John Caulfield (253) 983-7703 • Fax (253)
City Manager


Dec. 11, 2015


To: Mayor and Members of the City Council

From: John J. Caulfield, City Manager 

Topics of Interest and Updates

City Responds To, Braces For Weather Systems

This week's wind and rain affected several parts of the City. Here are some incidents Public Works and Parks responded to:

  • On Tuesday, due to the amount water over the road (about 2 feet deep), we had to close Union Ave between Maple and Orchard. Crews detoured traffic around to Washington. No bus stops were affected. The street remained closed Wednesday and was reopened Thursday.
  • Heavy winds toppled a couple of trees at Springbrook Park. Luckily, the park's fence, soccer goals and light pole escaped any harm.
  • There was also some flooding over the roadway at Pacific Highway South under the railroad (RR) bridge just north of the Lakewood Transit Center. The road was kept passable because Public Works brought in a portable pump and pumped the water directly into the existing storm water pumping station thereat. Once the water went down, Public Works called in ProVac to clean out the pipes and found that the pipe was plugged with a root ball.
  • Public Works reports that the traffic signal at 112th and Military suffered damage from the recent wind and rain and needs repair. Crews will continue to work on the signal, but stop signs remain in place.
  • By Thursday night, the City of Lakewood’s operations returned to normal operations. However, the City is preparing for another weather system beginning Friday. According to Emergency Management Coordinator Christine Badger, a strong, low-pressure system is forecasted to bring showers and windy weather to Western Washington today. That system will weaken as it moves to the Southern Washington Coastal area Friday afternoon. Then, another strong, low-pressure system will hit the area over the weekend. A more benign weather pattern is expected next week. In terms of what’s happening in the City of Lakewood, crews reopened Union Avenue between Maple and Orchard on Wednesday, but that could change given the squalls on Thursday, that could change. Given the forecasted weather, there is a possibility that other roads or streets will be restricted as crews clean grates and pump out areas that they can.

Coming Dec. 31: MyLakewood311 Mobile App


On Dec. 31, the City of Lakewood will launch the “MyLakewood311” app that will serve as the official platform for residents to access their government via cell phone or tablet.

The mobile app builds on the City of Lakewood’s recently revamped website and award-winning social media presence, and its part of an overall effort by the City to stay connected to residents. In fact, one of the Lakewood City Council’s goals is a commitment to “honest, open, and transparent government.”

With the “MyLakewood311” app, residents can submit, track and view nearby service requests through their smartphones and the City's website. Residents can also use the in-app widgets to find information about events, public meetings and view City news.

Once requests are submitted, the relevant staff redirects and responds to requests through a customized workflow management system.

The City will also use the system to provide residents with real-time status updates and comments on submitted requests.

“MyLakewood311” is an application launched in partnership between the City of Lakewood and PublicStuff. This is a free service and is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play for immediate use. Search “MyLakewood311” in the stores to download.

City Thankful For Another Successful Fallen Officer Food Drive

The City would like to take a minute and thank everyone who donated and supported our Fallen Officer Food Drive this year.

Police is still waiting on final numbers, but the drive raised close to 10,000 pounds of food and $9,000 for the Emergency Food Network. The generosity of our community is overwhelming and will help the EFN supply food to more than  60 food banks and shelters in our region.

Police also thanked the following organizations and groups who provided support and logistical assistance for the Food Drive:

  • West Pierce Fire and Rescue: Our friends at West Pierce braved the cold weather to wave signs and bring people in to the donation site.
  • Lakewood Chaplaincy: Our chaplains provided their usual encouragement and support with the good people at Victory Christian Ministries being kind enough to barbecue for us throughout the day. Seattle Police Officers' Guild: Their generous annual donation in remembrance of our four fallen officers was, as always, much appreciated and a big part of our success.
  • ESPN Radio 710: Thanks to the staff at the Brock and Salk Show for getting the word out (thanks Howdy!).
  • Lakewood Hardware and Paint: This food drive this year was on a clear but very cold day. Thanks to Lakewood Hardware for the heaters to keep our donation collectors warm.
  • CrossFit Puyallup: Our “eastern” donation station. Thanks to the group there for the sizable donation and support.
  • Mountain View Funeral Home and Memorial Park: Our friends at Mountain View Funeral Home once again made a sizeable donation of food and money as well a six beautiful wreaths in memory of our officers.
  • City of Lakewood employees: Our fellow employees stood beside us, as always, to help bring in food and extend appreciation to the community. Our sincere appreciation to all of you! This continues to be a positive event and allows us to do something positive in the memory of our Four Fallen Officers.

Volunteer Appreciation Event

On Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, the City of Lakewood recognized residents who contributed their time, effort, expertise and energy to make their City a better place with its 2015 Volunteer Appreciation event.

Some 60 people packed the Lakewood Council Chambers for breakfast, as City employees and officials thanked them for their contributions.

