City Manager's Weekly Bulletin Sept. 23, 2022

Lakewood Manager’s Bulletin: Sept. 23, 2022

Lakewood Council Corner: Sept. 19, 2022

Lakewood City Council with Linda Smith of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce posing with a proclamation in Lakewood City Council Chambers

The Lakewood City Council began its regular meeting Sept. 19, 2022 with two recognitions. A proclamation read by Councilmember Mike Brandstetter recognizing Sept. 25 through Oct. 1, 2022 as Childhood Cancer Awareness Week and a proclamation read by Mayor Jason Whalen recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce.

Presentations: Council heard two presentations, one from the Boys & Girls Club of South Puget Sound and the other from Northwest Youth Corps. The city allocated American Rescue Plan Act funds to these agencies. The money went to help fund youth activities. Representatives from each agency shared how they helped youth with the money received.

Council action: Council took final action on Ordinance 774. This legislation amended existing ordinances 695 and 696 related to the city’s Downtown Subarea Plan. Instead of reviewing the plan every two years, Council amended the regulations to review the plan every five years. The change was recommended by the city’s Planning Commission. Council has the option to review the plan before the five-year period is up, if necessary.

What’s on deck: Council will hold a study session Sept. 26, 2022 at 7 p.m. Tentative agenda items include:

  • Review of Tree Preservation Code Update
  • Joint Landmarks and Heritage Advisory Board meeting
  • Tacoma Public Utilities Proposed Budget and Rates Development Presentation
  • Review of Nisqually Indian Tribe Partnership Project
  • Review of City Council Rules of Procedures

Watch the meetingCity Council Meeting of September 19, 2022

How to attend: Attend in person at Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW; Join via Zoom (or dial (253) 215- 8782 and enter meeting ID: 868 7263 2373), or watch live on the city’s YouTube channel.

Thanks for celebrating with us  

Our final Saturday Street Festival of 2022 was held last weekend and it was a blast! We had live entertainment, food trucks and kids’ activities. Families from across Lakewood joined us for our Fiesta de la Familia at Colonial Plaza.

Thank you to everyone who came out to make our final festival of the 2022 season one of the best street festivals yet! If you missed it, check out the photo gallery on our Facebook page.

See photos from the event.

Two events remain for 2022

While our street festivals are done for the year, we still have two of our signature city events yet to come this year! Save the date for Truck & Tractor Day, Oct. 8 from 12-3 p.m. at Fort Steilacoom Park. This fall festival is back with pumpkins, hay rides, food, and all the trucks!

We’re also returning our Holiday Parade of Lights to downtown Lakewood this year, culminating with a countdown to the lighting of the city Christmas Tree in front of City Hall. Mark your calendar for Saturday, Dec. 10 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Want to join the parade? Find out how here.

Shoplifting emphasis at Lakewood businesses

Recently Lakewood Police conducted a series of shoplifting emphases to catch thieves in action and ultimately deter future shoplifting attempts.

The most recent emphasis occurred during the week of Sept. 12-16, 2022. Twelve people were arrested and nearly $3,000 in merchandise recovered.

Earlier this year police conducted two other shoplifting emphases at Lakewood businesses. Combined a total of $7,441.65 in merchandise was recovered. So far this year police made three felony arrests and 31 misdemeanor arrests tied to the shoplifting operations.

Police will continue these patrols with uniformed and plain clothed officers to catch thieves, hold them accountable and continue to show support for local businesses.

Planning Commission begins Periodic Review process

This week the Lakewood Planning Commission began the city’s 2024 Periodic Review process. It started with an overview and introduction of what to expect in the coming months.

All cities and counties in Washington are required to conduct a periodic review and potential update of their Comprehensive Plan and development regulations. Lakewood’s next periodic review must be completed by December 21, 2024. Future periodic reviews will be conducted every 10 years.

Five years after the review and a revision of the Comprehensive Plan the city is required to submit an implementation progress report on key outcomes. Counties and cities must be up-to-date with the requirements of the Growth Management Act (GMA), including the periodic update requirements, to be eligible for grants and loans from certain state infrastructure programs.

There are five overall tasks counties and cities must take during the periodic update process:

  1. Establish a work program (including a public participation plan) and schedule.
  2. Review, and revise where needed, relevant plans and regulations.
  3. Conduct a public engagement program throughout the periodic update process.
  4. Submit notice to the state.
  5. Take legislative action on proposed amendments.

