City asks for public feedback on housing element

Amended plan to address changing demographics over next 20 years

Staff writerJune 4, 2014 

In the city of Puyallup, there are plenty of housing types that include single-family, multi-family, affordable and senior housing. Puyallup’s planning department — as part of its 2015 Comprehensive Plan update — is asking the public what it thinks will be the changing needs for housing over the next 20 years.

“It’s about preserving the housing that we have and making sure that the existing housing and the existing character of our neighborhoods is retained, but also encouraging more housing, and a variety of housing types that meet the various needs of all of our residents,” said Katie Baker, senior planner for the city of Puyallup.

The planning department invites community residents and business owners to attend its housing focus groups, where attendees will be able to help prioritize housing types and create a plan that sets policies on how future housing should reflect the community’s changing housing needs.

The two housing focus group times are from 2-3 p.m. today at the Puyallup Public Library and from 7-8 p.m. tomorrow at the Fruitland Elementary School gymnasium.

Baker said the goal of the housing element is “to provide a variety of housing types throughout the city that meets Puyallup’s fair share of the county’s housing requirements for residents at or below Pierce County median income.”

Baker explained that part of the intent of the housing focus groups is to educate people on how housing needs are changing, how demographics are changing, and what that means for housing.

“We want to hear from the public on what their needs are for housing and how they see their needs changing over the next 20 years,” Baker said. “Or for employers, how they see housing needs changing for their employees over the next 20 years. We’re thinking about right location, how housing looks and neighborhood character.”

Baker said she’s not so concerned about numbers in regards to the turnout at the housing focus groups.

“Getting a variety of people there is important to me, and that we’re hearing from various population groups in the community,” she said.

Following the focus groups, the planning department will analyze the feedback and present to planning commission by the end of this month or early next month. After that, Baker said a draft housing element will be presented to planning commission in late summer and the document will be listed on the comprehensive plan update page for public review.

“We’ll present the full (draft) comprehensive plan to the public this winter in an open house,” Baker said. “We’ll be previewing elements of the comprehensive plan to the city council in March and April 2015.”

The Puyallup City Council will make its final approval in June of 2015.

Following amendment of the housing element, Baker said the planning department’s next step is updating the community character element of the comprehensive plan.

“This deals more with the design of all the different zones in the community,” she said. “There are policies in there dealing with historic preservation.”

If you go

Housing focus groups are from 2-3 p.m. today in the south room of the Puyallup Public Library, 324 S. Meridian, and from 7-8 p.m. tomorrow at the Fruitland Elementary School gym, 1515 S. Fruitland. More information about the 2015 Comprehensive Plan update process is available at www.cityofpuyallup.org/engagingourfuture. Questions may be sent to ourfuture@ci.puyallup.wa.us or by calling Katie Baker, 253-435-3604.

Andrew Fickes: 253-552-7001 andrew.fickes @puyallupherald.com Twitter: @herald_andrew

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