Affordable housing incentives dominated about half of the Pierce County Council’s Feb. 18 hour-long meeting in the form of Proposal No. 2019-97s, which amends Chapter 18A.65 of the Pierce County Code. The council passed the measure by a vote of 5-1. (Councilmember Pam Roach was not in attendance.)

The ordinance is “structured to increase developer participation by providing clarification and simplification to the code, as well as increasing several of the development incentives,” explained Mike Kruger, council senior legislative analyst. Incentives include waiving building development and impact fees.

“We have an extreme affordable housing crisis, and we need to encourage the construction of more housing to get out of it,” said councilmember Derek Young. “This is a first step. It’s not a cure-all.”

Councilmember Jim McCune was the lone no vote, citing a lack of support for family-friendly parking he said would end up jamming roadways.

In other business, the council unanimously passed Proposal No. 2020-4, an ordinance related to gambling tax exemptions having to do with raffles, amusement contests and games of chance for nonprofits.

“The ultimate goal of this proposal is to make county code consistent with state law,” noted Susan Long, chief counsel for the Pierce County Council.

Also passed by a unanimous vote was Proposal No. 2020-9, ratifying a collective bargaining agreement with the Pierce County Captains Association, as well as Proposal No. 2020-12, regarding appointments to nonpartisan, nonjudicial elective positions. The ordinance corrected a discrepancy in the maximum number of candidates allowed for consideration.