Word on the Street

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Category: Tillicum

Dec.
31st

UPDATE 2: Camp Murray gate controversy voted top West Pierce news story for 2011

The ongoing controversy over the efforts by the Washington Military Department to move Camp Murray’s main gate deeper into the Tillicum neighborhood was voted the top news story of the year in West Pierce County.

Although I was hoping to see a lot more votes, the Camp Murray gate story was voted tops by an overwhelming margin.

David Anderson, president of the Tillicum-Woodbrook Neighborhood Association, had put out a request for residents in the neighborhood and others to cast their votes for the story.

The extension of sanitary sewer into Tillicum and Woodbrook took the No. 2 spot.

Efforts to

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Dec.
6th

Habitat for Humanity’s first townhouse project coming to Tillicum

Tacoma-Pierce County Habitat for Humanity made room Tuesday for its first townhouse development.

The low-income housing provider joined city officials for the demolition of the blighted Woodlawn Cottages in Lakewood’s Tillicum neighborhood. Habitat will construct eight townhomes in its place, starting in early 2013, on Commercial Street near Harry Todd Community Park.

Habitat has committed to construct up to 33 homes in one of Lakewood’s poorest neighborhoods. It has started construction of two single-family homes elsewhere in Tillicum.

It has developed some duplexes in the past but it traditionally builds single-family homes. The organization’s move to townhomes recognizes that people

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Dec.
1st

Drive to qualify Lakewood bypass initiative short of goal

Backers of an initiative aimed at stopping high-speed passenger trains from rumbling through Lakewood neighborhoods have a long row to hoe to qualify for the May ballot.

David Anderson, who started the signature drive, said Wednesday supporters have collected 297 signatures, 5 percent of the 5,500 signatures he wants to have in hand by his Dec. 11 deadline.

Supporters must gather 4,029 valid signatures from registered voters in Lakewood to qualify the initiative. They seek 20 percent more to account for invalid signatures the Pierce County Auditor’s Office throws out because the signer doesn’t live in Lakewood or didn’t register

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Oct.
31st

Appeal hearing on Camp Murray gate permit set for Dec. 7

The hearing on an appeal of the city of Lakewood’s issuance of a permit allowing Camp Murray to move its main gate will begin at 10 a.m. Dec. 7.

Hearing Examiner James O’Connor will preside at the hearing to be held in the council chambers of City Hall, 6000 Main St. SW.

Meanwhile, the Washington Military Department filed notice that it will participate in the hearing and call witnesses.

Attorneys for the city, state and Tillicum Action Committee are

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Oct.
24th

Permit to move Camp Murray gate leads to one appeal

The city of Lakewood received one appeal after issuing a permit to allow the state to relocate the main gate serving Camp Murray, said David Bugher, assistant city manager for development services.

The Tillicum Action Committee filed its appeal last week.

The deadline to file an appeal was 5 p.m. Monday.

The hearing has not yet been scheduled.

Twitter: @TNTchill

Oct.
10th

Lakewood OKs permit for Camp Murray gate move

The city of Lakewood granted Monday a permit to allow Camp Murray to move its main gate despite opposition from neighboring Tillicum residents.

It placed requirements on the permit to dissuade drivers from using neighborhood streets as shortcuts but that didn’t placate concerned neighbors. David Anderson, president of the Tillicum-Woodbrook Neighborhood Association, vowed to exhaust its appeals to stop the project.

He said neighbors are angry and disappointed that the city issued the permit despite their extensive campaign to oppose it. For example, more than 500 people signed a petition opposing the move that was presented to the City Council

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July
28th

Rally to oppose Camp Murray gate proposal on Monday

The Tillicum community will hold a rally at the Lakewood City Council meeting on Monday night to oppose a revived proposal to move the main gate serving Camp Murray.

The Tillicum Woodbrook Neighborhood Association and related Tillicum Action Committee will use the gathering to demonstrate to the City Council the community opposition to the proposal due to concerns about a lot of traffic driving down a major residential street.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the council chambers of Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main St. SW.

David Anderson, the neighborhood association’s president, pledged that the group would exhaust its appeals if the project moves forward.

“We only have one approach to this: no gate move at all,” he said. “It makes no sense.”

City Manager Andrew Neiditz said the city is receptive to moving the gate to the location it initially objected to after a recent traffic analysis showed little difference in traffic impact between moving the gate there or to the city’s preferred alternative — a block south at the end of Grant Avenue.

He said moving the gate would be “non-starter” for the city without mitigation the military department will pay for to deter pass-through motorists on the residential street, Portland Avenue, which connects to the Interstate 5 interchange serving North Thorne Lane.

“The status quo, leaving the gate as it is, is just not acceptable,” he said.

The Washington State Military Department, headquartered at Camp Murray, has proposed moving the main gate from the intersection of Berkeley Street and Union Avenue to the intersection of Boundary Street and Portland Avenue. Officials there said the current gate’s proximity to a busy intersection, Interstate 5 interchange and a rail line that could see increased use is unsafe for its citizen-soldiers, employees and visitors.

Neighbors worried that the new location would be unsafe for their community. The most recent traffic analysis estimates an additional 900 vehicles a day would travel down Portland if the gate were moved either to Boundary/Portland or Grant.

In September, talks collapsed after the military department was unable to commit federal money budgeted for the project by the end of the federal fiscal year because the city of Lakewood declined to issue a right-of-way permit for the Boundary/Portland location. The city said it would issue a permit for the end of Grant Avenue — a block to the south — if the state agency complied with numerous conditions. The permit is required to connect the new gate to the public street.

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Jan.
19th

Click for cash for Habitat

Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity is in a tight race for the $25,000 top prize in American Home Shield’s “Challenge for Change” website click-a-thon. Supporters can visit the site and vote once every day.

The 15 Habitat entries each propose a project that will refresh a run-down community. This one started with the City of Lakewood’s 2009 announcement that it would use its federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds and team up with Habitat in Tillicum.

The plan is to build 12 new homes and repair and refurbish as many older ones as possible. Volunteers from Habitat and

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