Long-Range and Strategic Planning

The City of Lakewood’s Long-Range and Strategic Planning division creates and updates Lakewood’s Comprehensive Plan. It also drafts updates to land use development regulations as mandated by the state through the Growth Management Act, the Shoreline Management Act, the State Environmental Policy Act, or as directed by the Lakewood City Council.

Tiffany Speir
Long-Range & Strategic Planning Manager
6000 Main St SW
Lakewood, WA 98499
(253) 983-7702

Email: TSpeir
To email Tiffany Speir add her email handle before @cityoflakewood.us

Phones & Email:
Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Announcements
Neighborhood Coordination Program
Subarea Plans
Documents and Resources
2024 Comprehensive Plan Periodic Review

Announcements

July 10, 2024: Planning Commission takes action on 2024 Comprehensive Plan Periodic Review. Watch meeting here. The City Council will begin review of the Commission’s recommendations on July 22, 2024.

Attention Shoreline Property Owners and Parcel Taxpayers: Development Buffers are changing around certain Lakewood waterbodies

The rules and buffer widths for Remodeling and New Construction will be INCREASING around: 1) Boyles Lake, Lost Lake, Carp Lake, Emerson Lake, Flett Creek, Ponce de Leon Creek, and other unnamed fish-bearing streams (called “Type F” streams) in the City; and 2) the Tributaries for Waughop Lake, Lost Lake, Gravelly Lake, Chambers Creek, Clover Creek, and other unnamed non-fishbearing streams (called “Type Np/Ns” and “Type X” waters).

The buffers for remodeling and new development are STAYING THE SAME around: American Lake, Gravelly Lake, Lake Louise, Steilacoom Lake, Waughop Lake, Clover Creek and Chambers Creek.

Watch the discussion about the proposed buffers from the June 26th Planning Commission meeting here.

Call for 2025 Comprehensive Plan, Zoning, and Regulation Amendment Cycle: July 1- 31, 2024

Changes to the Lakewood Comprehensive Plan, and some related changes to zoning code and development regulations, are allowable once per year under state law.  As the first step in this process, the City of Lakewood invites interested parties to identify proposed changes. Afterward, the Lakewood Planning Commission and then City Council will review and confirm the list of amendments to be considered over the course of the year, including privately-initiated amendments.  This list is known as the “Annual Comprehensive Plan Docket.”

Any individual, organization, business, or other group may propose an amendment. Proposals to amend the Comprehensive Plan and associated Zoning Code provisions must be received by the Lakewood Planning and Public Works Department through the online portal at between 8:30 am on July 1, 2024 and 4:30 p.m. on July 31, 2024. Proposals received after the deadline will be considered in the 2026 Comprehensive Plan Docket

Questions? Send them to [email protected]

Access the Planning Commission meetings regarding the 2024 Comprehensive Plan and Development Regulation Periodic Review

The Planning Commission took action on the 2024 Comprehensive Plan Package on July 10, 2024. Watch the meeting here. View the materials here.

View the June 26 Planning Commission Materials here. Watch the meeting here

View the June 12, 2024 Planning Commission Materials here. Watch the meeting here.

View the June 5 Planning Commission Materials here. Watch the meeting here.

Watch the 5/21/24 Mayor’s Coffeehouse presentation about the proposed changes to land use and housing here.

Click here for more information about the 2024 Periodic Review

Check out New Opportunities for ADUs and Middle Housing coming to Lakewood’s Neighborhoods

You can watch and access the handouts from the series of meetings Lakewood has held about the upcoming changes to what property owners can build in residential lots. Click here and scroll to Announcements for the links.

Implementing the state laws that passed in Spring 2023 regarding allowing more ADUs and housing units on residential lots are part of Lakewood’s 2024 Comprehensive Plan Periodic Review. These changes to what you can develop on your property will not go into effect in Lakewood until December 31, 2024 at the earliest. To keep track of how these new development options are being reviewed by Lakewood, please go to the 2024 Comprehensive Plan Review page.

Review Lakewood Equity Index Map here.

