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Neighbors, businesses spar over future development near Tacoma's Tideflats

The future of Tacoma’s tide flats sub area drew a packed public meeting Wednesday night. (Photo: KOMO News)

TACOMA, Wash. - The future of Tacoma’s Tideflats sub area drew a packed public meeting Wednesday night.

City leaders are considering interim regulations that would stop certain new industrial uses and some housing development in the port's industrial center, near the Tacoma Tideflats area.

The arguments for and against the regulations went back and forth between neighbors and business owners.

Four proposals have been presented, including expanded notification for heavy industrial uses, prohibition of certain non-industrial uses, prohibition on new residential development along Marine View Drive and prohibition on certain new heavy industrial uses.

Neighbors are worried the projects could bring pollution and health problems.

“We shouldn’t have heavy industrial businesses right next to residential communities,” neighbor Yvonne McCarty said. “They’re incompatible, they’re dangerous for people to live so close to these heavy industrial places.”

One business owner who builds ferry terminals said these types of regulations forced his company out of Everett.

“We have needs to develop one of our facilities on one of the waterways here in Tacoma, if we can’t expand, are they going to allow us to stay in Tacoma?” Brannon said. “Boy maybe we better not invest that money.”

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber wants the community to come together to find a solution that is fair for everyone.

Chamber president, Tom Pierson, said he hopes to see a triple win with social equity, a thriving economy and making sure the environment is preserved.

“We all live work and play here, we want a great environment so it’s not about a bad environment, it’s about how can you do better, but how can we do all these,” Pierson said.

The planning commission is expected to make a recommendation to city council in October or November.

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