Lakewood Weekly Headlines: May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022: Lakewood Headlines

Students are invited to our fun and inspirational Youth Summit tomorrow. Students in grades 7-12 will enjoy tons of activities and opportunities to discuss stress and money management.

Lakewood will be “Dancing In the Streets” tomorrow night at Colonial Plaza from 4:00 to 8:30 p.m. The event is one of four summertime Saturday Street Festivals.

New detours will affect traffic in Lake City for the next few weeks. The most inconvenient phase of construction is nearly complete. The familiar detour north around Gravelly Lake will resume briefly, beginning on Friday next week.

The tree advisory committee has completed its work and advanced a list of suggested improvements to tree code. Public comment is invited before the Planning Commission reviews the list in July.

Three Exciting Local Events to Occur Saturday

Students will gather for a fun and inspiring Youth Summit, JBLM is hosting a public Armed Forces Day celebration, and the City will host “Dancing in the Streets” at Colonial Plaza in the evening.

Youth Summit

OThe last few years of school have been tough. At tomorrow’s Youth Summit, students in grades 7-12 will unwind with friends and talk to each other about strategies to manage stress and anxiety.

2022 Youth Summit
Saturday, May 21 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Harrison Preparatory School
9103 Lakewood Dr SW, Lakewood, WA 98499

The event is free, and a free lunch will be served. A live DJ will spin some music and a bunch of activities will be set up. You’ll also hear some tips about managing money and blazing a career path.

Dancing In the Streets

Lakewood’s series of summertime Saturday Street Festivals kicks off on May 21. Four exciting events are scheduled, beginning with “Dancing In The Streets” tomorrow, May 21.

Saturday Street Festival: Dancing in the Streets
Saturday, May 21, 2022
4:00 to 8:30 p.m.
6114 Motor Avenue SW, Lakewood

The event will pack Colonial Plaza with food trucks, a beer garden, a live DJ, and entertainment. Dance groups will teach popular moves. Participants of all ages are invited to shake a leg.

New Detours to Affect Lake City Traffic

The most painful phase of work in the JBLM North Access project is almost complete. A series of new detours will be required for the next few weeks.

The intersection of Washington Boulevard and Gravelly Lake Drive should reopen next Thursday. Both will be paved on Wednesday and should reopen late Thursday.

Next, the intersection of Gravelly Lake Dr. and Veterans Dr. will close early Friday, May 27. Commuters will need to drive around the north end of the lake as they did for prior phases of construction.

Utilities must work along Gravelly Lake Drive between Nyanza Road and Pacific Highway. This will cause delays between Monday and Thursday. Once complete, the road will be temporarily striped and all lanes will reopen.

Final paving will occur after Memorial Day. In late June, striping will be applied during nightly closures.

National Public Works Week Acknowledged by City Council

Nationwide, cities and agencies are celebrating the efforts of public works employees to strengthen infrastructure and respond to crises.

City drivers worked in rotating 12-hour shifts through a prolonged snow event this winter. That is just one example of the many contributions of public works employees to keep Lakewood safe and moving.

One of Lakewood’s shining successes since incorporation has been the advancement of infrastructure. Gravel roads in Woodbrook are now paved with beautiful sidewalks. Streetlights and sidewalks are popping up throughout the City. Multiple construction projects are in progress at any given time in Lakewood, building better roads and pathways for the future.

Public Works employees drive this work. This week is National Public Works week, an opportunity to celebrate the importance of our infrastructure and those responsible for making and maintaining it. The Lakewood City Council issued a proclamation on Monday to recognize the occasion.

Express Your Opinion About Tree Code

The tree advisory committee has completed a report with suggested improvements to tree code – public comment is invited.

The City is considering code changes to protect trees. How do you feel about that?

Trees are good neighbors. They improve air quality and provide cooling shade. They are beautiful and historic, especially rare species like the Garry Oak. On the other hand, stricter tree laws might limit when you can trim or remove a tree.

The City invites your opinions about trees, tree laws, and property rights. Attend our public hearing on Wednesday, July 6 at 7:00 p.m. or comment online by June 30.

More Headlines


Youth SummitMay 21, 2022City Hall
Saturday Street Festivals: Dancing in the StreetsMay 21, 2022Colonial Plaza
Paddle, Row, & Canoe DayJune 4, 2022Harry Todd Park
Lakewood Farmers MarketJune 7, 2022Fort Steilacoom Park
Lakewood Farmers MarketJune 14, 2022Fort Steilacoom Park
Saturday Street Festivals: Carnival of CulturesJune 18, 2022Colonial Plaza
Lakewood Farmers MarketJune 21, 2022Fort Steilacoom Park
Lakewood Farmers MarketJune 28, 2022Fort Steilacoom Park
Summer Nights Concert: AfrodisiacsJune 28, 2022Fort Steilacoom Park
Lakewood Farmers MarketJuly 5, 2022Fort Steilacoom Park
Lakewood Farmers MarketJuly 12, 2022Fort Steilacoom Park
Summer Nights Concerts: Herding CatsJuly 12, 2022Fort Steilacoom Park
Lakewood Farmers MarketJuly 19, 2022Fort Steilacoom Park
Summer Nights Concerts: Olsen BrothersJuly 19, 2022Fort Steilacoom Park
SummerFestJuly 23, 2022Fort Steilacoom Park
Lakewood Farmers MarketJuly 26, 2022Fort Steilacoom Park
Summer Nights Concerts: Candy ShoppeJuly 26, 2022Fort Steilacoom Park
Lakewood Farmers MarketAugust 2, 2022Fort Steilacoom Park
Lakewood Farmers MarketAugust 9, 2022Fort Steilacoom Park
Summer Nights Concerts: Good Co. SwingAugust 9, 2022Fort Steilacoom Park
Saturday Street Festivals: Jazz Night & Car ShowAugust 13, 2022Colonial Plaza
Lakewood Farmers MarketAugust 16, 2022Fort Steilacoom Park
Summer Nights Concerts: Paperback WriterAugust 16, 2022Fort Steilacoom Park
Lakewood Farmers MarketAugust 23, 2022Fort Steilacoom Park
Lakewood Farmers MarketAugust 30, 2022Fort Steilacoom Park
Saturday Street Festivals: Fiesta de la FamiliaSeptember 17, 2022Colonial Plaza


