City of Lakewood announcement.
The meeting of Feb. 14 began with a tour of Lakewood’s new permit portal. Lakewood now shares a familiar interface with the Pierce County PALS system. Users may research permit history, pay fees, schedule appointments, request updates, and perform other tasks from a single dashboard.
Assistant City Manager Dave Bugher reviewed the City’s Climate Change Work Plan. Recommended by the Planning Commission, the work plan proposes 35 measures to lower emissions, advance sustainable development standards, and influence urban planning. City Council requested that each measure be scored for importance and for target metrics and estimated costs to be established.
Bugher additionally reviewed the City’s Annual Housing Report. The report is highly detailed. It contains information about market conditions, housing quality, subsidies & assistance, environmental factors, accessory dwelling units, mobile home parks, and other topics.
Rents rose (+14% YoY) three times faster than local incomes, although Lakewood remains the second-most affordable Pierce County municipality after Spanaway. One challenge is surging material costs (+188% since the pandemic began), adding over $24,000 to the cost to build a single-family home.
Long-Range & Strategic Planning Manager Tiffany Speir and Councilmember Linda Farmer briefed the council on the activity of the South Sound Housing Affordability Partnership. Farmer serves on the SSHAP Executive Board. Lakewood’s stated priorities will include low- and moderate-income homeownership, senior housing, multifamily rental housing, and displacement prevention.
City Manager John Caulfield briefed the council on state and federal legislative sessions. A proposed state transportation package, Move Ahead Washington, would fund several important infrastructure projects in Lakewood and the 28th Legislative District, including $75 million to redesign the I-5 bridge across the Nisqually Delta and $244 million to extend HOV lanes along I-5 from Tacoma to Lakewood.