Commenting on the Tideflats Scoping Process

Right now, we are in what’s called a Scoping Phase of the Tideflats Subarea Plan. Here’s what that means: Back in April, four scenarios for what the Tideflats could look like in the future – called “alternatives” – were selected to study their environmental and public health impacts. This type of study is called an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Each alternative lays out different visions for the Subarea Plan, including how we prioritize habitat restoration, where housing should go, and what types of industries should be in the Tideflats – to name a few. Scoping comments are about what the city should study regarding the possible plans for the Tideflats. There will be another comment period later where we can tell the city what parts of the different alternatives we do and don’t want and why.

While official comments were due in early August, the city council will discuss the recommendations of the Planning Commission regarding scoping at the September 13th Council Meeting.

Please plan to attend the meeting and give a public comment.

Tuesday, September 13th, 6pm: Subarea Plan Virtual Forum
Join on Zoom Passcode: 349099
Or in person at City Hall 747 Market St.

The Subarea Plan will determine our zoning for decades to come and we need the City of Tacoma to finally start prioritizing community health, affordable housing, addressing the climate crisis, habitat restoration and cleaner industries.


Strengthening and supporting a safe city with healthy residents

  • Conduct a cumulative health impact assessment for each of the alternatives encompassing traffic emissions, facility emissions, noise pollution and light pollution. Including not just PM 2.5, but also toxic air pollution, hazardous air pollution, and volatile organic compounds.
  • Conduct a current cumulative air quality analysis. Study how the alternatives would impact cumulative air quality.
  • What will be the impacts of different alternatives on traffic congestion, pedestrian safety, and wear and tear to public roadways?
  • Which of the alternatives creates more access to the Tideflats for culture, education, scientific, and recreational activities available to the public?

Fostering a vibrant and diverse economy with good jobs for all Tacoma residents

  • Study the impacts of creating an economic green zone. Which alternatives would best support a Economic Greenzone?
  • How will the different alternatives promote or create green industries that will help address the climate crisis instead of exacerbating it by adding more greenhouse gas emissions?
  • Identify clean and innovative industries/businesses and the value that they would bring the region in terms of revenue and employment density (including a range of job types).
  • Study the impacts of transitioning the NE side to light industrial and/or commercial.
  • Study the impacts of creating innovation hubs for scientific research and regenerative environmental practices.

Preserving and Restoring the natural and built environment

  • How do each of the alternatives bring the Tideflats into closer alignment with the current Climate Emergency Declaration, Urban Forest Management Plan, and Climate Action Plan?
  • Study which alternatives will produce the least greenhouse gasses, and provide the difference between the alternatives.
  • How do each of the alternatives negatively impact or protect and restore salmon, shellfish, orca, beaver, otter, other wildlife, and threatened and endangered species?
  • Study how each alternative will impact aquifer recharge areas, including pollution from toxic tire debris, paving over permeable land, groundwater contamination, and storm water runoff.
  • Which aspects of the alternatives would avoid creating any more Superfund sites? Which alternatives include mitigation measures that will remediate current Superfund sites?
  • Study the feasibility of requiring risk bonding for businesses on the Tideflats to move the economic burden of pollution to the polluters instead of the public.

Advancing Equity Goals & Addressing Ongoing Systemic Inequities

  • How will aspects of the different alternatives impact Puyallup Tribal sovereignty, and air and water quality on the reservation? Is there a way to codify ensuring that meaningful consultation happens on future decisions regarding the Tideflats?
  • How will aspects of the alternatives impact Black, Brown and Indigenous communities specifically, and how will these alternatives impact equity, city equity goals, and combating the continued effects of systemic racism?
  • How much of the possible housing created by different alternatives will be for low-income housing and what requirements can be added to maximize the amount of low-income housing created?
  • How will aspects of the alternatives move the city closer to stated equity goals?
  • How will aspects of the alternatives work to repair the ongoing damage of redlined neighborhoods?
  • How will the housing alternatives impact addressing the City’s homelessness crisis?
  • What will be the impacts to preserving trees and green space, especially in areas with low access to green space and tree canopy?
  • Study the impacts and benefits of turning the Northeast shore into recreational zoning (no industry) for boating, beaches, and parks.

Comments due by 5pm, August 5th, 2022. Submit at:

Thank you for taking a few minutes to submit some of these vital points to the city!