  • Gravelly Lake & Nyanza: Washington Boulevard & Gravelly Lake Drive will reopen on Thursday. Gravelly Lake Drive & Veterans Drive will close on Friday. The familiar northern detour will resume through the end of the month. This difficult and inconvenient phase of work is nearly complete.
  • Steilacoom & Weller: Sidewalks and a bike lane were installed along the north side of Steilacoom Boulevard between Weller & Phillips. Sidewalks will now be installed along the south side of Steilacoom Boulevard between Weller & Custer. Work is expected to begin in June.
  • 59th & Bridgeport: Sidewalks will be added along the east side of 59th Avenue between Bridgeport & 100th. Construction will begin in a few weeks.
  • South Tacoma Way & 512: An overlay will be applied to resurface South Tacoma Way between SR-512 and 108th. That project will go out to bid shortly, and work will begin this summer.
  • Phillips & Onyx: Construction of sidewalks along Phillips Road between Agate Drive and Onyx Drive will begin in May. Sidewalks will line the west side of the street, and a five-foot bike lane will line the east side. Segments of Phillips will slim to one lane with flaggers directing traffic during the work.

City Council Summary: May 16, 2022 (Regular Meeting)

The meeting began with a moment of silence for the victims of domestic terrorism incidents in Buffalo, New York and Laguna Woods, California. Eleven were killed in separate racially-motivated attacks.

City Council proclaimed the week of May 15, 2022 as National Public Works Week. The City’s Public Works Engineering Director Paul Bucich accepted the proclamation and reflected on the contributions of professionals in his field to the community.

“They’re the ones who show up in the wee hours to close off the roads in the event of a flood. They’re the ones that work 12-hour shifts over and over during snow and ice events. It’s not a glamorous profession, but we’re all dedicated to it.”

The Fort Steilacoom Park Cross-Country Invitational event is poised to return. The annual event has been held in Lakewood for 22 years. It attracts thousands of runners and spectators from all over the state. Canceled due to COVID and hazardous weather in recent years, the tradition is likely to resume this September.

Three contracts were authorized to begin sidewalk installation projects. Sidewalks will be installed along Steilacoom Boulevard between Fairway & Custer, Phillips Road between Agate & Onyx, and Ardmore Drive from Steilacoom & Whitman.

A conditional use permit was recently issued for an Enhanced Services Facility at 11435 Pacific Hwy SW. Enhanced Services Facilities (ESFs) are residential care facilities for individuals with complicated behavioral needs.

The state’s behavioral health strategy intends to move civilly committed patients from state hospitals into residential care facilities. Patients with more advanced needs are better cared for in more secure and better staffed Enhanced Services Facilities than Adult Family Homes. This facility would be one of only nine in the state. It is the City’s position that more cities must follow Lakewood’s lead in permitting this vital behavioral healthcare capacity.

Public comment was invited and many focused on the recent closure of the Lakewood Library by the Pierce County Library System. Both facilities are in poor physical condition. At the downtown branch, leaky roof has allowed water to infiltrate, necessitating its closure. A citizen committee is being formed to make recommendations about future library services and facilities in Lakewood.

A long process is beginning to fundraise towards the restoration of the Fort Steilacoom Park “H-barn”. Partners for Parks will lead the effort to raise public and private contributions with the goal to restore the dilapidated barn as an event venue and community asset.

City Council recently reviewed the proposed Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP). The plan details planned road and sidewalk improvements. Significant projects include updates of South Tacoma Way, Nyanza Road, Hipkins Road, Custer Road, and others. Lakewood is making huge strides in sidewalk construction of late – pedestrian safety is a priority in current and future projects.

The City adopted a Shoreline Restoration Plan in 2019. Semantic updates were subject to a public hearing and no comments were received. The 2022 Carry-Forward Budget Adjustment was adopted.

The City is considering rule changes for the renaming of parks and facilities. Last year, a resident proposal to rename Fort Steilacoom Park drew some misinformed outrage. Any application to rename a facility must go through a process with several approval stages and opportunities for public comment. Most importantly, the application must enjoy “broad community support”.

A special tree advisory committee met several times in March and April to produce a list of recommendations to improve tree code. The committee’s report is now available. The City has conducted extensive community engagement to gather opinions about trees, and two future public hearings are scheduled. Residents may express their views about trees or property rights in writing on the city’s website in the “ISSUES” section under “TREES”.

Until Next Week…

Need a job? We’re hiring!
Spot an issue? Report it!
Have an opinion? Share it!