South Tacoma Industrial Warehouse Planned Above Our Largest Aquifer

The “South Tacoma Green Zone” amendment proposal was approved last summer by the Planning Commission to move forward, and a work-plan for the first phase is nearing a public hearing.

However, we’ve just learned that a massive warehouse complex is proposing to be built directly above the aquifer, which could critically jeopardize protection plans.

Permit Application:, (put in the permit number LU21-0125)

Bridge Point:

deadlines & Suggested statements to submit:

Due by March 10th to:

RE: Public Comments for Permit Application LU21-0125

We oppose the approval of the Bridge Industries permit application LU21-0125 due to environmental injustice to the residents, urban wildlife and open green space within South Tacoma, and especially regarding the damage it will cause to the South Tacoma aquifer, affecting the entire city of Tacoma.  We request that an Environmental Impact Statement must be completed.

Due by April 5th to:

Re: Public Comments to apply to the April 6th 2022 Code Amendment Public Hearing

We support the South Tacoma Groundwater Protection District’s updated code work plan, and we encourage you to approve it to move forward in the process.  We also support phase two, regarding the Green Zone proposal for that area which will be an important second step of the plan to ensure a healthy water supply for all of Tacoma’s future. 


The South Tacoma Aquifer at times provides up to 40% of Tacoma’s back-up water supply.  Yet it is damaged and threatened from decades of heavy industrial use directly above and near this precious water resource. 

The South Tacoma Neighborhood Council amendment proposal will not only accomplish the minimum code review requirement for the “South Tacoma Groundwater Protection District”, but it will also include a larger view for the “South Tacoma Economic Green Zone” with the purpose of creating new, non-polluting, business opportunities in the groundwater/aquifer protection district.

Aquifer Recharge & Wellhead Protection Areas: 

(roughly east of I-5 & south of Hwy 16)

This shows the current zoning overlay which must be changed: 

(Heavy industrial down the middle) 

This is how huge the proposed warehouses (2.5 million square feet, approximately 50 football fields, not counting the additional non-porous surrounding paved parking areas/distribution drives) will be in comparison to other buildings. They will be directly over the aquifer and covering some of the last open land left in South Tacoma. 

Side by side to show how much M2 (Heavy Industrial Zoning) is directly above the aquifer and the size of the proposed warehouses:

A warehouse development/paving of this size will choke off critical water infiltration to recharge the aquifer as well as reduce open green-space and tree canopy needed for soil moisture retention, water-cleaning filtration as well as managing heat zones and storm-water run-off).

The SEPA Checklist information for the warehouse says:

“The completed project is estimated to generate approximately 4,980 new weekday daily trips…”
“Truck traffic is estimated to be about 28 percent of overall site-generated traffic.”

Of the nearly 5000 additional vehicle trips, that’s still nearly 1,400 more delivery trucks per weekday… and that’s just an estimate, so it could be even higher, contributing to more air pollution in an area already struggling with public health.

Very few residents are even aware of this warehouse plan, due to notices having only been sent to the small radius of mostly industrial addresses.

contact & links:

Thank you, and please contact me if you have any questions: Heidi Stephens

Mega-Warehouse in the News

STEGZ Facebook Page

Tacoma Green Zone Application Summary Points

Full South Tacoma Green Zone Application


Author: senco253

South End Neighborhood Council in Tacoma, WA

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