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Yes, effective January 1, 2003 all businesses operating within the City of University Place are required to obtain a City of University Place Business License. Some exemptions apply.
You may also contact the Business Licensing Office for more information at 253.566.5656.Also check with the State to make sure you are complying with all State licensing requirements. You may reach the Washington State Business Licensing Department at 360.705.6741. In addition, please continue to use the Sales Tax Location Code of 2719 when reporting on your excise tax return form.
No, the City does not have a Business and Occupation Tax.
Yes, since January 1, 2003, Home Occupation Businesses located in the City of University Place are required to obtain a City Home Occupation Business License. Contact the State of Washington Business Licensing Service by calling 360.705.6741 or 1.800.451.7985.
Yes, a Peddler/Solicitor License is required for peddling/soliciting activities. Applications are available through the Peddler/Solicitor page or in the Business Licensing Office at City Hall.
A Master Peddler/Solicitor License costs $50 for each calendar year. Individual or Agent Under Master Peddler/Solicitor Licenses cost $25 for each calendar year.
Visit the City Building at 930 Tacoma Avenue South in Tacoma. Clerks are available at both locations during normal business hours to assist in completing forms.
Phone the Domestic Violence Helpline at 253.798.4166Toll free 800.764.2420 (if outside of the 253 area code)253.798.4620 for TDD services
Domestic violence resources are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center, 718 Court E, Tacoma, WA 98402.
It is also possible to obtain a domestic violence protective order Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at the University Place Police Department, 3631 Drexler Drive W Suite A, in University Place.
The City of University Place Municipal Code (UPMC) includes the laws and regulations that govern the city and its citizens. The UPMC is hosted on our Code Publishing website. If you do not know the exact code you are looking for, you may make a word search through this site.
You may call the City Clerk at 253.566.5656 to verify whether a part of the UPMC has been amended or repealed.
The Pierce County Code (PCC) is a compilation of laws pertaining to Pierce County residents who live outside of incorporated areas. The PCC contains the laws of Pierce County which are of a general and permanent nature and which may impose fines, penalties or forfeitures. Certain parts of the PCC were adopted by University Place upon incorporation. However, the City now has its own code (UPMC) which covers most laws pertaining to City of University Place residents that were formerly covered by the PCC.
The code is listed by numbered years. Earlier editions of RCW and its predecessors, as far back as the Code of 1881, are available at the State Law Library.The Washington Administrative Code (WAC) is a compilation of the regulations of executive branch agencies, which are issued by authority of statutes. Like legislation and the Constitution, regulations are a source of primary law in Washington State. The WAC codifies the regulations and arranges them by subject or agency. A new edition of the WAC is issued every two years with supplements issued each year between new editions.Both the RCW and the WAC can be viewed from the Statute Law Committee website. Additionally, many local libraries maintain these books in their reference sections, and they can be found at the Washington State Library in Olympia.
The State of Washington State Legislature provides ongoing bill updates during its open session periods. Additionally, assistance is available at the toll-free Legislative Hotline 800.562.6000.
The Washington State Constitution and the U.S. Constitution can be found in Volume 0 of the RCW (Revised Code of Washington). These can be found on the Statute Law Committee website.
No. The City Attorney represents the City government. The City Attorney must decline to assist citizens with individual legal problems. Please see the next FAQ for information about obtaining an attorney.
General legal information may be obtained at the web sites of Findlaw and LegalEngine.com and other legal information websites.
Consult your local library's reference section for Black's Law Dictionary and other helpful legal reference books. On the Internet, you may visit the Legal Engine website and find many legal terms listed under the Legal References column.
Visit the City Building for information.
Pierce County Bar Association (TPCBA) maintains a Lawyer Referral Service. The Bar office is located at:
620 Ernest S Brazill Street (Suite B)Tacoma, WA 98405-4620
Please visit their website or call 253.383.3432 to obtain business hours and information about services and costs. Services for low-income citizens may be obtained by calling the toll-free number for the Northwest Justice Project - CLEAR (Coordinated Legal Education, Advice and Referral) at 888.201.1014. Special services for seniors is at toll-free 888.387.7111. This coordinated effort links citizens to local volunteer lawyer programs, law school clinics, or other legal resources in the caller's community. You may also check the Northwest Justice Project website and the CLEAR website for information and qualifications for legal services. Both sites are accessible in English, Spanish, and Russian. The Pierce County Department of Assigned Counsel (DAC) provides legal representation for qualified indigent clients. DAC handles Pierce County criminal proceedings at Superior Court, District Court, and Juvenile Court levels as well as at Tacoma Municipal Court. The department also handles dependency and termination proceedings at Juvenile/Family Court, as well as provides representation for persons detained for involuntary civil commitment proceedings. Contact the DAC website or call them at 253. 798.6062 to obtain details about services and qualifications for representation, office locations, business hours, etc.
