Music is an infrequent occurrence at Gig Harbor City Council meetings, but Monday night’s meeting moved to a different tune after Forest Lane broke out his harmonica and led the Council in a song of his own writing.
Lane received a proclamation for Parkinson’s Awareness Month from Mayor pro tem Rahna Lovrovich before speaking briefly about the support he has received from the Gig Harbor community. Sung to the tune of “Davey Crockett,” Lane’s song celebrates the welcoming and supportive community he enjoys in Gig Harbor.
April is recognized as Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Lane, a retired teacher, works with two other teachers to present in Peninsula School District high school’s about Parkinson’s and spread awareness to students.
Pierce County Urban Growth Areas
A presentation from Denis Hanberg, director of Planning and Land Services for Pierce County, updated the Council on the Urban Growth Areas (UGA) identified by the county for Gig Harbor.
“We wanted to explain further about what Planning and Land Services has been doing,” Hanberg said, adding that the UGAs were first set in 1995 to handle 20 years worth of growth with the expectation to be annexed at some point. “The idea at the time was that the counties were supposed to be rural and the cities were supposed to be urban.”
UGAs are regional borders designed to control urban sprawl, keeping high-density development within set boundaries and lower-density development outside of those boundaries.
Hanberg explained that the county is looking to develop county-city strategies to assist in annexation agreements, making those a priority in the county’s Vision 2040. This vision emphasizes growth in cities and towns and makes annexations a priority.
Potential areas for annexation are those areas bound 60 percent or more by the city, those areas with interlocal agreement and those initiated by residents or the city. He identified that a 2018 goal for Pierce County is to modify UGAs through annexation, reduction or affiliation with a primary focus on Pierce County, Tacoma, Puyallup, Gig Harbor and Eatonville.
He asked the city to consider a partnership with the county to do at least one annexation in 2017 and also to assess Gig Harbor’s unincorporated UGAs in preparation for anticipated changes in Pierce County’s 2018 Comprehensive Plan. He also asked the city to consider a partnership to identify potential annexation areas, considering also those UGAs already identified by the county previously that may need to be reconsidered.
No action was taken by the Council on the matter following Hanberg’s presentation.