Survey – Tell us what you think and help progress in the Eastside!

Time crunch? Skip the explanation and TAKE THE SURVEY HERE.(otherwise read on!)

In August 2017, the Eastside Neighborhood Association (ENA) began working on sub-area planning for our neighborhood. Our goal with the plan is to lay the foundation for a neighborhood that is more inclusive, united, and cohesive, thus helping to achieve an improved quality of life for all people who are a part of our community.

The sub-area plan will further the goals, policies, and values of Olympia’s Comprehensive Plan at the neighborhood level. We strive to include broad and diverse neighborhood participation in order to improve our neighborhood. We’d like to hear from everyone interested in seeing the Eastside Neighborhood thrive.  

We also want to focus on the topics most important to our neighborhood. To do that, we need your help to decide which topics to focus on in the sub-area plan for our neighborhood. We recently hosted a neighborhood conversation where we began this discussion. Now we want to expand the conversation.

We encourage you to come and share your ideas and insights by taking a quick (10 question) survey.


Based on the results, we will move forward developing a sub-area plan focusing on the neighborhood’s priorities. Look for information about topic-specific meetings where we can explore topics and ideas for improvement in more depth and detail.

We really want and value input from everyone! Thank you for participating.


The ENA Board of Directors and Planning Committee

November 2016 Board Meeting Minutes

747 Boulevard Rd SE  7pm – 8:30pm
Monthly Board Meeting of the Eastside Neighborhood Association

Board members attending: Brian Brannies, Jim Sweeney, Nathan Allan, Sherry Cillicut, Rita Sammons, Sheena Pietzold, Sam Green, Charlotte Claybrook
Others: Roger Horn

Traffic calming device improvements/community beautification from Brian Brannies

Brian has been totally swamped and could use some help organizing this effort. It’s getting a little bit too late to plant, but we could probably still do the cleanup work this year. Brian will inquire with the City to see if the grant money will still be available next calendar year so we can plant in the spring. We may want to wait until the general meeting (usually February) to ask for volunteers there. If the deadline for spending the grant money can’t be extended, we could buy the plants and mulch and store them over the winter. Another thing to ask the city about would be how to deal with graffiti. There is some on the sign in one round-about and on the curb of another.

Neighborhood Bike Corridor completion celebration from Brian Brannies

Brian asked if anyone was interested in trying to organize a neighborhood bike ride or something to celebrate the completion of the bike corridor that goes from Lions Park to Sylvester Park downtown. It is expected to be complete in December. Several people had ideas to involve Intercity Transit, Capital Bicycle Club, the City’s bike and pedestrian committee, and perhaps even the police (sometimes they give out free children sized helmets).Sam volunteered to look into how we could get an event like this organized and report back at the next board meeting.

Treasurer’s Report from Sherry Cillicut

  • Checking $411.29
  • Savings $1061.68
  • Neighborhood Signs $1298.82
  • Legion Way Trees $151.71
  • Community Beautification $506.26

Brian Brannies noted the need to get new bases to hold the notification signs as several have broken. We could also use more signs too. The board voted and approved spending up to $120 for new signs and bases.

Sub area planning info from Jim Sweeney

Jim talked with Linda Bentley at the City about what a sub-area planning process would involve and how the ENA could let the City know we are interested in being the next area to create a sub-area plan. Jim drafted a letter to send to the City and Sam floated the idea at the CNA meeting. The CNA member from the City’s planning commission was supportive. Brian Brannies will sign the letter from the ENA and it will be delivered to the City. In summary, the letter is to let the City know that the ENA is interested in being the next area to work on a sub-area plan. We are hoping the City will respond to the letter with support, both in writing and in making resources available.

CNA Updates from Sam Green

Crime – There was supposed to be a presentation on crime statistics, but it didn’t happen.

Downtown Strategy – more than 100 people attended the open house and more than 4,000 people completed the online survey. A draft report will be available in mid-January, and will go to the planning commission at the end of January. Then a public hearing will be scheduled.

Sub-area planning – ONNA (the 5 neighborhood-group on the NE side of Oly) is now working on implementing their sub-area plan. They are working on the “neighborhood center” aspect of the plan, and have made progress on the walking path on 26th.

