Washington has a stringent State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) and the environmental analyses of development can be lengthy and costly. The City’s latest draft revitalization plan calls for a Planned Action Environmental Impact Statement (PAEIS); and if approved, development in the downtown core will have a much smoother process to follow. Unfortunately, the City missed a great opportunity to utilize web-based crowdsourcing in order to maximize public comment on the draft.
The study will analyze the impacts associated with development and increases in population, employment, and building activity; and prescribes mitigation measures associated with such development. Developers who propose such uses, in keeping with the historical downtown urban design, will not have to duplicate or undergo further environmental analysis beyond that already done in the Planned Action EIS.
Three alternatives will be analyzed under the Draft EIS:
- No Action Alternative: Assumes growth consistent with that projected in the existing Comprehensive Plan, and assumes that individual project‐specific SEPA review continues;
- Study Alternative 1: Based on the assumption that modest development standard amendments are made, a Planned Action Ordinance is adopted, a TDR program is implemented, and that growth and development proposals are generally in the middle range between the No Action Alternative and Study Alternative 2;
- Study Alternative 2: Based on the assumption that a Planned Action Ordinance is adopted, a TDR program is implemented, and more extensive changes are made to existing codes that provide incentives for growth and
development, and that population and employment are significantly increased over existing plans.
The study is a major urban planning step in the realm of economic development because it potentially fosters and incentivizes New Urbanism growth, yet seeks to maintain environmental and historical protection. The increased density of mixed-used development with a wide range of housing and job choices, promotes walkable, compact, and transit-oriented neighborhoods in the downtown urban core of Puyallup, Washington.
Would this win for urban planners ease the development process too much, and create an unhealthy increase in the growth of the City?
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