A Dispute Center website is planned for the near future for issues regarding housing (tenant, mobile home park, etc.) and consumer/business disputes, as well as workplace, personal injury and probate issues. In the meanwhile, citizens may obtain information about services by calling 253.572.3657or visiting the center's website.
Review the tenant laws for Washington state. Many local libraries maintain a set of the RCW in their reference sections.
Legal documents can be recorded at the Pierce County Auditor's Office, 2401 South 35th Street, Room 200, Tacoma. Call 253.798.7427 for office hours, fees, etc., or visit the Auditor's website.
Marriage licenses can be obtained at the Pierce County Auditor's Office, 2401 South 35th Street, Room 200, Tacoma. Call 253.798.7427 for office hours, costs of licenses, etc., or visit the Auditor's website. Some Pierce County Judges do perform marriage ceremonies. Call Superior Court Administration at 253.798.3654, or visit the Superior Court Administration website and click on "Marriage Ceremony Providers" for further information.
Treasurer's Office is located at 2401 South 35th Street, Room 142, Tacoma. Contact them at 253.798.6111 for business hours and other information. Visit the Assessor-Treasurer website to do a parcel search or obtain information.
Go to the Access Washington website for a wide variety of information and resources, from government and departments, to information on recreation, business, education, and touring.
The City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. the first and third Mondays of the month for Regular Business Meetings. All City Council meetings are held in the Council Chambers, located at City Hall, 3609 Market Place West, Suite 200. Each Council meeting is listed on the Event Calendar section of the website with a link to its agenda.
Yes, at the beginning of Regular Council meetings, under the agenda item "Public Comments," you may address the Council and comment on issues that concern you and are not on that evening's agenda for Council Consideration or Public Hearing. Although, separate opportunities are provided later in the meeting for comments concerning those issues. Public comments are limited to three minutes per person as Council must allow sufficient time to address a full business agenda. Please be aware that the comment period is an opportunity to provide comment, not a question and answer session.
Agendas are posted on the City's webpage and at the U.P. Library.
Sustainable practices are those that "meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” In other words, sustainability means taking responsibility for our actions. This includes adopting responsible economic, social, and environmental practices that set ourselves and our community up for a bright future.
Green UP is a commitment and collaborative effort by local organizations to become more sustainable and encourage sustainable practices throughout the community.
The City and Library, and the Fire and School Districts have been working with a group of local business and resident stakeholders to develop a shared set of focus areas and goals for the initiative. Meanwhile, each department has already started implementing sustainable practices internally. The City has also been encouraging sustainable practices community wide through a variety of avenues, such as rain garden workshops, green tips in the newsletter, and more.The Sustainability Advisory Committee was created to develop a community wide sustainability plan and recommendations for implementations. For more information on the Vision the group developed and their recommendations check out our Green UP Sustainability Advisory Committee page.
Yes, we do rent out a variety of City facilities. See our facility rentals page for a description of facilities that the City rents out.
Regular office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
City Ordinances, Resolutions, Minutes, Agendas, and the Municipal Code are available for viewing on the City's webpage by clicking on one of the links. You may also submit a public records request through the City's Public Records Request Center to obtain copies of these records or other city records. Contact the City Clerk's Office for more information.
No, there is no local B&O tax in the City of University Place.
For issues with the City's website, email Public Relations.
Call 253.460.5405 for more information.
In 2019, the Washington State Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) received $5 million to provide grant funds to local governments for activities to increase residential building capacity, streamline development, or develop a Housing Action Toolkit (HAT). The City of University Place chose to develop a HAT. As required by the State legislation, the HAT focuses on possible future actions that would “…encourage construction of additional affordable and market rate housing in a greater variety of housing types and at price….”The HAT was adopted by the University Place City Council on June 21, 2021. The HAT itself does not result in any Comprehensive Plan Policy or development regulation changes. It is, in fact, a toolkit that outlines information, recommendations, and possible actions that the City can consider taking in the future.
The Housing Action Toolkit includes the following considerations and steps:
In 2020, the City of U.P. will celebrate its 25th anniversary since its official incorporation in 1995.So what projects do you think we should tackle over the next 25 years? What do you think our priorities should be? Imagine 2045 is a community effort to determine what we want our community to look like by 2045.