Code enforcement – There was a lot of talking about specific problem points/houses and about how ineffective current nuisance ordinances are. The code enforcement sub-committee has room for more members and would like to look into code effectiveness. The ENA board discussed a few ideas including the CNA sub-committee should talk with neighbors around where the drug house on center street was. It would be kind of like a follow-up, but also could help the committee gain some insight about how they were eventually effective. The CNA discussed the part time, grant-funded code enforcement position not being funded again this year and whether it should recommend the city keep funding that position. A lot of people were in favor, but Sam suggested we fix the codes and ordinances before we spend money implementing ineffective ones.

Signage – the City will need to update its signage ordinances to reflect a recent Supreme Court ruling (most cities will need to do the same)

Other – Olympia Police Department will be hosting a block watch captain training (we think) this Saturday (November 19th from 9-noon. We couldn’t verify this online, so if anyone is interested, they should try to verify with the City of OPD.

Crime and Safety update from Roger Horn

Roger was looking for ideas for a community-building holiday walk (the board discussed this idea at its last meeting). We discussed a few ideas for breaking the up the hill/down the hill barrier. Perhaps there could be two walks that meet up in one location. We discussed ideas like having several designated houses paint their front windows with a winter or holiday scene. People could walk the neighborhood to see each house and then attend a potluck-style gathering. Maybe some caroling could be incorporated. The board discussed dates in mid-December. The idea would be to organize these similarly to the neighborhood block parties – ENA encouraged/sponsored, but organized by the Eastside Crime and Safety Committee (ECSC).

October 2016 Board Meeting Minutes

747 Boulevard Rd SE  7pm – 9pm
Monthly Board Meeting of the Eastside Neighborhood Association
Board members in attendance: Brian Brannies, Jim Sweeney, Nathan Allan, Sherry Cillicut, Rita Sammons, Sheena Pietzold
Others:  Roger Horn

Treasurer’s Report from Sherry Cillicut

  • Checking $411.29
  • Savings $1061.60
  • Neighborhood Signs $1298.73
  • Legion Way Trees $151.69
  • Community Beautification $506.26


CNA Updates emailed from Sam Green

CNA 9-12-16

Code Enforcement
Mike Dexel spoke about his process of addressing problems in the City’s code, regarding nuisance homes. Several years ago, he brought the issue of a neighboring home that was causing a nuisance to the CNA. This led to him working with representatives from other neighborhood associations and then mayor Doug Mah to create a subcommittee of the CNA. This committee existed from 2009-2012 and focused on 1)identifying concerns from residents 2)making an improvement plan for city code enforcement and 3)proposing a repeat violator ordinance. City attorneys drafted the repeat violator ordinance and the city council passed it. The city also put resources into creating a system where people could track a code violation after they had filed a report. The system did not get off of the ground but the city mentioned being able to use a similar system that is going online soon (early 2017). After discussing this backstory, we discussed the City’s current process and philosophy of code enforcement. They currently send friendly reminders first asking for the nuisance to be abated or the violation remedied, then they move on to punitive fees, and eventually they can pursue some legal action. The city is also now weary of enforcing the repeat violator ordinance (Olympia Municipal Code 8.24, searchable here) because the 9th circuit court says it does not hold up as constitutional. We also discussed problems of graffiti and some neighborhoods have mentioned forming graffiti abatement teams. The CNA then formally voted to create a new subcommittee to 1) look at problems with and ways to improve the repeat violator ordinance 2)improve the feedback loop regarding code violations from the city and 3)possibly revisit the action plan for code enforcement improvement. I spoke with the chair of the subcommittee and we can elect someone to join the committee on behalf of ENA.

Land Use
The city gave a presentation on the several major laws that have come to govern Land Use regulations in the state of Washington. The presentation was actually really fascinating but not something I can do justice with via my scribbled notebook notes. I can track down my handouts if anyone is interested. Then Michael Johnston from the cooper crest neighborhood told about his neighbors process of dealing with land use review. In the fall of 2015, a developer put in an application to rezone a 5 acre parcel next to the cooper crest neighborhood. I believe he said it was to rezone from R-5 to higher density residential. Resident’s chief concern was that there weren’t any roads that would access any new development other than the small roads winding through cooper crest. The application went through the usual process and residents focused on bringing up concerns during the hearing that takes place in the rezone process. I don’t believe the project was entirely halted but I think the hearing wrote in stipulations that addressed the traffic connection (this last sentence is from memory so no quoting me).


