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One Tacoma: Relationship to Other Plans & Programs

How is the Plan implemented?


City officials, staff, and citizens are all responsible in diverse ways for implementing the policies in the One Tacoma Plan. The Plan is intended to help to focus, coordinate, and direct City actions by providing a comprehensive and common vision. The policies guide decisions concerning land use regulations, programs, capital improvements, and functional plans. These are all discussed in more detail below.


Land Use Regulations

Land use regulations are laws that establish what can or can’t be built in a given location. The key regulatory mechanism that implements the Comprehensive Plan is Tacoma’s Land Use Regulatory Code. This code contains the development regulations that govern the manner by which land is used, developed, or redeveloped in the city. This code is found in Title 13 of the Tacoma Municipal Code and includes regulations for platting, zoning, shorelines and critical areas. Examples include:

  • A PLAT is the subdivision of land into individual lots.
  • SHORELINE regulations protect the ecological functions of shoreline areas, describe public access requirements, and determine what can be developed within designated shoreline areas.
  • CRITICAL AREAS regulations protect fish and wildlife habitat areas, frequently flooded areas, geologically hazardous areas, wetlands, streams, and areas that drain to aquifers used for drinking water.


City programs must be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. In fact, most City programs are tools for implementing the Plan. Examples include programs for community services, economic development, health and human services and environmental stewardship. Examples include:

Capital Improvements

Capital Facilities are the built facilities that help the city function, such as roads, bridges, parks, schools and other similar facilities. Public facilities and services include: electricity, fire, libraries, parks, police, solid waste, stormwater, telecommunications, transportation, wastewater and water.

All capital improvements undertaken by the City must be consistent with the One Tacoma Comprehensive Plan, including those for public facilities and services. This ensures that the City provides adequate public services and that the City’s infrastructure supports the land use pattern envisioned in the Comprehensive Plan.

To learn more, visit: Office of Management and Budget


Functional Plans

Functional plans are detailed plans for facilities and services in the city. Tacoma’s Comprehensive Plan provides overarching guidance for the City’s many other plans, including the Economic Development Strategic Framework, Human Services Strategic Plan, Environmental Action Plan, Artfull Tacoma Plan, Urban Forest Manual, Surface Water Manual, Consolidated Plan, and Tacoma Public Utilities system plans.  These plans must be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. As such, implementation of these functional plans supports the implementation and success of the Comprehensive Plan.

The Plans of non-City entities that provide services in the city should also be coordinated with the One Tacoma Plan. Plans include the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD) Healthy Community Strategy, Tacoma School District’s Strategic Plan, Metro Parks’ Green Vision 2030, TPCHD’s Community Health Improvement Plan and Pierce Transit’s Destination 2040.


Design Strategies

Design strategies or design manuals provide direction for the design of specific types of public facilities and public spaces. This provides both the public and private developers some predictability and expectation for the long term design of city infrastructure. Examples include:

Staff Contact

Stephen Atkinson

Senior Planner

(253) 591-5531