March 8, 2018
We have entered the next phase of our downtown planning process. The city's draft downtown plan and draft planned action environmental impact statement will be presented to the public at an open house March 21 at 5:30 p.m. before the city's Planning Commission meeting.
The open house will have interactive displays and a chance for discussion. Refreshments will also be available. The Planning Commission will then discuss the plan at its meeting.
To see the plan before the March 21 open house visit the project website March 16. That's when the plan will be posted online and from there a 30-day comment period will begin. Review the documents and provide your thoughts and comments online .
March 7, 2018
From the Lakewood Historical Society:
Join the Lakewood Historical Society for the 2nd annual Flapjack Fundraiser!
Due to our success with this tasty FUNdraiser last year, the Lakewood Historical Society has decided to make this an annual event.
Come with a hearty appetite for a morning filled with great food, good conversation, and lots of fabulous prizes!
Tickets are only $10 and available for purchase at the Lakewood History Museum.
Serving up some hearty historical fun!
What: Flapjack Fundraiser
Where: Lakewood Towne Center Applebee’s, 10407 Gravelly Lake Dr. SW Lakewood, WA 98499
When: Saturday, March 10, 2018 8:30-10:30 a.m.
Tickets: $10, available for purchase at the Lakewood History Museum, 6211 Mt. Tacoma Dr. SW, (Open Wed.-Sat. 12-4 p.m.). Phone: (253) 682-3480
March 3, 2018
At its Feb. 28 meeting the city’s Planning Commission voted 4-2 to recommend an ordinance that prohibits marijuana businesses in Lakewood.
The vote came after a public hearing and the review of more than 100 written comments submitted into the public record. Comments were varied and ranged in opinion.
The commission’s recommendation will be forwarded to the City Council, which is expected to take up the matter in April. Despite recommending against allowing marijuana businesses in the city, the commission included in its recommendation guidance to the City Council on what marijuana regulations could look like in the city, should the council choose to ignore its recommendation. The council is expected to review and discuss the recommendation at its April 23 study session.
Feb. 23, 2018
Our maintenance and operations crews were busy Thursday working to make sure Lakewood’s roads and sidewalks were safe for residents to travel after Wednesday’s late snowfall.
Crews answered the call at 3:45 a.m. Thursday, reporting to work right away. They worked non-stop until noon when they were forced to take a break so they could do some equipment maintenance and plan for the next round of weather.
They drove the city’s snow routes Thursday using a combination of plows and sand/salt to help breakup the snow and ice so that drivers could safely reach their destinations. They shoveled the side walk before sunrise at the Lakewood Station so Sounder commuters could safely walk from the parking lot to the train platform.
By afternoon the warmer temperatures and sun melted and dried most of the city’s streets, except for those in the most wooded areas. Crews remained ready Friday morning and into the day, waiting for the snow as predicted by the weather service.
According to the Lakewood Police Department there were only seven collisions Thursday between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. due to weather, a testament to the hard work of our road crews.
The National Weather Service is calling for snow in the area today (Friday) before 4 p.m. with the snow turning to a rain-snow mix before 10 p.m. Little to no accumulation is expected. We could see wind gusts up to 21 mph, making the predicted low temperature of 33 degrees feel more like 22 to 24 degrees with the wind chill factor.
We are expected to see this pattern of rain and snow showers continue through the weekend as the temperature fluctuates. Accumulation will be minimal.
And while our maintenance and operations team was busy working Thursday, some of you were busy playing. Check out this video of some of the sights from our snow day.
March 7, 2018
Earlier this year work began on two pedestrian safety projects in Lakewood that included adding sidewalks and lighted pedestrian crossings on two roadways near two Clover Park School District schools.
The city was able to make these safety improvements in large part from a federal Safe Routes to Schools grant, which is awarded to projects that make it safer for students to walk to and from school.
The schools that benefitted from this work are Dower Elementary and Hudtloff Middle schools.
Sidewalks, curb, gutter and new pedestrian crossings were added to John Dower Road between its intersection with Steilacoom Boulevard and Custer Road. The pavement was also replaced because it had deteriorated and it no longer made sense to continue to patch it with temporary fixes.