CNA 10-10-16

Bike Corridor Follow-up
The final segment of the corridor (near three magnets brewing) should be completed in late fall or winter. The city has tried to get feedback from residents and has so far received 190 comments. Of those comments, about 90% are positive. The negative comments were that there was no more need for bicycle infrastructure, that the corridors had too many cars, and that the corridors were not direct enough routes. Based on the positive reviews, the city is considering the corridor test a success and will look at adding more across the city as they function best as part of a larger network.

The process began in 2013 with members of 5 neighborhoods on the NE side of Oly forming a group to begin sub-area planning. They based their planning on the models used in Eugene and Vancouver. They spoke with the City and got approval to move forward as a recognized group. The city also put resources into doing a neighborhood profile that included demographic data (available as a pdf here). Using the models mentioned earlier, the group made sure that their subarea plan reflected the values and goals of the greater oly comprehensive plan. They broke their report, and their work, into identifying goals, objectives, and actions. To identify these qualities, they supplemented the neighborhood profile with a direct mailed survey to 3,000 area residents. They received 219 responses and made their plan, accordingly. Like I mentioned above, they are down to help us if we want to put the work in. Mike Dexel thought it made sense for us to go next and the city seems supportive.

Code Enforcement
A brief report back from the subcommittee stated that they had their first meeting on October 4th. They said they are currently working to 1)identify the problems with the current nuisance ordinance, 2) review the work of 2011-2013 to see what has and has not been effective, and 3) look into whether serious drug houses can constitute a criminal rather than ordinance-based issue. They are hoping to only exist as a committee for 2-6 months and we can still send someone if we want.


Sub area planning info from Jim Sweeney

Jim looked into what a sub-area planning process would involve. The City would want a designated planning committee to formally communicate with. They also would want the process to involve strong community outreach including area businesses, nearby neighborhoods, regional planning organizations, and other potential stakeholders. The NE Oly group met approximately monthly which is part of why it took as long as it did to get a final product. Future efforts may want to meet twice a month to keep momentum. The board discussed wanting something more specific than what came out of the NE Oly sub-area plan in hoping that the plan will lead to action in the future. Ideally, a sub-area planning committee would be a sub-committee of the ENA board. Board will reach out to neighbors at general meeting for interest in participating.

The board voted in favor of Jim drafting a formal letter to notify the City the ENA is interested in being the next neighborhood to make a sub-area plan.


Traffic calming device improvements/community beautification from Brian

Brian will select dates (probably 2 weekends)and  make a post on Nextdoor to ask for volunteers. The group will need to reach out to the neighbors living in front of or near the areas to be improved. Volunteers will need to wear safety vests and we will need to put up safety cones while doing the work (Brian will cover these small costs). The board discussed donating funds to the neighbor that keeps up the traffic circle at 7th and Sawyer.

Potential ideas for the next round of neighborhood grants:

  • Community reader board
  • Little lending libraries
  • Community pantries


Crime and Safety update from Roger

Neighborhood block parties – there was a lot of good turnout for the four block parties held across the neighborhood, and a lot of good feedback from the neighbors. The board discussed support for doing them again, potentially more frequently and in more areas of the neighborhood.

The next Eastside Crime and Safety Committee (ECSC) meeting will be on Nov. 3rd. Brian will attend as an ENA liaison. At the previous ECSC meeting, the group discussed how to expedite changes to the nuisance laws. The committee felt they were able to help keep the City’s attention and focus for code enforcement in the neighborhood to improve conditions for those near Central St. Improvements have been made, but committee still sees the need to keep pushing the City for changes.

Ideas for community engagement discussed:

  • Neighborhood walk in December
  • Neighbors paint windows – holiday theme
  • Garden tours


Other Items

Madison Elementary liaison – Mr. DSK (principle) liked the idea, board will discuss further at a future meeting

Emergency Preparedness – with the latest near miss “storm of the century,” ENA might want to organize some neighborhood emergency preparedness events, information, etc. Will discuss further at future meeting.