This month marks two years since the city of Puyallup began the long, arduous process of making a significant overhaul to its 2015 Comprehensive Plan.
“We are quickly coming to an end,” said Katie Baker, a senior planner for the city and the 2015 Comp Plan update lead. “The draft plan is officially released for public comment. (The draft plan is available on the city website) and we have hard copies available at every city building.”
The next big step to take in the final leg of the process is a public hearing before the Puyallup Planning Commission at 7 p.m. in council chambers on July 8. Baker said the public is encouraged to attend an open house prior to the 7 p.m. public hearing from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., where they can be briefed on all the different updates to the Comp Plan before making their public comment.
“Some of the bigger changes (in the Comp Plan) have been to our transportation element, where we’re reconsidering the different kind of transportation priorities and placing larger emphasis than we previous have had on pedestrian and bicycle facilities,” Baker explained.
The Puget Sound Regional Council, which certifies document, has asked that cities now include a broader focus in their comprehensive plans on non-motorized transportation facilities, Baker said. Puyallup residents have also asked the city to put emphasis on improved bike and pedestrian facilities close to schools, senior housing and major destinations, she said.
A second element within the Comp Plan that received heightened attention was the South Hill Neighborhood Plan.
“We made it a priority with this major update to get this completed,” Baker said.
The South Hill Neighborhood Plan predates the 2015 Comp Plan update process.
The plan addresses South Hill as a regional growth center and looks at what that anticipated growth will look like in the future.
“It’s a little different than what we’ve seen on South Hill compared to the last 30 to 40 years,” Baker said. “The plan is for a shift from large box stores and big parking lots to mixed-use residential.”
The South Hill Neighborhood identified in the plan encompasses 28th Avenue on the north; 47th Avenue on the south; 9th Street to the west; and Pierce College and Wildwood Park Drive to the east.
Following the public hearing on July 8, the planning commission will make its approval and pass the draft plan on to the Puyallup City Council. The council will do first reading of the document on Aug. 11, following a public hearing. Second reading and final approval by the council will likely occur on Sept. 1.
Comments to the planning commission may be done online, by email or in writing, prior to the public hearing and are due by 5 p.m. July 8.
For more information on how to submit comments or to read the draft 2015 Comp Plan, visit cityofpuyallup.org/engagingourfuture or call Katie Baker at 253-435-3604.