of the condition of the buildings, selection of which barns to repair, and fundraising planning for the work.
The project would likely be funded through private donations, lodging tax funds, and various grants. The project has been part of Lakewood’s Legacy Plan for years, but is now beginning to generate momentum.
Lakewood Purchases Tactical Tailor Property; Makes Progress in North Clear Zone Project
Several businesses north of JBLM in the “North Clear Zone” must relocate to expand the buffer area for landing aircraft to comply with federal requirements.
The City of Lakewood has been working for well over a year with multiple agencies to facilitate these relocations. The City has completed the purchase of the Tactical Tailor facility through a mix of county, state, and federal funds to this end.
“This is a regional effort to ensure that JBLM (which provides our region with over $9 billion of economic impact annually…) remains as “BRAC proof” (Base Realignment) as possible. Having activity within the “clear zone” is a ding for us should Congress consider another BRAC in the future… This significant multi-agency, multi-year work is cause for celebration.”
Jason Whalen, Mayor
Free N95 masks are available at the Lakewood City Hall and Police Station front desks from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays (while supplies last).
- The federal government and state health department offer free at-home rapid tests shipped to your door.
- Testing locations move and change often – refer to the TPCHD website for the latest info.
- COVID-19 activity remains high; hospitals are stressed. Mask & vax, says TPCHD.
The City’s event calendar has been updated to reflect planned 2022 events. Summerfest is scheduled to return in 2022, and a new “Saturday Street Festivals on the Plaza” series of events is planned. Farmers’ markets, outdoor concerts, and many other events will return. Drive-in movie nights will not return in 2022.
Lakewood’s outdoor summer concert series lineup is now posted; six concerts will follow the farmers market on Tuesday nights in June, July, and August. The lineup features rock, soul, country, classics, and covers.
- Gravelly Lake & Nyanza: Gravelly Lake Drive is closed between Nyanza & Washington through mid-February. The intersection of Gravelly Lake Drive and Washington Boulevard will close afterwards for roundabout construction.
- Steilacoom & Lakewood: Steilacoom Boulevard is closed between Lakewood Drive and Gravelly Lake Drive. Sewer repair is on schedule and the road should reopen in early February.
- Steilacoom & Custer: Sidewalk work is ongoing along the north side of Steilacoom Boulevard. The northern lane (right lane as you drive west) will remain closed through Feb. 14 (approximately).
Monday’s meeting began with a presentation from Partners for Parks on the progress of its early efforts to renovate one of the historic barns at Fort Steilacoom Park, perhaps converting it to a multi-use community space. Early study data seems to support the feasibility of a restoration project. Partners for Parks estimates a cost of $7.5 million and presented some preliminary fundraising ideas.
Lakewood’s Long-Range Planning Manager Tiffany Speir reviewed the City’s Buildable Lands Report and growth targets. The report projects that Lakewood’s population will grow by 13,380 by 2044, and that 5,498 additional housing units must be added to support that growth. The report projects employment growth of 9,863 in that time.
Assistant City Manager Dave Bugher reviewed changes to the Multifamily Housing Tax Exemption (MFTE) program approved by the state legislature. Changes include adjustment of certain definitions and criteria to expand eligibility, and creation of a new 20-year exemption to stimulate more development of units for low-income renters. 8 Lakewood developments have benefitted from MFTEs since 2006.
Several businesses north of JBLM in the “North Clear Zone” must relocate to expand the buffer area for landing aircraft to comply with federal requirements. The City of Lakewood has been working for well over a year to facilitate these relocations. The City has completed the purchase of the Tactical Tailor facility through a mix of county, state, and federal funds to this end.
City Manager John Caulfield briefed the council on progress to implement the LPD body camera program, progress to launch a new community emergency notification system, progress to establish an ad hoc tree advisory committee, and the upcoming state legislative session.
- Monday, February 7, 2022