Eastside Subarea Plan 2020 Annual Report


On January 14, 2020 the Olympia City Council accepted the Eastside Subarea Plan. The following is a brief report of implementation activities undertaken by the Eastside Neighborhood Association (ENA) during 2020.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has severely diminished our ability to move forward with many of the activities outlines in the plan, we are pleased to report progress on a number of fronts.

Annual Meeting

The 2020 Annual Meeting, held on February 20, 2020 focused entirely on the implementation of the Subarea Plan. The plan includes four Actions plans, 17 Goals and 66 Action Items. Discussion focused on prioritizing action items so that the ENA Board could focus on those issues that were most important to our members. 

Subarea Plan Core Team

A subarea plan core team was formed during development of the plan. This small group was responsible for coordinating activities and ensuring completion of the plan. After acceptance of the plan by City Council, the team decided to remain in place to begin implementation of subarea plan actions. The core group meets every two weeks and reports to the ENA Board at each monthly meeting. 

Goal 1.1: Encourage responsible development to maintain neighborhood character

Lions Park Spray-ground

The specific action steps in the plan focus on the design review process and multi-unit buildings. However, the ENA Board reached out the City Parks, Arts and Recreation Department to review and provide comments on plans to install a spray-ground at Lions Park. A copy of the comment letter and the City’s response were posted on the ENA website.

Wetland Preservation

Action Plan 1 includes Action Step “Work with Partners to identify ways to acquire and preserve the Indian Creek wetlands at the southwest corner of the Eastside neighborhood.” In November 2020 the core team met with City staff to discuss the beneficial functions of this wetland and mechanisms in place at this time that provide protection of this wetland.

Goal 1.3: Encourage homeownership and advocate for affordable rentals

Neighborhood Housing

Action Plan 1 included Action Step “Create an ENA housing subcommittee to investigate Community Land Trusts, seek funding and partners to protect existing and add new sustainable affordable housing for qualified applicants.”

Early in 2020 the ENA Board formed this subcommittee. Activities to date have focused on reaching out to partners to learn what resources are available in the community.

Historic Designation of the Eastside Street Armory

Action Plan 4 includes Action Step “Work with partners to pursue acquisition of the National Guard Armory for the purpose of converting the building into a community asset.”  Two members of the core team have been working with City staff to reach that objective. City staff are engaged and have made a proposal to Council. Council has included a request for funding of the Armory in their 2021 Legislative proposal.

A key step in this process was making application for historic designation. Core team members were instrumental in completing that application.  

We will continue working with City staff as well as State Legislators to assemble the necessary funding to allow the City to a quire the property.

Goal 2.3 Reduce conflicts with walkers, bicyclists, transit and other transportation modes.

Mobility Improvements

Improving sidewalks and improving pedestrian safety was very important to those that attended the February meeting.

Members of the core team are actively working the members of the Olympia Northeast Neighborhoods Alliance (ONNA) to find ways to collaborate with the City on sidewalks and pathway improvements. Activities to date include meeting with City staff, correspondence with the City’s Transportation Director, and providing written and oral testimony to Council on the City’s Transportation Improvement Plnn. We will continue working with ONNA and City staff to find opportunities and funding to address pedestrian issues in our neighborhood. During 2021 we hope to complete a survey of residents and inventory of ENA streets to identify opportunities and focus our efforts on small improvement projects.  

Goal 4.1 Help residents get to know each other.

Community Connections

Promoting more connections with neighbors was one our most important objectives. The plan envisions continuing all of our current community events and establishing more. The pandemic required us to pass, for now, on community events.

One success was the Winter Window Walkabout held during the Christmas season. Neighbors were encouraged to decorate their houses and the ENA awarded prizes for the best decorations. Neighbors were invited to check out the decoration names and locations using an online map.

Goal 4.4 Make Connections with people other than residents.

CNA Participation

Action Plan 4 includes Action Step “Maintain active participation in the Coalition of Neighborhood Associations.” The ENA Board continues to send a representative to CNA meetings. That board member provides reports to the ENA Board at each monthly meeting.

Action Plan 4 also includes Action Step “Identify an appropriate contact person with each organization that serves our neighborhood. Develop and maintain an accurate contact list and ensure all are receiving Neighborhood notifications.” During the 2020 ENA board recruitment Chris Knight joined the board representing the First United Methodist Church of Olympia.

What’s Next

The Subarea Plan Core Team will continue to promote implementation activities throughout 2021. Given the constraints of the ongoing pandemic and the limitations of those currently involved, we expect that activities during 2021 will largely focus on carrying on the initiatives listed above.

Enlisting additional volunteers will be a high priority moving into 2021 as well as holding as many community events as we can with the hope that the pandemic recedes throughout the upcoming year.

Meeting – Temporary Shelter at FUMCO

ZOOM Meeting: Informational Neighbor Meeting
November 4, 2020 5pm

First United Methodist Church of Olympia and Interfaith Works welcome you to save the date for an informational neighbor meeting to discuss the temporary relocation of the Interfaith Works shelter. This shelter has been housed at 2828 Martin Way since April 6, 2020. IW needs to relocate these shelter beds because construction on the new development of a 60 bed shelter and 65 apartments of permanent supportive housing is starting at 2828 Martin Way which precludes the shelter from continuing operations in the current space. You can learn more about that development here

FUMCO will provide a safe, warm home for up to 38 highly vulnerable people at high risk for COVID-19 between November 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 or until IW’s next location is ready for occupancy, whichever comes first. This shelter will be staffed 24/7 by trained, experienced staff and is centered on safety and connection. The shelter is strictly adhering to state COVID-19 safety precautions and will not be allowing outside guests while at FUMCO.For more details and commonly asked questions, please follow this link

The neighbor meeting will happen on Zoom on November 4th, 5pm. The City of Olympia will be notifying all property owners within 500 feet with mailed letters next week, and we will update the website, post on social media sites, and will send out an email with the Zoom link for the meeting as soon as it is set. We look forward to meeting you, hearing from you, and learning about how we can be the best neighbors possible. Feel free to reach out to Interfaith Works for any questions ahead of the meeting by following this link.