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


Aug. 5, 2016


To: Mayor and Members of the City Council

From: John J. Caulfield, City Manager 

Topics of Interest and Updates

National Night Out

On Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016, the Lakewood community celebrated National Night Out, a national effort that helps neighbors connect with their neighbors, as well as the men and women who protect and serve them.

From American Lake Park to the Legacy Park Apartments, City of Lakewood representatives canvassed the community, connecting with event-goers who  grilled hotdogs, handed out prizes and simply took action in their community.

Representatives from the City of Lakewood included all members of the Lakewood City Council,City Manager and Police Chief. Thanks for having us!

To view pictures of the event, visit the City's Facebook page .


Council Adopts Rental Housing Safety Program

Following a year and a half of discussion and community input, the Lakewood City Council adopted a Rental Housing Safety Program on Aug. 1, 2016.

Adoption of the program passed on a 6-1 vote, and the City will now work on the program’s implementation.

A new chapter of the Lakewood Municipal Code – a chapter that is modeled after Rental Housing Safety Programs from other Washington cities such as Tukwila, Pasco and Bellingham – will be added. The chapter recognizes that the Rental Housing Safety Program “will protect the public health, safety and welfare of tenants by encouraging proper maintenance of residential housing, by identifying and requiring correction of substandard housing conditions, and by preventing conditions of deterioration and blight that could adversely impact the quality of life in Lakewood.”

Essentially, the program will require that owners of rental housing units obtain a “Certificate of Inspection” every five years.

The program will apply to residential housing units that a tenant occupies or rents, or are available for rent. The program also specifies units that are exempt from the certificate requirement. They include:

  • Owner-occupied (or ones occupied by an owner’s child or parents) units
  • Units unavailable for rent
  • Any facility - hotel, motel, condominium, resort, or any other facility or place offering three or more lodging units to guests for periods of less than thirty days, provided that if any guest resides for a period of thirty days or more
  • Housing accommodations in retirement or nursing homes
  • Housing accommodations in any hospital, State-licensed community care facility, convent, monastery or other facility occupied exclusively by members of a religious order, or an extended medical care facility
  • Rental units that a government unit, agency or authority owns, operates or manages, or that are specifically exempted from municipal regulation by State or federal law or administrative regulation
  • Newly constructed rental units with satisfactory certificate of occupancy and no code violations for ten years from the date of the certificate of occupancy
  • Rental units that receive funding or subsidies from the federal, state or a local government, are inspected at least every three years as a requirement of the funding or subsidy, provide a copy of the inspection to the City and for which the Director determines that the inspection is substantially equivalent to the inspection
  • Accessory dwelling units
  • Shelters and transitional housing.
  • Housing units which may be exempt from inspection as may otherwise be provided by law

Before they took the vote, several Lakewood City Councilmembers commented on the need for this particular program in Lakewood.

It’s “a step in the right direction,” according to Councilmember Mike Brandstetter. “There are numerous examples throughout our history where the community, as a whole, has taken on things that not only benefits oneself, but the greater good, as well.”

Councilmember John Simpson: “We have to move forward. This is a proactive tool to improve the City.”

Councilmember Paul Bocchi said the program gives tenants living in substandard rental housing a voice. “Some of these tenants live in intolerable conditions. They lack the ability or knowledge to access the system. They’re scared to complain.”

Councilmember Mary Moss recalled one particular apartment complex in Lakewood and how, without a Rental Housing Safety Program, the problems many tenants face don’t necessarily come to light: “From the outside, they didn’t look that bad, but once we got inside those homes, it was scary.”

Councilmember Marie Barth, who cast the lone vote against the program, said she agreed that many rental housing units in Lakewood are unsatisfactory. However, her view is those problems can be solved via existing ordinances and codes.  She acknowledged that the program was “the hardest vote” the current Council has had to make.

Deputy Mayor Jason Whalen said, as a rental housing unit owner, he understands that many of the problems aren’t the landlords’ fault. Still, “I’m not sure how we change the swinging pendulum other than to change the status quo. If we continue to do the same thing and expect different results, we’re not going to get where we want to be with regard to our Vision.”

Finally, Mayor Don Anderson, who was also a landlord, echoed how it’s not always the landlord’s fault. Still, it is important for the City to address “the bad apples” that the program aims to correct so those looking to rent – including Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers and their families – choose Lakewood. “My rule is to first try and do what’s right. And in this case, we can do nothing, or we can try.”


South Tacoma Way Project Schedule

The following is the construction schedule for the South Tacoma Way  project from Monday, Aug. 8 to Monday, Aug. 12, according to the Lakewood Public Works Department:

  • Drivers can expect to see the right turn lane from eastbound 96th onto southbound South Tacoma Way closed from Monday, Aug. 8, to Thursday, Aug. 11, as the contractor prepares and pours sidewalks, bus pads and driveways.

