City Manager's Weekly Bulletin Sept. 29, 2023

Lakewood Manager’s Bulletin: Sept. 29, 2023

Mayor Whalen’s Community Coffeehouse wrap up

A PowerPoint slide from a presentation that shows a map of the City of Lakewood, WA with what areas could see an increase in housing density due to recent state law changes.

Did you miss Mayor Jason Whalen’s Community Coffeehouse this week? Long range planning and special projects manager Tiffany Speir shared information about new housing laws at the state level that will impact housing density in the city.

In part, the laws require an increase in “middle housing” types in areas traditionally dedicated to single-family detached housing. Middle housing is described as housing that contains two or more attached, stacked or clustered homes. This includes duplexes, triplexes, four-plexes, five-plexes, six-plexes, townhomes, stacked flats, courtyard apartments and cottage housing.

Lakewood’s zoning already allows these housing types in the city. But the new laws will require an expansion of the areas where these housing options are allowed.

The new laws also require cities to allow two or more accessory dwelling units on lots that meet a minimum size in all zones that allow single-family homes.

Because Lakewood is a largely residential city with single-family neighborhoods, the proposed increase in density will have a widespread impact. However, there are some limitations in some areas due to lakes, wetlands, Oregon White Oak stands and other critically, or environmentally sensitive areas.

View the presentation to learn more about what is allowed and how the city is preparing to handle these changes.

Are you a military spouse? Take this survey

The Department of Defense is funding a study of barriers to military spouse employment in Washington to understand ways that the military, local and state governments, and community partners can better support military spouses and families. They want to hear about your experiences with work in Washington – whether you’re currently employed, looking for work, or not employed. Take the 5-minute survey today to help other military spouses and for a chance to win one of several gift cards, up to $200!

If you’re a military member, please share this information with your spouse!

Council Corner: Sept. 25, 2023 recap

The Lakewood City Council started its study session with a joint meeting with the Lakewood Arts Commission. The meeting included reviewing the volunteer advisory board’s work plan for 2024 and a review of events from 2023.

Naming Motor Ave. Council reviewed and discussed giving an official name to the Motor Avenue plaza that was redeveloped in 2018. Historically, the site is referred to as “Colonial Plaza” because of its proximity to the Lakewood Colonial Center and the traditional New England architectural style. After reviewing survey results from nearly 700 participants and holding a discussion around naming options, the City Council directed city staff to draft a formal document naming the site Colonial Plaza.

Designed and built by Lakewood visionary and well-known businessman Norton Clapp, the Lakewood Colonial Center complex was the first of its kind west of the Mississippi when it was built. Its name reflects the colonial style architectural features that still stand today.

Periodic Review update. As part of the ongoing 2024 Comprehensive Plan Periodic Review, the Lakewood City Council reviewed a newly created equity index map. The map identifies demographic and quality of life data for the various census tracts in Lakewood. Demographics like average income, heat index data, walkability scores, access to services, and more, are available to search in the map. Data from the map will be used as a reference to help shape future policies that impact the lives of Lakewood residents.

Watch the meeting.

What’s on Deck: The Lakewood City Council meets Monday, Oct. 2, 2023 at 7 p.m. for a regular meeting. Tentative agenda items include:

  • Proclamation recognizing Filipino American History Month
  • Proclamation recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • Reports by the Youth Council and Clover Park School District
  • Authorizing the execution of an amendment to the interagency agreement with the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services for the Lakewood City Hall Phase I Energy Upgrades
  • Ratification of the Proclamation terminating the civil emergency proclaimed on August 16, 2023 related to the wildfire at Fort Steilacoom Park
  • Appointing Youth Councilmembers Alli Laska, Alexis Lynn, Katherine Kaiser and Launa Nieto-Johnson to serve on the Lakewood’s Promise Advisory Board for the 2023-2024 school year
  • Reports by the City Manage: Review of the 2024 Property Tax Levy

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.

Police Chief’s Corner

Police Chief's Corner

Lakewood Police Chief Patrick D. Smith wants Lakewood residents to know how the department is working for them. Each week he shares a summary that includes a look at total calls for service for the prior week and the types of crimes reported and responded to by police.

The intent of the summary is to share a snapshot of how the department works each week to keep the community safe. To see quarterly statistical analysis, visit the Lakewood Police Department crime statistics page on the city website.