Read more.

What’s the latest with the Washington Boulevard road work?

We are making progress on the road improvements on Washington Boulevard and connecting roads in Lake City.

If you drove this week at night on Washington Boulevard and Gravelly Lake Drive and Washington Boulevard at Interlaaken Drive you hopefully noticed it was a lot brighter. That’s because the street lights are now connected to electricity!

In the coming weeks drivers might encounter temporary lane impacts on Gravelly Lake Drive south of Nyanza and at its intersection with Washington Boulevard. This is so Comcast crews can remove their lines from the poles on Gravelly Lake Drive.

Once this work is done, the city’s contractor will pour the final three sidewalk panels south of Nyanza Road along Gravelly Lake Drive. And will repair the curb in the roundabout at Gravelly Lake Drive and Nyanza Road that was damaged this spring.

Read more about what’s been done and what’s to come, including asphalt paving scheduled for next week (Sept. 28-29, 2022) on North Gate Road between Nottingham Road and Edgewood Avenue.

FAB Fest returns next month

Mark your calendar: the Film, Art, Book (FAB) Fest is back Oct. 14-16 at the McGavick Center at Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Boulevard SW.

This year’s event will feature 18 entries from Lakewood’s Reel Life 96 short film contest, held in February. These locally produced, five minute long films had to be shot and edited within a 96 hour period and incorporate a dance scene, a lit candle and the dialogue “sometimes you have to be happy for what you don’t get”. Some of the films are emotional, some moving and some outright hilarious.

The films will be shown Saturday, Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. in three groups of six films each. Audience discussion will occur following presentation of each group.

Throughout the three-day event visitors can view art exhibits, meet visiting authors and see special entertainment. Following the Reel Life 96 film viewing Saturday guests can stick around for a 6 p.m. showing of the Oscar-nominated film “Elvis & Nixon”, followed by a Q&A.

Admission and parking are free. Doors open at noon. An indoor concession stand and TinHut BBQ food truck will have food on site. View the complete schedule.

Sound Transit restores service in Lakewood

Good news for Sounder riders. This week Sound Transit restored two weekday trips to its Sounder South S Line.

  • Northbound: 10:06 a.m. departure from Lakewood — reaches Seattle at 11:22 a.m. 
  • Southbound: 7:55 a.m. departure from King Street Station — reaches Lakewood at 9:11 a.m. (Great option for UW-Tacoma students in the corridor. Get off at Tacoma Dome and transfer to Tacoma Link for a quick trip to campus.) 

Whether you are traveling for work, school, appointments or fun, Sounder provides a great alternative to sitting in traffic and paying for parking. See the full Sounder schedule.  

The S Line connects nine communities from Lakewood to Seattle, including King Street Station in historic Pioneer Square (across the street from the International District/Chinatown Station for easy access to Link light rail and the Seattle Streetcar serving hospitals on First Hill). 

Pierce Transit survey

Pierce Transit is partnering with EMC Research, a local, independent market research company to conduct a survey of riders to gather opinions about Pierce Transit and its service.

Please take the survey online. Input will be used for research purposes only.

Do you drive 112th Street in Lake City?

If you do, then you likely experienced the rough stretch of pavement between Holden Road and Butte Drive.

This stretch is a route for drivers detouring around the work on Washington Boulevard. The increased traffic has degraded the aging road surface layers. To fix the problem, the city initiated an emergency contract to get this section of road repaired.

Pending their availability, the city expects a contractor to be out within the next two weeks to mill and patch the degraded sections of the road. This work is anticipated to take one to two days. Traffic mitigation measures will be in place.

Lakewood PD Chief search: Online survey

Have you heard? Lakewood is conducting a national search to find its next police chief to replace Chief Mike Zaro who will retire at the start of 2023.

As part the process the city wants to hear from residents about what qualities they want in a new chief. Please take a minute to take a short, anonymous online survey.

Take the survey. The survey closes Oct. 21, 2022.

Answers will be used by the firm to help identify well-qualified candidates for consideration.

Comcast RISE grant application open

Small businesses owned by women and people of color continue to recover from the pandemic and the impact of rising inflation. With this in-mind, Comcast’s RISE program continues to invest in the success of these critical businesses by providing valuable and practical support.