Mayor Don Anderson recognized longtime volunteer Phil Raschke with the Volunteer of the Year Award. Rascke has assumed a number of voluntary leadership roles in the community. He has served on the Arts Commission since its inception in 2006 and was the first Chairperson. He has also served on the MLK committee, emceed the event and will do so again in 2016. For the past three years, Raschke has helped coordinate the Asian Film Festival and has been an integral component of the Lakewood ArtsFest. Phil also serves on the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee. Phil inspires other people to give back to the community and should be recognized for his hard work.

The City of Lakewood would like to recognize all of its volunteers who helped in 2015. You truly embody the #IamLakewood spirit.

Check out a photo gallery of the event on the City's Facebook page .

'Inspiring Young Creators' Lego® Building Contest Winners Annouced

At the 19th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec. 4, 2015, the City of Lakewood announced the winners of the first “Inspiring Young Creators” Lego® Building Contest.

Here is the list of winners, broken down by age/category:

Age 6-9
  • Girl: Rachel Moore, first place; Kieran Knudsen, second place
  • Boy: Brendan Ee, first place; Austin Mayor, second place
Age 10-14
  • Girl: Phoenix Schumacher, first place; Myra Fehling, second place
  • Boy: Mathew Todd, first place; Joshua Sikoff, second place
Group 6-14
  • Ava & Annabelle Monner, first place

I-5 Reduced to One Lane in Lakewood During Overnight Hours Starting Dec. 14

Weather permitting, overnight lane closures will reduce both directions of Interstate 5 to a single lane at Berkeley Street in Lakewood for three nights starting Dec. 14. The closures are necessary so contractor crews working for the City of Lakewood on the Interstate 5 – Madigan Access Improvements  project can pour concrete as part of their work widening the overpass.

Drivers are encouraged to pay special attention to a triple lane closure scheduled during the overnight hours of Wednesday, Dec. 16.

Lane closure specifics

  • During the overnight hours of Monday, Dec. 14 and Tuesday, Dec. 15, both directions of I-5 will be reduced to a single lane at Berkeley Street. Single lane closures will begin at 8 p.m., with double lane closures starting at 10 p.m. All northbound lanes of I-5 will reopen by 4 a.m. each following morning. All southbound lanes of I-5 will reopen by 5 a.m.
  • At 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 16, crews will reduce each direction of I-5 to one lane and redirect that one lane through interchanges at Berkeley Street. All lanes of I-5 will reopen by 4 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 17.

All work is weather sensitive and could be rescheduled.

For up-to-date information on construction activity in Pierce County, visit the Olympic Region Weekly Construction and Traffic Updates  web page. Real-time information is available at the Tacoma traffic and cameras  web page and WSDOT on Twitter .

City Council Roundup: Dec. 7, 2015

Here’s a roundup of items that the Lakewood City Council took action on and discussed at its Dec. 7, 2015 meeting:

  • Business Showcase: Mayor Don Anderson recognized longtime Lakewood business Robi’s Camera Center, Print Labs and Custom Framing, who despite a continuing technological evolution in the industry have been a stalwart local business.
  • Volunteer Recognition: The Lakewood City Council recognized a group of volunteer youth who help deliver food to families in need in Springbrook.
  • Comprehensive Land Amendments Map: 
  • After several public meetings, the City Council took action a number of amendments to the 2015 Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code, including
    • The Council opted to not approve an amendment to change the zoning on approximately 56 acres from Residential One (R1) to Residential Two (R2) to provide opportunities for additional single-family residential development. The study area includes 75 properties under separate ownerships and is mostly built-out. Current average parcel size in the area is 30,300 square feet. The study area is located between Tower Road Southwest and Interlaaken Drive Southwest, north of Washington Boulevard Southwest.
    • The Lakewood Sports and Racquet Club requested to change the comprehensive plan and zoning designations on the current Club property from Open Space and Recreation/ OSR2 and Single Family/R3 to Open Space and Recreation/ OSR2 and Mixed Residential/MR1 in order to redevelop approximately 5.4 acres of the 11.4-acre property with medium density residential uses. The existing Club facility would remain on the OSR portion of the property and is planned to be remodeled and expanded (under separate action). The subject property is located at 5820 112th Street Southwest.
  • Tabled Item: The Council tabled the following proposed 2015 Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code amendment to the 2016 Comprehensive Plan Amendment cycle:
    • An amendment to change the Comprehensive Plan designation of the subject property from Residential Estate to Single-Family, and change the zoning from Residential One (R1) to Residential Three (R3) to provide opportunities for additional single-family residential development. After much discussion, including talk of a Citywide planned unit overlay district, the City Council sent the amendment back to the Planning Commission.
  • Critical Areas and Flood Plain Regulations: The City Council approved proposed amendments to its Flood Hazard Overlay regulations and Critical Areas and Natural Resource Lands regulations. The City is currently in compliance with National Flood Insurance Program requirements, however, two actions since the City last updated the codes associated with their floodplain management program will require the City to review their codes and make amendments as necessary:
  1. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has recently completed a new preliminary Flood Insurance Study and the creation of new Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) for Pierce County.
  2. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) filed legal action against FEMA over the implementation of the NFIP in the Puget Sound Basin. The NMFS prevailed in the action and as a result a Biological Opinion (BiOp) was prepared that provided guidance to FEMA regarding the implementation of the NFIP.

