While the ENA has choosen not to take a position on the isthmus rezone process we would like to encourage neighborhood members to weigh-in on this important local issued and I’ll be using this article to highlight communications the ENA has received from community groups regarding the rezone. If you’re a community member that would like something added please feel free to contact me, Luke Bowerman, ENA President

Resources about the zoning change for the isthmus heights

Excerpted from email sent by Jeffrey J. Jaksich on August 19th

Triway Enterprises, which applied for the rezone, has materials about their proposed project on their website at http://www.triwayenterprises.com/land_larida.html. The eleven sections of their complete application are also available on the city’s website at http://www.ci.olympia.wa.us/cityservices/zoning/LongRangePlanning/Proposed+Comprehensive+Plan+Amendments.htm.

The city planning staff’s analysis of the application and recommended alternative are available at http://www.ci.olympia.wa.us/documents/2008CompPlanDSEIS052608Sections/Chapter7_4th.pdf

Friends of the Waterfront, which opposes the rezone, advocates the eventual inclusion of that land in the park, and wants an inclusive community process to work out a comprehensive vision for the waterfront, has a website at http://www.friendsofthewaterfront.org. Their objections to the proposal are at http://www.nuprometheus.com/friends/OPCTestimony.html.

Olympia 2012 supports rezoning Triway’s two blocks but having the city commit to removing the high rise there now and adding that land and the lots between Bayview and the Oyster House to the park eventually. Members of its steering committee have been meeting with a range of local and state officials to promote their vision for the city, particularly (at the moment) getting the State to give the City another one percent of the sales tax collected downtown for use in improvement projects that would eventually help generate more sales tax returns. Their website is at http://oly2012.org/ and their discussion of the rezone issue is at http://oly2012.org/page14.html.

20/20 Vision Olympia wants the city to do a full-scale community planning process about the future of downtown, run by an outside professional, starting next year. (They’re opposed to rezoning the isthmus, at least until the community goes through that planning process, a charrette.) Their website’s at http://www.2020visionolympia.org.

People for a Participatory City opposes the rezone and a number of other recent developments as steps toward the gentrification of downtown. They have a position paper which is available on the section of the Friends of the Waterfront website which attempts to keep up with other groups opposing the rezone, but no website of their own – as yet. (See http://www.nuprometheus.com/friends/groups.html)

A group which began as a discussion on OlyBlog about creating an inventory of all the stakeholder groups downtown and trying to bring them together, has rapidly turned into a weekly meeting attended by interested individuals from a number of other organizations involved with downtown, like the PBIA, the ODA, Olympia 2012, etc. They’re interested in doing an actual project downtown (like getting groups to each adopt and transform an alley), in Oly 2012’s tax-sharing plan, and in supporting a full scale charrette planning process for the downtown core. There’s information about what their meetings on the Everyday Olympia blog at http://everydayolympia.com/news/category/moving-forward/

Last, but not least, the Olympia Capitol Park Foundation is running an initiative campaign which would require the city to produce a report within five months estimating what it would cost to acquire the land across from Bayview and to create a park. (It would not include any land on Bayview’s side of 4th Avenue, just the land on the other side of that street, from the bridge through the row of buildings next to the fountain.) The report would also investigate ways in which the State and other public or private entities might share the cost. If they gather enough signatures, the Council will have to do the study or run a special election for the voters on the proposal. Their website and initiative petition’s at – http://www.olycapitolparkfoundation.org

SPEECH Releases “Envision Downtown Olympia” Report

A report documenting a recent community forum, “Envision Downtown Olympia,” has been released by the South Puget Environmental Education Clearinghouse (SPEECH). SPEECH submitted a copy of the report to the City of Olympia Planning Commission today for their consideration regarding the Urban Waterfront Rezone and Height Amendment Proposal submitted to the city by Triway Enterprises.

SPEECH, an environmental education non-profit organization, maintains a neutral position on the issue. The report was compiled by Michael Fraidenburg, a senior mediator with the Thurston County Dispute Resolution Center. Fraidenburg performed the role of notetaker during the forum.

Envision Downtown Olympia Forum Notes (PDF)

Relevant Links

Friends of the Waterfront (http://www.nuprometheus.com/friends/)

Olympia 2012 (http://www.oly2012.org)