On June 14, 2019, Governor Inslee announced that the Lakewood Downtown Subarea Plan has won the 2019 Smart Communities Award in the category of Smart Vision Award – Outstanding comprehensive plan, sub-area plan or county-wide planning policies.                                     

"Creativity, collaboration and public engagement are key to ensuring that communities are successful in meeting future growth and prosperity goals," said Gov. Inslee. “This year’s award-winning plans and projects exemplify some of the reasons why Washington is consistently ranked one of the best states in America.”

Commerce Director Dr. Lisa Brown said, “This year’s Smart Communities Award Winners recognize that effective growth planning cultivates strong communities by supporting good jobs, affordable housing, reliable infrastructure and innovation for a clean, healthy future. These are some of the key attributes that give Washington its unique sense of place and quality of life.”

  • City of Lakewood: Lakewood Downtown Plan. Over 2017 and 2018, Lakewood developed a downtown plan reflecting aspirations of multi-generations, ethnicities, residents, businesses and property owners. The plan envisions a well-designed mixed-use place to live, work and shop. Downtown is enriched by parks that are accessible and traversable by all travel modes, and offers a rich quality of life and strong economy. Lakewood’s robust public outreach and development program were excellent for the community members – the decision-makers involved in the planning process.

On October 1, 2018 the Lakewood City Council adopted the Downtown Subarea Plan, Downtown Development Code, and Planned Action Ordinance.  The Plan went into effect November 1, 2018.

Following a 2017 economic analysis of Lakewood’s downtown and the local area, the City Council directed the Downtown to be focused on meeting the daily needs of local residents. In terms of retail and services, this is the opportunity to provide: 

• Daily goods and services, including groceries, personal care products, restaurants, coffee shops, and bars.

• Professional and healthcare services, including financial services, dental offices, and trend towards retail-based medical providers.

The Plan reflects input from hundreds of Lakewood citizens of all ages and walks of life.  It reflects both Lakewood’s unique past and also desire to create a Downtown that works for today’s and tomorrow’s residents, including incentivizing new types of housing and services within walking distance of each other.  

The final Plan anticipates a new civic park, a new linear park, a new festival area, catalyst sites where growth will be encouraged first over the next 20 years, improvements to Gravelly Lake Drive and Bridgeport Way, converting Lakewood Towne Center Boulevard into a public street, and design standards for new buildings and parking that will preserve the Colonial District’s character as well as give the subarea a “facelift” over time.   

The area in and around the Towne Center is envisioned as a magnet for intensive mixed use urban development including higher density office and residential uses.

At the north end of the Plan area, the Colonial Center will serve as the hub of Lakewood's cultural activity. Higher quality, denser urban redevelopment is expected within the District, noticeably increasing social, cultural, and commercial activity. Streetscape and other urban design improvements will make this area more accessible and inviting to pedestrians. 

The Planned Action Ordinance will also make developing in the Downtown easier and faster for property owners and developers.  It includes the required environmental analysis for the entire area, so when an individual application is submitted, the permit review will be streamlined.  The Downtown Development Code is intended to be user friendly and allow for creativity while requiring the desired designs standards expressed by citizens.

To view the final Plan and other documents, please go to the Plans & Documents Page

Downtown Plan Video Summary

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