In order to continue participation in the NFIP, local jurisdictions within the Puget Sound Basin must meet the procedural and substantive requirements of the BiOp. It is the responsibility of FEMA to review the codes of local jurisdictions and determine whether or not they meet the requirements of the BiOp. City staff has prepared amendments to both LMC Title 18A and Tile 14A using a model ordinance prepared by FEMA and guidance documents provided by Ecology in determining what amendments may be necessary to meet the requirements of the BiOp as well as the requirements of the NFIP. The proposed updated FIRM will increase the amount of land within the City that is classified as being in a special flood hazard area, in particular lands along Clover Creek in the Racquet Club Estates and Springbrook neighborhoods. The proposed amendments will bring the City’s flood hazard area and critical area ordinances into compliance with the national Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Growth Management Act (GMA).

  • LeMay Franchise Agreement: The City Council authorized the City Manager to execute a new franchise agreement with Harold LeMay Enterprises, Inc., for solid waste collection. The existing agreement ends in 2016.
  • Public Safety Agreements: The City Council renewed agreements regarding:
    • An agreement with the Humane Society for Tacoma-Pierce County in the amount of $97,044, for animal sheltering services from January 1, 2016 through December 41, 2016.
    • An agreement with the Washington State Military Department, in the amount of $52,820, for emergency management programs.
    • An amendment to the interlocal agreement with West Pierce Fire District for emergency management coordinator services.

Council Recognizes Springbrook Youth Volunteers

The ‪Lakewood City Council recognized this group of volunteer youth who help give and deliver food to families in need in Springbrook.

Lakewood Citizen Satisfaction Survey

The City of Lakewood has questions and it’s turning to its residents for the answers.

In November and December, a random selection of 1,400 City of Lakewood households will receive an invitation to participate in the 2015 National Citizen Survey, which measures eight aspects of community livability.

The survey measures citizens’ satisfaction in eight areas:

  • Community Engagement
  • Education and Enrichment
  • Recreation and Wellness
  • Economy
  • Built Environment
  • Natural Environment
  • Safety
  • Mobility

The randomly selected Lakewood households that will be invited to participate in the 2015 survey may complete and return a hard copy, which they will receive via the postal service, or complete the survey online. Only those households who were randomly selected may participate in the survey.

The deadline for completed surveys will be around the middle of December.

Survey results assist the City with community planning, resource allocation, program improvement, goal‐setting, and policy‐making. Results from the 2015 National Citizen Survey are expected to be available in the early spring. The survey also represents the City of Lakewood’s goal of communicating with and engaging its residents.


Economic Development

Business Showcase: Robi's Camera Center, Print Labs and Custom Framing

On Monday night, the City Council honored Robi's Camera Center, Labs, & Custom Framing as its Business Showcase for December 2015 . Mayor Don Anderson read a description and recognized Operations Manager Tod Wolf and owner Ron Austin.

From one-hour film development to digital cameras and lenses to cell phones, technology has revolutionized the art of capturing still images in recent decades.

But for Lakewood’s own Robi’s Camera Center, Print Labs and Custom Framing, qualities such as a camera’s price, release date or ability to post quickly to Facebook don’t define the quality of a picture.

It’s more than that – much more, actually – according to Operations Manager Tod Wolf. He has witnessed countless examples of people who, despite buying an expensive camera or lens, still produce a less-than-ideal picture.

“I do so much one-on-one coaching when they come in,” he says of frustrated customers seeking photography help. “To me, it’s mind-blowing how  much difference a quick lesson in the basics can make."

Read the full feature here .

City Council

The City Council will be holding a special meeting on Monday, December 14, 2015 at beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 6000 Main Street SW.  Agenda items for the meeting include:

December 14, 2015 Special City Council Meeting

  • Approve Transportation Improvement Board grant agreement for Gravelly Lake Drive sidewalk improvement project


The City Council will be holding a study session on Monday, December 14, 2015, following the Special City Council, in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 6000 Main Street SW.  Agenda items for the meeting include:

December 14, 2015 Study Session (following Special City Council meeting)

  • Western State Hospital update. – Mr. Ron Adler, CEO
  • Rental Housing inspection program update  (stakeholders)
  • Shopping carts update.
  • Review of prosecution and DV services
  • 3rd Quarter Financial Report.
  • Review of Accounts Receivable write-offs


The City Council will be holding a regular meeting on Monday, January 4, 2015, beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 6000 Main Street SW.  Agenda items for the meeting include:

January 4, 2016 Regular Meeting

  • Swearing-In Ceremony
  • Elect Mayor and Deputy Mayor
  • Youth Council Report
  • Proclamation declaring January as School Board recognition month
  • Proclamation MLK Day and Black History month
  • Clover Park School District Report
  • Public Hearing on Six Year Transportation Improvement Program amendments
  • Approve Accounts Receivable write-offs