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Tag: neighborhoods

April
5th

Tacoma: New compromise for Wedge Historic District status removes Multicare, Salvation Army properties

After nearly three years of tweaked proposals, public meetings and dueling opinions, the neighborhood known as the “Wedge” appears headed for city Historic District status.

Or at least part of it does, as the Tacoma City Council is poised to finally take a vote on a compromised measure that seeks to protect the historic character of most homes at the neighborhood’s core.

But the newly proposed boundaries for the neighborhood’s Historic District soon to be considered by the council do not contain several properties on the neighborhood’s fringes, including homes owned by MultiCare Health System and the Salvation Army’s aging bungalow-style “Family Lodge.”

The compromise emerged after both nonprofits had objected to a recommendation to include their properties within the proposed historic zone.

“The historic significance of the neighborhood is really quite important,” Councilwoman Lauren Walker said Tuesday. “I’d like to see that historic significance maintained … instead of having it all fall apart and not move forward.”

Not all Wedge residents are happy about the proposed compromise.

“I’m disappointed,” said Diane E. Walkup, a neighborhood resident for 26 years. “I may be naive, but I would hope that facts and testimony can be presented right up til the final vote. But I feel things are decided before the final vote.”
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April
7th

City won’t appeal ruling on West End synagogue

The city won’t appeal a hearing examiner’s recent decision that cleared the way for a controversial synagogue to be built in Tacoma’s West End, Tacoma City Attorney Elizabeth Pauli told me Tuesday.

The city’s decision not to appeal likely means Rodney M. Kerslake’s Mar. 25 ruling — which reversed the city’s denials of zoning variances needed for Chabad of Pierce County to proceed with construction of the proposed synagogue on North Mildred Street — will stand.

“You only have certain grounds for challenging a hearing examiner’s decision,” Pauli told me in a phone call today, when further explaining the city’s legal decision. “There must be a mistake of law or the lack of evidence of fact…We didn’t see a strong case.”

The news came as disappointment to the West End Neighborhood Council. The council had fought the Orthodox Jewish group’s synagogue proposal on behalf of dozens of West End residents, who primarily opposed the structure’s size. The council says it will formally request Kerslake to reconsider his ruling.
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