The Lakewood City Council jumped immediately into its tree preservation code update review to start its study session Monday. The discussion that followed outlined Council member thoughts as proposed ordinance is prepared for final consideration.
Background: Lakewood Municipal Code (LMC) identifies how trees are protected/should be preserved. This includes outlining when permits are required to remove trees, and how significant trees should be preserved wherever possible. After hearing from the public about concerns around tree removal in the city, the Lakewood City Council convened a committee to review the existing code and suggest improvements.
The committee met seven times between March and April 2022. It produced a report that included recommendations on several key issues ranging from a citywide tree canopy goal, to preserving significant and protected trees. The Lakewood Planning Commission then took those recommendations, reviewed them and made its own recommendations to the City Council for consideration.
The City Council began review of the recommendations at an Aug. 8, 2022 study session. It continued its review of the proposed recommendations into September. A public hearing was held Sept. 6, 2022. Following the hearing, Council continued its review at subsequent study sessions, including the most recent Oct. 10, 2022 meeting.
Final consideration on the proposed ordinance is expected at Council’s regular meeting Oct. 17, 2022 at 7 p.m.
Joint Lakewood Arts Commission meeting: Members of the Lakewood Arts Commission met with Council to review the commission’s work plan. This included a review of various arts commission initiated events like the Saturday Street Festivals, summer concert series, Reel Life Film Festival and others. They also reviewed plans for upcoming public art installations and the next round of utility box wrap artwork that will go up in different neighborhoods.
Climate Change review: Last summer the Lakewood City Council approved changes to the city’s comprehensive plan that included adding a new chapter on energy and climate change. Earlier this year the Lakewood Planning Commission submitted its initial recommendations on a work plan to Council for review. Council requested additional information, including tasks grouped and prioritized that include metrics and associated costs. Ultimately a list of 14 prioritized items were sent to Council with the recommendation these should be the first items tackled from the larger list.
Some of the items in this plan include a recommendation to develop a five-year plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the city, work with the county and other cities to create a regional approach and best practices to address climate change, incorporate an environmental justice assessment into the city’s climate change work plan, and coordinate a regional electric vehicle infrastructure strategy with neighboring jurisdictions, Pierce County and the state.
Council will take action on the ordinance approving the three-year climate change work plan at its Oct. 17, 2022 regular meeting.
Watch the meeting: Oct. 10, 2022 Lakewood City Council study session
What’s on deck: Council will hold a special budget meeting Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022 at 6 p.m. to hear presentations from city departments, including:
- Municipal Court
- Community and Economic Development
- Public Works Engineering
- Administrative Service
Council will meet Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. for a legislative review meeting to look at the proposed 2023-2024 state legislative agenda and policy manual, federal legislative priorities and Pierce County policy manual.
The next regular meeting is Monday, Oct. 17, 2022 at 7 p.m. Tentative agenda items include:
- Issuing a proclamation recognizing October as National Disability Employment Awareness month
- Authorizing two agreements with the Department of Commerce for implementation of climate change planning grant and a middle housing grant.
- Accepting a $41,000 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant for the purchase of ballistic helmets and rifle plates for Lakewood Police.
- Final action on proposed ordinance approving the Tree Preservation Code updates.
- Final action on proposed ordinance approving a three-year Energy and Climate Change Work Plan.
- Reports by the City Manager: Clover Creek Flood Study Engineering Feasibility Analysis update and Prosecution Services update.