See data specific to Lakewood’s communities regarding overall equity, accessibility, education, economy, livability, and environment.


About Long Range and Strategic Planning

The Long Range and Strategic Planning Division:

  • Provides support to the Planning Commission and the City Council for decisions or recommendations on various plans, policies, and development regulations;
  • Develops and maintains the Comprehensive Plan (PDF), along with various plans and standards for community development, preservation, and disaster recovery;
  • Facilitates the City’s participation in regional planning by working with the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC), the Pierce County Regional Council (PCRC), and the Pierce County Growth Management Coordination Committee (GMCC);
  • Encourages economic development, environmental protection, affordable housing for all income levels, and efficient transportation, and coordination with other local governments;
  • Performs review of potential land annexations;
  • Represents Lakewood on the Tacoma-Lakewood-Pierce County Continuum of Care and reviews Pierce County Human Services contracts and funding applications.

The division also administers strategic planning and special projects, including the Lakewood Neighborhood Coordination program (see below), the Lakewood American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) program, maintenance of the Lakewood Equity Index Map, the establishment of an Urban Forestry program in 2024 and beyond, the Climate Change Implementation Plan, US Census outreach, representation of the City on external boards and commissions, and more.


Neighborhood Coordination Program

In 2023, the City Council approved the creation of the Neighborhood Connections-Program Coordinator role as an essential tool to creating an improved line of communication with the City for community members and businesses. The primary objective is to facilitate open discussions on concerns and issues extending beyond public safety, emphasizing the establishment of robust relationships with local organizations. The position aims to bolster engagement in local city government, fostering a sense of community involvement and responsibility. 

The overarching purpose of Neighborhood Coordinator is to drive positive transformation within neighborhoods and tackle local community challenges.  The position’s focus is on enhancing safety and overall quality of life across the city, promoting community understanding of City processes, facilitating informed communication between the City, residents, and businesses, and ensuring government transparency for everyone in Lakewood. 

If you have a question or would like to invite him to one of your meetings, contact Chris Davis, Lakewood’s Neighborhood Coordinator, at [email protected]


Comprehensive Plan and Subarea Plans

Comprehensive Plan

The City of Lakewood Comprehensive Plan (PDF) guides the City’s overall strategy for growth and development over the next 20 years. It sets the goals and policies for items such as land use, economic development, housing, transportation, and the environment.

Subarea Plans

Downtown Subarea Plan

Lakewood’s Downtown Subarea Plan includes the Towne Center, Colonial, and East Commercial Districts. The study area is over 300 acres. The Downtown Subarea Plan will build up past planning efforts and describe a vision, land use, design, gathering places, and action strategies for Lakewood’s central business district or “Downtown”.

Lakewood Station District Subarea Plan

The Lakewood Station District Subarea Plan includes the Lakewood Sounder Station and the surrounding area. As the City plans for an additional 11,500 residents by 2030, new housing in the area near Lakewood Station will help meet this growth target as well as:

  • Provide additional affordable housing for current and future residents
  • Add businesses and employment opportunities
  • Maximize access to transit and use of the Sounder Station
  • Improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Prevent the displacement of current residents when redevelopment occurs
  • Complement planning in the Downtown area

Tillicum Neighborhood Plan Review and Update

The Tillicum Neighborhood Plan (TNP) was adopted as a City Subarea Plan in 2009. The plan includes the six key planning initiatives from Lakewood’s Vision for Tillicum document. In 2011, . In 2022, the City adopted an Addendum to the TNP that explains what has been done since 2011 to make the Plan’s vision a reality.

Map of Lakewood’s Subarea Plans

A map depicting the subareas of Lakewood.
Lakewood Subareas: Downtown, Station District, Tillicum

Documents & Resources

Interested in Lakewood development? Follow these useful links to learn about ordinances, planning policies, zoning, and other information that guides development in Lakewood. Visit the Planning & Zoning Maps, Ordinances, and Documents page for more information.

Lakewood Equity Index Map

Lakewood Planning Documents and Resources

Comprehensive Plan Amendment Application Forms:

Regional Planning Documents

State Law Governing Land Use Planning

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