A development agreement presented by Puyallup nonprofit Step By Step was met with praise by both the Puyallup City Council and community members alike at the Aug. 22 City Council meeting.
Step By Step, a nonprofit organization that helps at-risk pregnant women and mothers establish safe homes, will develop the Germaine Korum Center for Women and Children at the former Van Lierop bulb farm at 13303 8th Ave. SE in Puyallup.
The development agreement proposed a variety of zoning uses and a six-year plan to develop the 6-acre campus. It also laid out efforts to preserve the atmosphere of the former farm.
“Most of the buildings on site will remain or are more of an innovative reuse type of project,” said City Planner Chris Beale, who presented the agreement to the Council.
Step By Step proposed structures including an amphitheater, children’s play features, a 120-stall wrap-around parking field and auxiliary, commons and festival buildings, among other features.
Step By Step proposed a reduced landscape buffer from 30 feet to 12 feet between the future Center and Van Lierop Park, which lies to the north and east.
“It will serve not only as a public benefit by creating jobs for women with children but as a gathering place for the community via our future restaurant and event space,” said Step By Step executive director Krista Linden at the meeting. “...We are imminently preparing to do about a $5 million renovation at the farm while preserving its historic legacy.”
Step By Step has raised $4 million out of the $5 million needed for the renovation so far. Linden assures there will be bulbs around the site, including classic red roofs for the buildings.
City Council members considered the agreement, suggesting more avenues connecting the center to the future Van Lierop Park.
“I’m proud as a community member to have Step By Step be part of our community,” said Puyallup resident Bill Hilton during the public hearing. “(Linden) helped bring the Van Lierops and the city together ... and I’d like to see it supported fully.”
“To see this here now is amazing,” said Councilwoman Heather Shadko. “I love how you helped us get (Van Lierop) park.”
The Council moved to approve the agreement 7-0. More information on Germaine Korum Center for Women and Children will be available in the coming weeks.
Homeless drop-in centers moratorium
The Council adopted an ordinance renewing a moratorium relative to homeless drop-in centers and emergency shelters.
The moratorium had already been in place and was set to expire. The moratorium prevents new drop-in facilities from making applications to the city for the next six months.
The Council plans to continue discussion related to potential zoning code changes for homeless drop-in centers.
Veterans Park swing bench
The Council also adopted a resolution to name a new swing bench in Veterans Park in honor of Bob and Diane Kastama. Bob passed away suddenly in May.
The swing has already been purchased by the city. Parks Department director Sarah Harris said that the Kastamas have “done a great service to our community over the years.”
“I don’t know better community advocates,” said Councilwoman Julie Door.
“When the Kastamas ask for something, they’re right there beside you to help you get there,” Harris said.
The swing bench is expected to be installed next month.
Public safety building update
Moving forward, the city is looking at design groups for Puyallup’s new public safety building, and will conduct interviews for the selection process before making a recommendation to the Council.
In September 2016, a 5-acre lot was purchased by the city at 600 39th Ave S. which is being considered for the building’s new location.
No decisions have been made on whether or not the new public safety building will consist of the jail and municipal courts in addition to the police station. The consultants will make recommendations on whether or not to build those features.
“I’m glad we bought sufficient property for all three components,” said Mayor John Hopkins. “I remain skeptical as to what should be built.”