Council Corner Lakewood City Council

Council Corner: Sept. 26, 2022 Study Session

The Lakewood City Council began its Sept. 26, 2022 study session with a review of proposed updates to the city’s tree preservation code.

Twelve “Key Issues” were outlined for Council. These included recommendations from the city’s ad hoc tree committee and Planning Commission. Council used the study session to provide direction to the city’s planning staff. With Council’s input and consensus a draft ordinance will be finalized for Council review.

Highlights include:

  • Set a goal to have 40% tree canopy coverage throughout the city by 2050. This aligns with the recommendation of the ad hoc tree committee.
  • Establish an urban forestry program that would implement adopted tree preservation policies to preserve significant trees, promote safe and healthy trees and expand tree coverage throughout the city.
  • Add a position to the city’s planning division in 2023 to assist with implementation and execution of an urban forestry program and developed policy guidelines. It is proposed the city also contract with a certified arborist to serve as an expert to review future action. The addition of these positions will come in a separate action tied to adoption of the proposed 2023-2024 Biennial Budget.
  • Develop a program to identify heritage and historical trees to help with their retention and preservation.

Read the full memo, including a draft ordinance here.

Council could take final action on the draft tree code ordinance as early as its Oct. 17, 2022 regular meeting at 7 p.m.

Joint meeting with Landmarks and Heritage Advisory Board (LHAB): Members of the city’s Landmarks and Heritage Advisory Board met with Council to hear the volunteer board’s 2021 accomplishments and review its 2022 work plan. Accomplishments include implementation of a historic street sign recognition program, completion of the first draft of edits for a Lakewood touring map and updating the city’s website related to historical designations and frequently asked questions.

Tacoma Public Utilities: LaTasha Wortham, regional relations manager with Tacoma Public Utilities, presented to Council about proposed rate increases for TPU customers and the reason why the cost increase is necessary. Find more info: MyTPU.Org/Rates

Nisqually Indian Tribe Partnership: The city of Lakewood and Nisqually Indian Tribe are partnering on a pilot program to add a land acknowledgement statement, interpretive markers, trail signage, art and other information throughout Fort Steilacoom Park to provide an introduction and history of the Nisqually people. Markers will include traditional Lushootseed language to share the tribe’s story in the region.

Council Rules of Procedure: Council discussed virtual attendance at its meetings and maintaining public access in person or hybrid format.

Watch the meeting: City Council Meeting of September 26, 2022

What’s on deck: Council will hold a regular meeting Oct. 3, 2022 at 7 p.m. Tentative agenda items include:

  • Proclamation recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • Reports from the Lakewood Youth Council and Clover Park School District
  • Approve a partnership project with the Nisqually Tribe of Indians
  • Presentation of the proposed 2023-2024 Biennial Budget