Weekly Summary, Sept. 19-26, 2023

  • Calls for Service: 1,199
  • Arrests: 32
  • Violent Crime: 27
  • Property Crime: 71
  • Traffic Stops: 291
  • Collisions (reportable): 125

Pierce Transit invites public feedback

Pierce Transit wants its riders and the community at large to voice priorities for the future of local transit in the South Sound. The agency has three remaining opportunities for the public to engage:

  • Oct. 3, 5-7 p.m.: Open House at Asia Pacific Cultural Center (3513 Portland Avenue E, Tacoma)
  • Oct. 4, 1-3 p.m.: Drop-In Opportunity at Lakewood Transit Center
  • Oct. 5, 5:30-6:30 p.m.: Virtual Town Hall & Presentation

Read more.

Sound Transit news

Sound Transit South Sound survey now open

Sound Transit launched a survey to solicit public input on the Sounder South Strategic Plan, created in early 2020, which prioritized longer trains to provide more capacity during peak commute periods. Since then, travel patterns have changed with the increase of hybrid and remote work.

With this survey, the public is being asked whether they prefer new trips, such as on weekends, evenings or midday, rather than longer trains. Survey participants will be entered for a chance to win two tickets to the Nov. 12 Seahawks game versus the Commanders, a $100 gift card (five available) or Sound Transit swag bags (10 available). Take the survey.

Read more.

Lakewood Station access improvements

The public is asked to help prioritize potential improvements for people walking, biking and rolling to Lakewood Station, which provides Sounder train and express bus service.

Next week stop by the Sound Transit table at Lakewood Station on Oct. 4 from 4:30-7 p.m. Lakewood Station is located at 11424 Pacific Highway SW.

View the online open house to comment and find more information on the types of improvements planned. The open house closes Oct. 12. Information presented reflects comments heard from the public late last year. Highlights include:

 Volunteer opportunity: South Sound Wildlife

Are you available to help at the South Sound Wildlife restoration event on Saturday, Oct. 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.? Head to the 90-acre site located on Phillips Road to lend a hand.

In partnership with the Clover Park Rotary Club, the all-volunteer crew will tackle its first prairie restoration planting. Work includes removing tarps on the site and planting native grasses and flowers that once covered the area. For more information or to get involved, contact Alan Billingsley ([email protected]) Rotary Project coordinator.

Pierce County Manufacturing Day Expo

Head to Clover Park Technical College on Oct. 5, 2023 from 1-5 p.m. to learn about new frontiers in manufacturing. This includes automation, robotics, instrumentation and process control, and supply chain logistics equipment.

While there, meet leaders in the industry and discover how to create, contribute, and connect in this growing sector.

Mayor Jason Whalen issued a proclamation supporting this event, and calling attention to the vital role manufacturing plays in the economic development of our city, county, state and nation.

Learn more and register.

Truck & Tractor Day is Oct. 14

A toddler dances in a pumpkin patch.

Fall is just around the corner. And so is our favorite fall family event: Truck & Tractor Day! Head to Fort Steilacoom Park Saturday, Oct. 14 from 12-3 p.m. and let the kids climb on big rigs, ride around the park in the hay wagon and enjoy free activities. We’ll have a pumpkin patch, food vendors, free hardhats, free child activities, a giant slingshot and more. (Pumpkins may be limited to one per family; hard hats available while supplies last).

Participate in Lakewood events

Interested in getting your product or goods in front of Lakewood residents?

We are looking for vendors and companies willing to bring their trucks, tractors or big rigs for kids to climb on at Truck & Tractor Day Oct. 14, 2023 from 12-3 p.m. at Fort Steilacoom Park. Find the application online.

The application period is also open for anyone interested in participating in our annual holiday celebration. The Holiday Parade of Lights & Christmas Tree Lighting is Dec. 9, 2023 from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

This success of this event relies on community participation. Individuals, groups, businesses, nonprofits, organizations, cub scouts, sports teams, school groups – everyone is invited to join the parade! Find more details in the parade entry application.

Thriving Together Resource Event

The Pierce County Community Navigator team and the City of Lakewood are hosting a FREE Pierce County Thriving Together Small Business Resource event on Oct. 18, 2023 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the McGavick Conference Center at Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Boulevard SW.

This event will offer small business owners and entrepreneurs the opportunity to connect with Pierce County non-profit organizations, government agencies, and community lenders that offer small business support programs and services. Register here.