When the City of University Place was incorporated 25 years ago, community members engaged in a robust visioning process that identified our collective priorities and community values. That information became the basis of our Comprehensive Plan, which has been the guiding force behind all of U.P.’s governing efforts—from budgeting to planning to public services. As we approach the milestone of entering our second 25 years, it makes sense to re-examine our vision for the City of U.P. We need to look back on what has changed and been accomplished in the last quarter century and use that information to shape our efforts through 2045.
You will! And your neighbors. And local businesses. The goal is to get input from all stakeholders. Everyone’s input matters, because we want a broad range of perspectives on a number of critical issues, including:
City of U.P. staff, City Council Members and Commissioners will actively seek input from members of the community during popular events such as Duck Daze, National Night Out and the annual Christmas Tree Lighting.Residents and stakeholders will also be encouraged to enroll in FlashVote, which will provide them with the opportunity to answer brief, periodic surveys and weigh-in on key topics.This information will then be reviewed and organized into a draft vision statement for the City of University Place. This community vision will then be used to help shape the City’s Comprehensive Plan, the document the City Council and Commissioners will use as the roadmap for all of the City’s efforts through 2045.
Imagine 2045 will officially launch during Duck Daze 2019 when City Council Members, Commissioners and staff will be asking the public: What is your vision of U.P. in 2045?Stakeholders will be given additional opportunities to share their thoughts over the next 12 months. Then in June 2020, the information collected will be reviewed and analyzed to create a draft vision statement. That draft statement will be presented to the public during the City’s 25th Anniversary Celebration in August 2020.There will be opportunities for public comment and revision to the document before the final vision statement is unveiled in December 2020 during the annual Christmas Tree Lighting festivities.Residents are encouraged to visit a special “Community Gallery” in the Civic Building to remember where U.P. was in 1995 and what it looks like today. This trip down memory lane reminds us that thoughtful planning can make a community’s vision become its reality.
The City has several ways of addressing speeding in the neighborhood. Citizens can participate in a Neighborhood Speed Watch Program or request a Speed Trailer. For more information, please contact the University Place Police Department at 253.798.4058.
We realize street lighting is a major concern for our community.
In 1997, the City contracted with Tacoma Public Utilities to place over 551 standard street lights on arterials. Unfortunately, our budget does not allow us to place lights on residential streets at this time. As arterials are improved or reconstructed with decorative lighting (i.e. Grandview Drive West and Bridgeport Way West) the lights from those streets will be moved onto residential streets based on prioritization and funding availability.
In the interim, citizens or neighborhood groups can contract directly with Tacoma Public Utilities to have individual streetlights installed at a nominal cost. Please contact 253.460.2526 for more information.
Arterial streets are swept once monthly. Residential streets are swept one time a year.
Report a pothole by calling 253.460.6493.
Complete a request on-line at South Sound 911, through the Records Portal, or in person at 945 Tacoma Avenue S, Tacoma, WA 98402. The phone number is 253.798.7441.
Call 253.798.4721. This will dispatch an officer to your location to take a report.
In 1987, the State Legislature created Transportation Benefit Districts (TBDs) as an option for local governments to fund transportation improvements. Chapter 36.73 of the Revised Code of Washington provides for the establishment of TBD by cities and counties for the sole purpose of acquiring, constructing, improving, providing, and funding transportation improvements within the district. In 2005 and 2007, the Legislature amended the TBD statute to expand its uses and revenue authority, including the ability to authorize a $20 annual vehicle license fee (VLF), and up to an additional $80 of VLF, if approved by voters within the district. The state legislature provided local governments with these tools because inflation has eroded the local share of gas tax and because a series of statewide ballot initiatives passed over the last 12 years have eliminated other traditional sources of funding for local transportation needs. For example, in 2002 a statewide initiative had the effect of repealing a $15 annual countywide VLF that had been dedicated to the same local street maintenance needs supported by the Seattle TBD's annual fee.
The University Place Transportation Benefit District is governed by the University Place City Council, as authorized by the State Law.
The following cities have established or are considering a TBD:
All of these areas collect annual VLF's through a Transportation Benefit District. Others collect sales taxes through TBDs. Additional TBD information can be found at the MRSC's Transportation Benefit Districts page.
Funding is available based on voter approval.
Without voter approval:
With voter approval:
In large part, the legislature authorized the $20 VLF to replace a $15 countywide license fee dedicated to local street funding that had been eliminated by passage of I-776 in 2002.
The TBD budget spends the revenue on a mix of maintenance and preservation as well as safety and enhancements to University Place's existing transportation network.
For other questions relating to Vehicle Licensing, please contact the state Department of Licensing, Vehicle Licensing division at 360.902.3770. Locally, you can contact the Pierce County Auditor’s office at 253.798.7427.