March 2021 Meeting Minutes

03/29/2021 17:51

Southwest Olympia Neighborhood Association (SWONA)

Annual Meeting, Thursday, March 18, 2021, 7-8:30 p.m.

Held online via Zoom, 24 people present.



Everyone attending introduced themselves and noted where they live in the Southwest Olympia neighborhood.



  • The need for new Board members.
    • Current board member terms have finished over the course of 2020, and according to the SWONA bylaws, new board members should now be elected.
  • Developments in the 9th Street & Fern area.
    • Per information received from City planning 3/8/21, an apartment complex has been proposed for the SE corner of 9th & Fern and is currently in pre-submission status. The proposal consists of four 3-story buildings, with a total of 106 parking stalls. No land use permits have been submitted.
  • Reconstruction of burned structures on 9th Street (Cambridge Court & Fern Ridge Apartments).
    • No proposals have been submitted to the City at this point in time.
  • Progress on the proposed townhomes on the empty lot between Cambridge Court and Fern Ridge apartments and the Unity Church.
    • 1315 Fern St SW (Fern Street Townhomes) – application was for a preliminary short plat to construct townhomes (file #18-1686), 7 lots and a tree tract. Preliminary  approval has been granted, however there has been no further action from the applicant.  The preliminary plat approval expired on 9/25/20.
  • Wellington Heights development.
    • There is no proposal to extend the road from Wellington Heights to Decatur Street. An extension of 18th Avenue from the east boundary of the Wellington Heights Plat to Decatur Street would require a land division application by the intervening property owner. The City has not received an application at this time.
  • Neighborhood Matching Grant application.
    • The grant money is provided by the City and has been used in the past by SWONA for funds needed for insurance, meeting room rental, and various neighborhood projects. The application to be submitted for 2021 is for an amount of $515 and will be for insurance, an annual neighborhood summer picnic (we'll remain hopeful for this August), meeting space rent (possibly in September), and mural and pocket park maintenance.


  • Mural maintenance.
    •    The painted wall mural at Olympic Drive, as seen from the roundabout on Harrison Ave, has been defaced with large splashes of dark paint. The mural was just cleaned and refreshed in October 2020. After some discussion the majority of the group decided that creating a new mural would be best, as the damage to the current one is too great for refurbishing. Many members of the group volunteered to help in various ways.
  • Council of Neighborhood Associations (CNA) updates.
    • Squaxin Tribe has asked for a government to government consultation on the West Bay Yards development.  City Council voting on development agreement March 23.
    • Apparently, pre-applications just came in for 400 new housing units with 500 parking spaces at Smyth Landing just to the north of West Bay Yards, which had proposed 475 residential units and 600 parking spaces, which sounds like a lot of traffic on West Bay Drive NW.
    • Stephanie Johnson was doing outreach for folks interested in holding socially distanced events for Arts Walk Month in April. If interested, register at on City website:  Arts Walk (  (Maybe outreach to connect local businesses with artists on westside?)
    • The Family Support Center is building housing units for families with children and domestic violence survivors at 3524 7th Avenue SW, just west of the Capital Medical Center.  Phase I will be 62 units, Phase II will be 66 units. A pre-submission conference has happened, and a formal land use application will be submitted soon.
    • There was a presentation on housing projections and they predict 14,000 new housing units in Olympia in the next 25 years (a 46% increase).  They also predict half of the new households coming in the next 25 years will be low income.


WEST BAY YARDS - a report by Bethany Weidner

  • The project has been submitted to the City as a development agreement, and is a mixed use plan of residential and commercial. OlyEcosystems has appealed the City's determination of Non-Significance. There will be a public hearing on Tuesday, 3/23/21. SWONA members are urged to attend and to give comment. Please visit OlyEcosystems website to learn more about how to login to the public meeting and how to give comment.

To read Bethany's article published in Works In Progress, use this website:


PRESENTATION - Jodie Mackey of New Traditions Cafe

  • As the New Traditions Cafe is closed right now, due to COVID-19 restrictions, Jodie Mackey and other owners of the cafe found a way to continue providing meals AND in a way that benefits various groups of the community. In partnership with the local Morgan Hill Law Office, EGYHOP (Emma Goldman Youth and Homeless Outreach Project), and individuals within the Olympia community, New Traditions began the Doorstep Dinners program. To learn more and to donate to the project, go to

New Traditions Cafe hopes to reopen this year in late summer/early fall.


Treasurer’s report

Treasurer Carrie LeRoy reported on existing SWONA funds and recent bills and payments made. Collection of membership dues ceased during the pandemic year, and it is hoped that a membership drive can be kicked off again soon.

Current bank balance is $796.64.



Current board positions have expired their term, and new board members were encouraged to volunteer.

Discussion followed and members interested in stepping into the board positions were voted upon. By unanimous decision of the members present, following is the new SWONA board for the next two years:

President - Ryan Hollander

Vice President - Mark Toy (one year only)

Treasure - Cat Kelly

Secretary - Nicole Grant

Suzette Moskwa volunteered to maintain and update the SWONA website.



Following board elections, those present made suggestions for agenda items and possible speakers for the June 2021 Quarterly SWONA Meeting.


The issue of speeding cars on the neighborhood's streets, particularly Cushing St, was raised. Maureen Lally volunteered to check with the City on the possibility of getting a speed readout machine placed on Cushing Street.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:21pm.

Next quarterly Membership meeting:  June 17, 2021

--Submitted by Angela Rush, SWONA Secretary