Over on Phillips Road the city also added curb, gutter, sidewalks, pedestrian crossings and LED lighting between its intersection with Steilacoom Boulevard and Agate Drive.
The total project cost for both streets was just over $2 million. The city contributed $603,000 for the projects, which includes the cost to repave John Dower Road.
Work is expected to conclude in mid-March on both projects.
March 3, 2018
At its study session Feb. 26 the Lakewood City Council reviewed the city’s annual housing report, which provides data on new housing units built, remodels and additions, demolitions, pending residential projects and approved final plats.
The data shows what has been constructed and the amount and type of residential development anticipated to occur over the next 24 months.
This year the data was presented in a way that will allow for year-over-year analysis, allowing the council the ability to compare historical information.
- Number of new market rate single-family homes: 47
- Number of single-family home demolitions: 26
- Net new single-family homes in 2017 (47 – 26) = 21
- Number of market rate residential additions/remodels: 537
- Number of new affordable housing units: 0
- Number of affordable residential additions/remodels: 13
- Number of demolitions, all types: 53
- Number of pending multi-family residential units: 566
- New single-family residential lots created in 2017: 39
- Number of single-family residential lots in the pipeline: 51
Regional housing trends:
- Home sales within the Tacoma-Lakewood housing market area remain tight with an estimated vacancy rate of 1.4 percent. During the 12 months ending June 2017 new and existing home sales totaled 20,150, up almost 12 percent from the previous year. The average sale price increased 11 percent to $303,700.
- Demand is estimated for 8,625 homes.
- There are currently 1,500 homes under construction in the housing market area.
- The overall rental market also remains tight with an estimated vacancy rate of 3 percent. Apartment market conditions are also tight, also with a nearly 3 percent vacancy rate as of March 2017. The average asking rent increased more than 8 percent to $1,070/month.
- Demand is estimated at 6,600 new market-rate units.
- There are currently 1,800 units under construction.
Lakewood is not keeping pace with the region’s housing demand. To meet current demand the city would need to permit 5,024 single- and multi-family units. Currently there are 657 units in the construction pipeline for Lakewood.
If current market conditions hold steady, the value of residential properties in the city will continue to rise. So too will rents.
Other items of note:
- It is difficult to build new single-family housing in Lakewood given the already developed nature of the city.
- Preliminary and short plat approvals are challenging. These projects tend to face opposition from surrounding property owners.
- Roughly 42 percent of the single-family home demolitions that occurred in Lakewood in 2017 were a result of the city’s Dangerous Building Abatement Program.
- Only two large apartment complexes have been built in Lakewood since incorporation 22 years ago: Lakewood Meadows (168 units) off 112th Street in 2001 and Echelon Apartments (254 units) off 88th ST CT SW in 2009.
Feb. 21, 2018
Work will begin in the coming months on the Pavilion in the Park project planned for Fort Steilacoom Park.
At its Feb. 20 meeting the Lakewood City Council unanimously supported awarding a contract to Construct, Inc. for $816,377 to build the outdoor event facility in the park near the playground and picnic shelter.
The Rotary Club of Lakewood approached the City Council in the spring of 2014 with a pledge to dedicate $300,000 through in-kind and cash contributions to a community project in the city.
Ultimately it was decided that a community gathering space be created at Fort Steilacoom Park to further enhance the offerings at the 350-acre park that offers both passive and active recreation opportunities.
A series of public meetings were held where people were asked to share their ideas for what type of event facility they’d like to see at the park. That public input ultimately shaped the design of the performance and event venue. The design was approved by the council in 2017.
The total cost to build the project is estimated at $1.3 million. The facility includes a multipurpose room and performance area, storage rooms for things like chairs and tables and space for restrooms and a warming kitchen area.
The front will include a concrete platform and pads for lighting and speakers and a grass seating area with a landscaped block or concrete seat wall at the back.
To-date the Rotary Club of Lakewood has provided more than $100,000 of in-kind funding for construction drawings, engineering and bidding documents and has pledged approximately $25,000 of in-kind support for construction management of the project. The group has also committed an in-kind contribution to complete the landscaping and painting of the facility, valued at nearly $39,000.
Next steps include revisiting the five-year business plan crafted in 2016 for the facility with the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. The advisory board is expected to begin its review in March. Once complete it will go to the City Council for information.
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