historic preservation

West Slope Neighborhood

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Proposed Narrowmoor Addition Conservation District

On May 27, 2015, after over a year of review and public meetings, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to recommend to the Planning Commission the establishment of a new conservation district in the West Slope Neighborhood.  The primary documents related to this recommendation are available below.

Documents

Letter to the Planning Commission

Findings and Recommendation Report

Draft Ordinance

Draft Design Guidelines

Consolidated public comment (received during comment period)

Original submittal from the West Slope Neighborhood Coalition

Background Information

Public Hearing

The Landmarks Preservation held a Public Hearing to receive comment on the proposed conservation district on April 8, 2015.  Please see documents below for background information.

Hearing Announcement and Opinion Survey

Map of Proposed District

Draft Code

Draft Guidelines

Background

The West Slope Neighborhood Coalition is proposing that the City establish a conservation district overlay in the West End area of Tacoma.

The West Slope Neighborhood consists of four plats and was initially established in 1941. The proposed conservation district includes approximately 279 homes and 286 lots, constructed predominantly during the 1940s through the 1960s. Most houses are simple 2 story homes (the lower floor being a daylight basement) located on their lots to maximize views of the Tacoma Narrows.

History of the Proposal

In 2007, at the request of the West Slope Neighborhood Coalition, the City Council provided funding to the Historic Preservation Program to conduct a study of the feasibility of creating a new midcentury historic district in the West Slope Neighborhood.

In 2009, the consultant retained by the City released a report that recommended not designating a historic district in the neighborhood, due to lack of historic integrity. The report recommended revising the City’s “conservation district overlay zone” to allow for the creation of conservation districts in neighborhoods.

In 2011, with the support of the neighborhood, the City Council modified both the comprehensive plan and regulatory code to allow the conservation district overlay to be used as a standalone district (previously it was only used as a buffer zone around historic districts).

The neighborhood retained a consultant to develop an application to become a conservation district and formally submitted a proposal and application for Area-Wide Rezone in November, 2013.

Documents

Application submitted by the West Slope Neighborhood Coalition

Map of Proposed District

Summary of the Proposal

Design Guidelines framework (working)

Tentative Review Schedule

Staff report to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (May 28, 2014)

Staff report to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (September 24, 2014)

Presentation to the West Slope Neighborhood (November 18, 2014)

Design Guidelines Presentation (February 5, 2015)

Previous Discussions (2007-2010)

Residents and property owners in the West Slope Area have requested study by the City for the establishment of a local historic special review overlay zoning district. Landmarks and Local Historic Special Review Districts are administered by Tacoma Municipal Code 13.07 and are managed as overlay zoning districts.

The City Council provided funding to conduct study to determine the appropriateness and feasibility of such a district.  In July 2008, the City entered into a contract with a consultant to conduct this study.  The study included an architectural survey of the West Slope Area, recommendations regarding the feasibility of a historic district.

The study concluded that the West Slope Neighborhood did retain a distinctive architectural and development character, but did not possess enough architectural integrity to merit designation as a Historic Special Review District.  The study recommended that the neighborhood be considered as a Conservation District.

 Documents

Request Letter from the West Slope Neighborhood
View the Request for Proposals for the West Slope Study

April 16 Community Meeting Notice

Tacoma West Slope Historic District Development Project Neighborhood Meeting Presentation (4/16/2009)

West Slope Historic District Study Report (1/2010)

West Slope Neighborhood Presentation (4/29/2010)

Questions?  Please email or call 253-591-5220.