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Perkins Postion Paper dot
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Although occupants of the Perkins Loft have individual opinions regarding the Amendment to S-8 Thea Foss Shoreline District, there is general consensus regarding the following points:

  • The Shoreline Management Act (SMA) prohibits issuance of a permit for construction over 35 feet where it would obstruct the views of a substantial number of residents. Substantial view blockage occurs at 100 feet (Thea Landing height) and the proposed 180 feet (applicants’ request). The city is devoting resources to facilitate the 180 feet change; however, heights over 35 feet are prohibited and should not receive a shoreline permit. The precedence of Thea Landing and the Esplanade projects are not applicable to this zoning change as neither of these developments substantially obstruct residential views.
  • The “view corridor” concept of higher buildings set farther apart is being proposed to accommodate public view from Fireman’s Park. The Shoreline Management Act (WAC 173-26-221(4)(d) states:

    “Where there is an irreconcilable conflict between water-dependent shoreline uses or physical public access and maintenance of view from adjacent properties, the water-dependent use and physical access shall have priority, unless there is a compelling reason to the contrary.”

The proposed towers do not fit the “water-dependent shoreline use” category; therefore, the city should comply with the SMA and protect both the residential and public views. Further, the city has failed to establish that these height increase changes are a “compelling reason to the contrary” other than a desire to aid a private party in maximizing the economic return on a shoreline property investment.

  • The city sites the Foss Waterway Development Authority (FWDA) as an impetus driving the zoning change. Subsequent to the issuance of the FWDA plan, the city approved the condominium use for multiple units in the Perkins Building, The Lofts, and now the Old City Hall Condominium project, thus establishing multiple residences whose views should be afforded priority in preservation and protection.
  • Specific to the Perkins Building residents, the proposed “view corridor” plan does nothing to mitigate view loss from their location. The distance between the towers is not sufficient to accommodate view access from the Perkins Building.
  • All residents of the Perkins Building made a decision to purchase their condominiums based in part on the views afforded from the commons deck area on the roof of the building. Therefore, condominiums that do not directly have views afforded from inside their units still have standing in this because of the views they enjoy from the common area.
  • If the city prevails in implementing changes to building heights in the proposed Zone 1, north of the 11th Street bridge, this will establish a precedent for similar heighth increases in Zone 2, south of 11th Street bridge, thus rendering the residents impotent in future development and view loss.
  • Perkins Building residents are not against development of the Thea Foss Waterway or other properties in downtown Tacoma; however, zoning changes should be made with consideration of existing residential units.

 



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.....preserving the residential value of downtown Tacoma dot
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