Tacoma has established the state’s first Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Advisory Group, bringing together residents, businesses, property owners, and the planning and economic development communities to help inform the design and development of significant transit projects throughout the city.

Sponsored by Robert Thoms, Tacoma’s city council member representing Downtown Tacoma, the TOD Advisory Group held its first meeting on Aug. 19 in the Tacoma Municipal Building.

As Tacoma’s transit infrastructure undergoes a period of dramatic transformation with Sound Transit’s Central Link Extension, Pierce Transit’s Bus Rapid Transit service, and the city’s planned Puyallup Avenue design project, the TOD Advisory Group will offer input on how the city and its partners can best ensure new developments are built in a manner that facilitates long-term sustainable growth.

The city has retained VIA Architecture to help coordinate the work of the TOD Advisory Group and communicate recommendations to local transit agencies.

“We’re on the cusp of tremendous growth in Tacoma and across our region, and significant investments will be made in our transit infrastructure,” said Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards in a statement. “As these investments are translated into concrete plans that will enhance our region, decisions will be made that have great impact on Tacoma and the South Sound area for decades to come. It is vital that these decisions are informed and community-based, and I am grateful to those who have stepped up to serve on the TOD Advisory Group to contribute their voices to this process.”