Project Signage and Public Notice

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Signs posted at a project site can provide important information about future development, requested code changes, or other proposed actions at a site or in an area of the City.  Sometimes the posted signage is required by the Tacoma Municipal Code (TMC) as part of the permitting process and these signs are intended to inform the community about the specific request, proposal, or development, and include details on how to access more information about the project or proposal.

A project or public notice sign is often required by the TMC when:

There are three common types of signage that would be required by Planning and Development Services: Notification of Development, Land Use Public Notice, or for a Comprehensive Plan Amendment.

Notification of Development
This sign is required for projects which may meet all code requirements but, because the scope of the project exceeds certain thresholds, require a notification sign to be posted at the site during the review and construction stages.  This type of signage is informational only and does not apply to permitting where there is a formal public comment process (though it may be posted at the same time or after a land use public notice – see below).  It is intended to help neighbors and residents understand the scope of a project, as well as the likely duration and possible impacts.

The City will provide a sign for the applicant/developer to post at the project site and the sign will:

  • Be required on all sites that exceed SEPA thresholds, as well as residential projects with five or more new residential units.
  • Be posted during the review of the development permits, once staff has determined there is sufficient information for the project
  • Include permit numbers, general duration of construction, a site plan / elevations, and contact information
  • Be removed upon Final Inspection

Land Use Public Notice
There are several Land Use permit types that require a formal notification process.  This process will often include the following: a notification is mailed to nearby property owners and qualified neighborhood groups/organizations, a public notice sign is posted at the site, and the notice is published in a local newspaper.

The City will provide a sign for the applicant to post at the project site and the sign will:

  • Contain, at a minimum, the following information: type of application, name of applicant, description and location of proposal, and where additional information can be obtained.
  • Remain on the site until the date of final decision, at which time the sign shall be removed by the applicant.

These types of public notice will include a formal comment period and, for some permit types, there is an opportunity for affected individuals or groups to request a public meeting as part of the comment process.

Once the permit process concludes and a decision is issued, either by the Director or Hearing Examiner, there is an opportunity for affected individuals to appeal the decision.

Comprehensive Plan Amendment
Similar to the changes that can be requested through the Land Use permit process, there is also a process to request changes to the City’s Comprehensive Plan.
These requests, as well as area-wide rezone efforts from the City, also include a public notice, signage, and public comment requirement.


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