Pierce County homeless village gets pushback from nonprofit

May 5, 2023, 10:31 AM

pierce county homeless village...

Rendering of the new homeless village proposed in Pierce County. (Tacoma Rescue Mission)

(Tacoma Rescue Mission)

A nonprofit in Pierce County has petitioned to block construction plans for a 283-unit homeless village near Spanaway, according to the Tacoma News Tribune.

The community, meant to house the chronically homeless, was approved by the Pierce County Council in March. It is scheduled to be completed in late 2028.

The village will be operated by the Tacoma Rescue Mission.

Just when it appeared everything was a ‘go,’ Futurewise, a nonprofit that works to support land-use policies and represents landowners and residents in Pierce County appealed the plans. Futurewise says the plan is “inconsistent” with planning policies and regional growth strategy.

The presiding officer of the Washington Environmental and Land Use Hearings Office, Rick Eichstaedt, said the burden is on Futurewise to prove the county did not do its due diligence.

Officials from Pierce County said they were “perplexed” by the appeal from Futurewise and wanted more clarification about how the ordinance is inconsistent with planning policies.

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The Pierce County site outlining the village says:

The site for the village has approximately 27 buildable acres located off Spanaway Loop Road with access from 176th Street. Along the northern boundary, there are approximately 15 residences and several wetlands; along the eastern boundary there is a vacant lot and Spanaway Loop Road; and along the southern and western boundaries is Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The site will accommodate 285 microhomes, support buildings, community gathering spaces, microenterprises, and necessary healthcare and case management services.

Futurewise attorney Tim Trohimovich said some of the main issues are related to the location of the site, “allowed capacity, and how that affects the growth allocations for the county,” as well as “an issue of whether or not the county gave adequate notice” to Joint Base Lewis-McChord for plans to build the village near the base.

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