Port Sub Area Planning in the Tacoma Tideflats

Research on Subarea Planning

This research aims to explain subarea planning. A subarea plan is a long-term plan created for a specific geographical area inside a community. These can be targeted towards specific districts, neighborhoods, or condors. In discussions with Planning and Development Services manager Brian Boudet, leaders from local governing bodies such as Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Port of Tacoma Commission President Dick Marzano decided to negotiate an Interlocal Agreement (ILA) to produce a Tacoma Tideflats subarea plan. The procedure will take at least two years and will cost at least $1 million. The cost will be split between the port and the city and include a community dialogue about what activities and developments will be allowed in the manufacturing and shipping hub.

Different Approaches to the Interlocal Agreement

The city and the port approach the ILA differently as to who will be partner. The city lists the Puyallup Tribe as partner, since the land rests in the reservation. The port lists them as stakeholders, under the idea that listing the Tribe as a full partner would go against the land claims settlement of 1988. That landmark agreement outlined how land-use decisions on the Tideflats would be handled through "meaningful consultation" between the sovereign Puyallup Nation and the port.

Puyallup Land Claims Settlement of 1988

The Puyallup land claims settlement of 1988 after decade-long negotiations resulted in the Puyallup tribe signing and accepting a settlement package of $162 million in land, fisheries, economic and social development, and the construction of the Blair Navigation project. The terms of the settlement were; the federal government provided half the amount of the settlement package while Washington State, local governments, and private entities provided the other amount. The tribe received 900 acres of land with property received for industrial, fishery, and marine terminal development. The city might disagree with the port with regards to partnering with the Natives because its interpretation of "meaningful consultation" involves empowering the Natives with respect for the 1988 settlement. However, the port begs to differ as it interprets "meaning consultation" as a means to buy out the Natives as previously witnessed throughout history, hence offering them a stake as opposed to equal partnership.

Plans for the Port of Tacoma

The port of Tacoma has plans to include manufacturing and processing plants in it, due to proximity to its shipping facility and reduced transport costs for its clients. The commission also added Pierce County Council to the roster of partners since the Tideflats have county and regional impacts in terms of jobs and economic activity. Shipping activities on the waterfront provide some 29,000 direct and indirect family-wage jobs and $223 million in state and local taxes. However, its plans have fallen under scrutiny by critics and environmentalists alike. The natives and other people living in the area have gotten used to pollution-free environments where they enjoyed fishing and other marine recreational facilities. The invitation for processing plants, take for instance the liquid gas plant, would affect the environment in more ways than one. Noise pollution, water pollution, air pollution, and soil pollution too raise eyebrows for residents who previously enjoyed the environment. Economic development and environmental conservation sit on different sides of the table on matters of subarea planning. While creating economic opportunities for obtaining a livelihood, I believe we should be vigilant not to degrade the environment as it's the only legacy for future generations.






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