The South End Neighborhood Council (SENCO) is launching an effort to revisit a neighborhood action plan last updated over 20 years ago and wants community input. The meeting will be held November 21, 2020 at 10:30am over Zoom.
The SENCO Board has been working with community members at monthly meetings over the last year to hear about challenges, opportunities, community needs and project ideas for the southernmost portion of the south end, an area that SENCO now recognizes as Southeast Tacoma. A community group, known as the Southeast Tacoma Neighborhood Alliance (SETNA) has formed out of these monthly meetings and is working together with the SENCO as an ‘action-arm’ of the neighborhood.
SENCO Board member Penny Grellier, a resident of Southeast Tacoma, says that updating the plan will be key to the future of this part of Tacoma. “We have a common vision of a healthy, dynamic neighborhood in which we feel safe, with clean streets and a welcoming atmosphere,” said Grellier. “Providing more amenities and spaces for people to make connections is key; a great example is improved park spaces. Many of us have shared our ideas for improvement, but it hasn’t gone much further. Writing them down will capture and organize those ideas, and guide us forward. That’s what we hope to accomplish with a neighborhood action plan.”
Some ideas that have been generated during the monthly SETNA meetings include the need for a community center, an improved sidewalk network, neighborhood identification signage and other streetscape improvement projects. Other unique ideas generated include ways the needs of the neighborhood to access fresh foods through additional community gardens, a desire for a farmers market at the Fern Hill business district, and other strategic objectives, such as improving the perception of the South End as a desirable place to live, work, shop and recreate through marketing campaigns.
“I am really excited to hear what the community thinks about these ideas generated from intense outreach and engagement over the last year,” said Chris Beale, City Councilmember for District 5. District 5 includes all of Southeast Tacoma. Beale, who has been helping to lead the Southeast Tacoma Neighborhood Alliance monthly meetings since its inception in 2018, says that planning for the future of the neighborhood will ensure continuity with what the community envisions. He hopes this planning effort can bring together diverse voices to create that shared vision. “The South End Neighborhood Council’s leadership in this project has been so inspiring. I encourage everyone to get involved in this planning effort and to stay engaged with your neighborhood council as the plan is written to make sure your voice is heard.” The public may access and find information about the neighborhood strategic action planning effort on the SENCO website, including a community survey and to access the login information to attend the virtual community meeting over Zoom on November 21, 2020 at 10:30am: senco253.org/setna/