August 19, 2011
New drive through businesses will be allowed along Bridgeport Way south of 37th Street under an ordinance approved by the University Place City Council this week. Following several months of review by the Planning Commission and City Council, the majority of Council agreed to lift a ban
on drive throughs in the Town Center zone to encourage economic development. Installation of any new drive throughs, however, will trigger additional design standards to enhance pedestrian safety.
Other agenda items included:
*Pierce Transit Update - Bus riders in University Place will wait a bit longer for buses under a Pierce Transit Reduction plan starting October 2. Pierce Transit Planner Tina Lee provided a brief overview of service reductions due to reduced sales tax collections which are the primary funding source for transit service. Since 2008, Pierce Transit has instituted several cost-saving measures including two rounds of layoffs, service reductions, fare increases, elimination of COLA and step wage increases for non-represented employees, increased employee contributions for benefits and delayed capital projects. Nevertheless, a third round of layoffs and further cuts in service were needed to help stabilize the agency’s budget.
Decisions on which routes to reduce or eliminate were primarily based on ridership, connections to similar routes and other efficiencies. Impacts on U.P. bus riders on Route 2, for example, include longer wait times between buses from 15 to 20 minutes, possibly increasing difficulty with connections. Several other routes in Tacoma, east Pierce County and other areas, however, are being eliminated entirely due to low ridership. Service hours for shuttle rides countywide are also being reduced. For more information, visit www.piercetransit.org
*City Commission Appointment Process
- Future vacancies for advisory commissions to the City Council will be advertised in October, followed by interviews in December and final appointments in January under revised rules adopted by the Council. People interested in serving on commissions should contact the City Clerk
or visit the City’s website at www.CityofUP.com
*Park Updates - Director of Public Works/Parks & Recreation Gary Cooper provided the following updates on various park properties:
- Kobayashi Preserve - U.P. Park Commissioner Rebecca Vader and U.P. resident Bill Barrett are working with staff to finalize a conceptual design to renovate the existing structure into two open air picnic shelters along with restrooms. The U.P. Parks and Recreation Commission is expected to review the plan in September with recommendations coming to the Council later this fall.
- Curran Roof Replacement - The Curran roof replacement is complete, thanks to grants from Pierce County. The Curran House Investigating and Planning (CHIPS) group is researching whether the remaining $1,700 in grant funds can be used for a possible deck replacement.
- Soil Remediation - Clean up of arsenic contaminated soils at Sunset Terrace Park and the Curran Orchard will begin in September under a contract awarded by the Department of Ecology. Lloyd Enterprises will start work at Sunset Terrace the week of September 1 while work at the Orchard will begin the week of September 12.
- Tacoma School District Property - Final paperwork is underway to transfer the Tacoma School District property located near Cirque and Alameda over to the City of University Place for a future park and nature area. Thanks to a $685,000 Pierce County Conservation Futures grant and a $65,000 State Recreation and Conservation grant, this property will provide a critical link in the City’s long time plan for developing a citywide trail system.
*Green UP Recycling Efforts - As part of the City Council’s goal to continue “green sustainability",the non-profit Friendly Earth organization collected various items at the recent University Place Festival including old computers, TVs and other items to resell, refurbish or reuse in a responsible manner. The event, which was a benefit for the U.P. Community Garden, is estimated to net the garden group approximately $800. Planning for additional recycling events is now underway.
*Business License Update -
A prior Council action to transfer business licensing services to the State has resulted in an increased number of licensed businesses in University Place. As of the end of July, the City has 1,059 licensed businesses, according to Community and Economic Development Executive Director Mariza Craig. Of those, 495 or 47% are home based businesses. Anyone with an existing business along with people who are interested in exploring business opportunities in University Place are urged to contact Becky Metcalf
for information on available services and networking opportunities.
Pups in the Park! - Peanut butter eating, a dog/owner look-alike contest and flying disc dogs are among the fun events scheduled for the 5th Annual Pups in the Park on Saturday, August 20, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Cirque Park (7250 Cirque Drive). SUNDogs, a local nonprofit 501(c)3, is sponsoring the FREE event to benefit the off leash dog park in University Place.
Check out this year’s main attraction which is the Skyhoundz Northwest Regional Championship.
Watch amazing dogs from eight states compete in various events using Frisbees. Everyone is welcome to participate in SUNDog contests or the Skyhoundz Championship for a minimal fee.
Other dog events include Canine Good Citizen Testing, Service Dog Demonstrations by the Purdy Prison Pet Partnership, Musical Sit, a Pet Parade, Hot Dog Eating, a Brush Off contest and “Are You Listening to What your Dog is Saying” discussion.
A multitude of pet vendors, food and fun will make this a great day for everyone! Special thanks to event sponsor UP Veterinary Hospital
for their support. For more information, please visit www.updogpark.org
U.P. Community Garden -
Help create the U.P. Community Garden
on Saturday, August 20, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
at Evergreen Primary School, 7102 40th
St. West. Sponsored by Tacoma Narrows Rotary, the U.P. Garden Group is seeking help to assemble, level and fill 48 raised boxes with soil. Please bring wheelbarrows, shovels, rakes and cordless drills. Hot dogs and refreshments will be available throughout the day. Garden plots are available to rent to enable people to grow fresh vegetables for themselves as well as the local food bank. For more information, please visit www.UPCommunityGarden.org
Back to School Supplies Drive - Help kids get off to a good start at school by donating school supplies to the annual “Back to School Drive” sponsored by Families Unlimited Network (FUN). Please drop off suggested items before August 26 to theUniversity Place Presbyterian Church at 8101 W. 27th Street or Families Unlimited Network, 2610 Sunset Drive West. FUN is anticipating that 500 schoolkids (K-12) will need assistance with school supplies this year. Specific supplies needed include:
- Ball point pens
- Colored pencils
- Glue sticks
- Regular folders
Sweet 16 Bowling time CORRECTION! -
Continue celebrating U.P.’s birthday at the Narrows Plaza Bowl AND support U.P. Parks & Recreation on Wednesday, August 31 from noon to 10 p.m.
Bring your family and friends for unlimited bowling at 16 cents per game (shoes not included). All proceeds from games will be donated to the U.P. Parks & Recreation and Senior Center programs. Thanks to Narrows Plaza Bowl, located at 2200 Mildred St. W, for their support. Reservations recommended via phone at 253.565.1007 or www.npbowl.com
As always, I welcome your comments and questions. Please feel free to contact me at dklosowski@CityofUP.com
. Our next scheduled Council meeting is on Tuesday, September 6. Enjoy the rest of the summer!
Mayor, City of University Place