    On the west side of South Tacoma Way, the contractor will be pouring driveways. This will require closing driveways while the work is occurring. The contractor will maintain access to all businesses during the course of work. Additional work will occur at the southwest corner of Perkins Lane and South Tacoma Way, as crews replace the curbing on the corner. The above work may require temporary closures of the right lane in the southbound direction. 


Click here to learn about current Lakewood Public Works projects


Pit Bulls on Parade, Aug. 20 at Fort Steilacoom Park

Here's a cool event that will be right in our own backyard:


JBLM Airshow and Warrior Expo, Aug. 27-28

The 2016 JBLM Airshow and Warrior Expo at McChord Field Aug. 27-28 is just five weeks away. JBLM’s first air show since 2012 will feature the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron—Thunderbirds, the U.S. Army Parachute Demonstration Team—Golden Knights, and more than a dozen other aerial performances, all scheduled to perform each day.

The Airshow and Warrior Expo is free and open to the public. Gates open at 9 a.m. and flying is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. both days.

Here’s a list of the scheduled performers in alphabetical order:

  • Ace Maker T-33 Jet solo performance 

  • B-17 Flying Fortress fly-by 

  • B-25 Mitchell fly-by 

  • C-17 Globemaster III demonstration 

  • Cascade W arbirds 

  • F/A-18 Hornet tactical demonstration 

  • Huey & Cobra helicopters demonstration 

  • Joint Forces Air Drop Demonstration with CH-47 Chinooks & C-17 Globemaster III 

  • KI-43 Oscar solo performance 

  • P-38 Lightning solo performance 

  • U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds 

  • U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team 

  • WWII Warbird Dogfight (P-38 vs. KI 43)

There will be more than 30 aircraft and military vehicles and equipment on display.

Parking options:
  • Pierce Transit: Park at the Lakewood Transit Station, 11424 Pacific Hwy SW, Lakewood, or the Tacoma Dome Transit Station (by Freighthouse Square) and ride a Pierce Transit bus to the Airshow.
  • Non-DOD ID Cardholders: Enter JBLM via I-5 exit 125 and proceed to the McChord Field gate.
  • DOD ID Cardholders: Enter JBLM Lewis Main via I-5 exits 119 through 123, or the Lewis Main east gate. Park at Madigan Army Medical Center or the Logistics Center and take free bus shuttles to McChord Field.

For more information, visit:

For more information, contact JBLM Public Affairs at (253) 967-0158 / 0152 / 0154.

Lodging Tax Grant Application

The City of Lakewood is soliciting project proposals that support and encourage tourism and cultural activities in Lakewood, Washington. The source of monies from which projects will be funded is the city’s share of taxes collected on overnight stays at hotels and motels within the City of Lakewood.

Beginning 8:30 a.m., Thursday, July 21, 2016, the application period opens. It will close at 5 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016.

The 2016 Lodging Tax Grant Application provides information regarding eligible uses of motel/hotel tax revenues and the process for proposal submission.

Grant application packets must be complete, signed, and received by the City. Applications can be e-mailed directly to Assistant City Manager and Administrative Services Director  Tho Kraus at  , or they can be left with the first-floor front desk at Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main St. SW.

Late or incomplete application packets will not be considered.

For more information, contact Tho Kraus at  .

Download the 2016 Lodging Tax Grant Application


American Lake Park Boat Launch to Open at 5:30 a.m.

In order to better accommodate residents and fishermen, the City of Lakewood will open the gate to the American Lake Park boat launch at 5:30 a.m.

The park's gates and restrooms will continue to open at 7 a.m. As always, boat launch fees are $15 per day, or users can purchase a season pass at Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main St. SW.

Only vehicles with trailers are allowed to park in the boat launch parking lot – any single vehicles must park in the adjacent lot at the park.

More information regarding American Lake Boat Launch can be found at /parks-and-recreation/parks/american-lake-park .

New Municipal Court Hours of Operation

Effective Monday, June 6, 2016, the Municipal Court Serving Lakewood, University Place, Steilacoom and DuPont will offer new hours of operation. The change is taking place as more residents and users access the courts online and more convenient methods.

The new hours of operation:

  • Counter & Payments: 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Phone: 9:00 a.m. - noon & 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

City Council

The City Council will be holding a study session on Monday, August 8, 2016, beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 6000 Main Street SW.  Agenda items for the meeting include:

August 8, 2016 Study Session

  • Economic Development Update


The City Council will be holding a regular meeting Monday, August 15, 2016, beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 6000 Main Street SW.  Agenda items for the meeting include:

August 15, 2016 Regular Meeting

  • Business showcase – Hess Bakery & Deli
  • Appoint 2016-2017 Youth Council members and Lakewood’s Promise Youth Council Representative
  • Set September 6, 2016 as the date for a public hearing on Sound Transit 3 ballot proposition
  • Approve an agreement with Lakeview Light and Power for streetlighting
  • Approve an agreement with Lakeview Light and Power for pole attachments
  • Reports by the City Manager - Review of fee schedule amendments relative to rental housing fees