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American Shipper

Tacoma port drops full Maytown logistics center plans

Tacoma port drops full Maytown logistics center plans

The Port of Tacoma has dramatically scaled back its plans to build a major inland logistics center in Maytown due to vocal opposition from area residents, port officials said Thursday.

   Port officials have dropped plans to develop manufacturing facilities at the site, located about 30 miles southwest of the port, and now plan to use it primarily as a rail storage facility, port deputy director John Wolfe told the Olympian.

   Local opposition to the center has focused around increases in truck traffic to the rural area expected to accompany the development of the site.

   'As we’ve gained better knowledge about the property and the community’s concerns, we understand better the sensitivity about this property. We’ve backed away from the notion of a full-blown logistics center,' Wolfe told the newspaper.

   In January, port officials identified the Maytown parcel, which the port paid $22 million for in 2006, as a potential development location for the truck- and rail-based cargo center. The port also identified three other possible locations — in nearby Offutt, Tenino and Chehalis — however, the port only owns the Maytown location.

   Two weeks later, at a public port commission meeting regarding the plan, hundreds of local residents blasted the port over the proposed development.

   In April, commissioners for the state of Washington's Thurston County voted to ban any development for six months at the Maytown site, saying the moratorium would give opponents and proponents 'breathing room.'

   A local activist group, the Friends of Rocky Prairie, asked the county commissioners at the time to essentially block the port development by rezoning the site for either agriculture uses or for low-density residential development.

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