As part of Comcast RISE, small businesses owned by women and people of color, including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Asian American owners, among others, in King and Pierce counties may apply for a $10,000 grant from the Comcast RISE Investment Fund. Comcast will award $1 million in grants to 100 eligible businesses in these two counties, as well as technology and marketing resources to eligible businesses statewide.

Applications will be accepted Oct. 3-16. Find more infrmation at Winners will be notified in November.

Join our Community Services Advisory Board

Want to get involved with the city of Lakewood? The city’s Community Services Advisory Board is accepting applications to fill up to five vacancies.

This board advises the Lakewood City Council on items related to Human Services and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership Act (HOME) programs. Members are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council.

Read more about qualifications and advisory board duties.

Join the Parade

Lakewood’s annual Holiday Parade of Lights and annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony return to Lakewood Towne Center this December and we need you to join the parade!

We are accepting applications now for those who want to be part of the fun. Sign up your business, organization, youth group or team and gain great visibility in front of the roughly 7,000 people that line the route specifically to see the floats and displays as they make their way to Lakewood City Hall.

Awards will be given for floats/displays in the categories of “Most Original”, “Most Spirited”, “Best Overall Appearance”.

This year’s event is Saturday, Dec. 10 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The parade ends at Lakewood City Hall in time for the countdown to light the city Christmas Tree.

Interested? Fill out at a parade application today.

Road project updates

  • Patching of 112th – Holden to Butte: A high volume of cars are using 112th Street SW as a detour route. A segment of the road between Holden Road and Butte Drive is wearing down from this additional traffic. The city has initiated an emergency contract to get this section of road repaired. Within the next three weeks a contractor will be on the road milling the potholed sections and patching them.
  • JBLM-North Access Improvement (Washington Boulevard)
    • Phase 1: Street lights now work on Washington Boulevard and Gravelly Lake Drive, and Washington Boulevard and Interlaaken Drive. Comcast will work on the poles in the coming weeks along Gravelly Lake Drive south of Nyanza Road and at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Interlaaken Drive. Once Comcast has relocated, the contractor will pour the final three sidewalk panels south of Nyanza Road along Gravelly Lake Drive and repair the curb in the roundabout at Gravelly Lake Drive and Nyanza Road that was damaged this spring.
    • Phase 2: The contractor completed the drainage section and the first half of the concrete pavement at the North Gate Road/Edgewood Avenue roundabout. Asphalt paving of North Gate Road between Nottingham Road and Edgewood Avenue and along Edgewood Avenue between North Gate Road and Washington Boulevard will be performed next week, Sept. 28-29. Water main installation on Washington Boulevard between Edgewood Avenue and Vernon Avenue is done. They pressure tested and are scheduled to ensure that the line is sanitized over the weekend (Sept. 24-25). Following the purity tests, they will flush and make main connections. They then have about a week of service connections to make to each house along Washington Boulevard. Grading of the intersection of Washington Boulevard/Edgewood Avenue and along the road in preparation for curb will then take place.
  • Phillips Road: Post Office will deliver keys to the cluster mailboxes to residents to access the boxes.
  • Steilacoom Blvd, Weller to Custer: The contractor is still clearing the area on Steilacoom Blvd., installing conduits for street light. Pouring sidewalks is expected to begin next week on 88th Street. This project will add curb and sidewalk on the south side of Steilacoom Boulevard between Weller and Phillips roads, then build curbs and sidewalk along both sides of 88th Street between Steilacoom Boulevard and Custer Road.
  • Pacific Highway/South Tacoma Way from 108th to SR 512 Overlay: Work was completed last week. A permanent pole to replace the damaged traffic signal will be replaced during the spring of 2023. Permanent striping will go down in three weeks.

Upcoming city events

Lakewood's Truck & Tractor Day is Oct. 8, 2022 from 12 to 3 pm at Fort Steilacoom Park

Two of our favorite, signature city events remain this year. Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss them!

  • Oct. 8, 12-3 p.m.: Truck & Tractor day at Fort Steilacoom Park. Learn more.
  • Dec. 10, 4:30-5:30 p.m.: Lakewood Holiday Parade of Lights & Christmas Tree Lighting, downtown Lakewood and Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW. Learn more.