On Tuesday, September 24th, the Tacoma City Council approved an ordinance which provides additional protection for historic buildings that may be considered for demolition. The new demolition review ordinance applies citywide as well as in some specific areas.
Throughout the city, requests demolition permits for buildings 4000 sf or larger must receive at least a preliminary administrative review to see if the building is historically significant. If it is significant, then the Landmarks Preservations Commission would determine if the building meets the requirements for listing on the City's landmarks register. The size requirement is set relatively high so that the process and staff requirements can be evaluated.
Since so much development is being concentrated in designated Mixed-use Centers, they are treated differently. Requests to demolish historic buildings (generally at least 50 years old) of any size within Mixed-Use Centers will go through the two-step review process. Also, requests to demolish buildings of any size that are individually listed on the National Register or are contributing buildings within a National Register historic district would also receive that two-step review. Only buildings on the city's landmark register receive protection; the National Register listing is largely honorary.