Upcoming community events

Fort Nisqually Candlelight Tour

Take a guided walking tour back in time and find yourself surrounded by the sights, smells and sounds of life in 1859 at Fort Nisqually. In this reality, candles and campfires illuminate the people and events of the night.

The Candlelight Tour takes place 6-9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6 and 7. 

Advance tickets are required and available online at Walking tours are approximately an hour and begin every 15 minutes. For questions about accessibility or for more information, call (253) 404-3970. 

Lakewold Gardens: Halloween events

Visit Lakewold Gardens on the weekends in October for activities for all ages. Stop by on Halloween for a Trick-or-Treat scavenger hunt from 6-7:30 p.m.

Starting Oct. 20 Lakewold Gardens kicks off its All Hallows’ Eve: Eerie Enchantments: Poe’s Garden of Shadows. This event runs Friday-Sunday, Oct. 20 to Oct. 29, from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $20 General; $16 Students, Seniors and Military; $10 for 5-17 years (5 and under free).Learn more.

Then visit the garden on Tuesday, Oct. 31 for a special trick-or-treat scavenger hunt. Kids can search for 10 menacing ravens hidden around the gardens. Find a raven, get a treat. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. Learn more.

Centerforce Auction set for Oct. 27

Don your spookiest or most fun Halloween costume and support a great cause at the same time as Centerforce hosts All Hallows Eve: A Just Like You mixer and auction, presented by KeyBank,on Friday, Oct. 27.

 Wine and beer will be available, along with hors d’oeuvres, while visitors browse the silent auction and dance to the DJ spinning tunes. Grab a bottle of wine from the wine pull or try a chance at winning two tickets for travel valid on Alaska Airlines. Tickets are $45 each for the 21-and-older event at Lakewood Elks Lodge #2388, 6313 75th St. W, Lakewood. Doors open at 5 p.m. Costumes are welcome but not required. Purchase tickets.

Do you ‘know when to go’ in an emergency?

Emergency Management graphic explaining the evacuation levels. The levels are: Level 1: Be Ready Level 2: Be Set Level 3: Go Now

With recent wildfires and corresponding smoke inundating our region on people’s minds, the four Western Washington counties of King, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston are joining forces, along with partners, to launch a regional “Ready, Set, Go!” evacuation campaign.

Learn the evacuation levels and read more.

Sign up for Lakewood Alert

Lakewood Alert

The City of Lakewood uses an alert service: Lakewood Alert to notify residents of important information.

If there is an emergency in the city that requires public notification, we will use this alert system to send out information related to the emergency. An example of when we recently used this is the Aug. 16 fire in Fort Steilacoom Park. In partnership with West Pierce Fire & Rescue and our West Pierce Emergency Management Coalition, we used the system to notify people of voluntary evacuation orders.

Subscribers can sign up to receive text and email alerts. People can also sign up for important non-emergency updates including information about road impacts from large events in the city or information about special events.

Find out more and sign up today.

Work for the city of Lakewood

We’re hiring! Looking to change careers? Looking for a new job? Ready to re-enter the job market?

Join the city of Lakewood! We have a variety of positions open across multiple departments. Lakewood offers a competitive benefits package. We are part of the state retirement system (PERS). And the city is a beautiful place to work.

Find a current list of open positions online.

Road project updates

Washington Boulevard

Crews continue to pour curbing, sidewalks and driveways on Washington Boulevard next week. Paving the roadway is the next major milestone. The city will announce the paving dates as we get closer to when it will occur, but it is anticipated to begin before the end of the year. Road closures that were bumped this week due to scheduling conflicts with the contractor responsible for the stormwater catch basin maintenance are rescheduled for Oct. 5. The closure will occur between Vernon and Edgewood during the day. Flaggers will be in place at each roundabout. The closure is so the contractor can install new filters in the stormwater catch basin.

Angle Lane/Elwood Drive

Landscaping is complete. A few light poles will be installed while the city waits for the remaining lights to arrive in November. Theft of materials delayed this project. The theft set back completion of the project.

Union Ave: Orchard to Spruce Street

Grading started for curb and gutter, with the first pours expected the middle of next week. Sidewalk and driveway configurations and pours are also scheduled to begin at the end of next week. That work will continue into the following week. Despite the single-lane closure businesses located within this section of roadway are open. Please show support by continuing to shop/purchase items from these businesses during construction. This project will add curbs, sidewalks and street lighting on the side of Union Avenue closest to Interstate 5. It will be a quick project, taking no more than 6-7 weeks to complete.

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