Victory in Pierce County

September 27, 2021

Futurewise recently settled our appeal of the Pierce County Centers and Corridors comprehensive plan update and we're proud to share that the county addressed all of our concerns!

Let's back up a minute. What exactly was Pierce County proposing?

Pierce County’s Centers and Corridors plan will impact 200,000 people, across nearly 50,000 acres.

The original plan would have increased sprawl across the county, with a proposal to increase densities in parts of unincorporated Pierce County without transit service, sidewalks, schools, and other basic public services.

It also failed to adequately integrate affordable housing and anti-displacement strategies into the upzones. The county’s own housing studies show that the proposal was likely to shift new housing AWAY from areas in Tacoma that already have transit and sidewalks, are planned for higher density multifamily housing, and require developers to provide affordable housing and contribute to needed public facilities.

For these reasons, Futurewise appealed the plan.

Here's what we won in the settlement:

  • Pierce County limited the new centers comprehensive plan designations and zoning to areas that are designated as transit-oriented communities in the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Vision 2050, the region’s long range land use plan.
  • The county repealed the Fredrickson Town Center, protecting the industrial area and preserving good jobs.
  • Crucially, the increased centers densities will not apply until bus rapid transit is funded to the serve each of the centers.
  • Pierce County adopted policies giving priority for public facility funding for designated centers including improvements to support walking, bicycling, and transit use.

Futurewise appreciates the willingness of the Pierce County Council, the Executive, and staff to resolve this appeal. We appreciate their professionalism and leadership in planning for a better Pierce County.

Check out this interactive map for more details about how communities in Pierce County will be affected by this plan.