Puyallup Fair & Events Center leaders have withdrawn their proposal for a major land-use change for 219 acres of surrounding property – including 57 acres of privately owned houses and businesses – so that the fair can grow.
After continued outcry from homeowners, the fair pulled the proposal Tuesday before the Puyallup Planning Commission could make a recommendation tonight. Now, the Planning Commission won’t be considering the request tonight.
Kent Hojem, chief executive officer of the Puyallup Fair & Events Center, notified Planning Commission Chairman John Palmer Tuesday that the fair was removing its application for a Comprehensive Plan amendment.
The fair wants the area given a new designation as “events center,” which requires amending the city’s comprehensive plan.
After residents complained, fair leaders recommended shrinking the proposed area by 20 percent to about 176 acres. They planned to remove the properties of homeowners who complained the expansion of the fair could hurt their neighborhood and property values.
Then, the fair’s board of directors decided not to move forward with any proposal.
“At this time, it just was not right to continue with that plan,” said Karen LaFlamme, spokeswoman for the Puyallup Fair.
“It doesn’t mean that the fair won’t be looking into the future,” LaFlamme said. “But they recognize the importance of sharing information and gaining valuable input from the neighbors.”
Fair leaders have said they don”t have immediate plans to expand but are preparing for the future of the nation’s seventh-largest fair with attendance of 1.2 million last year. This year’s event runs Sept. 10-26.
Read past News Tribune coverage of the Puyallup Fair’s land-use proposal here.