March 21, 2019 Meeting Minutes

05/13/2019 22:36

SWONA, Southwest Olympia Neighborhood Association

Quarterly Meeting of the Members

Thursday, March 21, 2019 

Held at: Gloria Dei Church Time: 7:00 pm

Approximately 30 people present. 


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


Minutes for the January 10, 2019 membership meeting were made available to all present. Vote to approve the minutes was unanimous. 


President Mark Toy reported on the following topics: 

- Wellington Heights Decision. The City of Olympia approved the proposed housing development known as Wellington Heights, with some conditions. The conditions for approval include one or more traffic calming structures and drainage mitigation. The approval process for the development has extended over the past year and more, and has received much opposition from members of the Southwest Olympia neighborhood. The City's Hearing Examiner ultimately found that even though the development proposal was unpopular among neighbors, and acknowledged the issues raised, it did meet with the City's code and comprehensive plan requirements. The SWONA neighborhood has an opportunity to be proactive regarding future development proposals by working with the City now and creating a Subarea Plan. See more about this possibility below, in Subarea Planning Presentation. 

- Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (CNA) / City meetings. Mark noted that he has been actively participating in the CNA meetings, and has recently submitted formwork for renewal of the Southwest Neightborhood Association membership in the organization. 

- New sidewalk at 9th Avenue & Fern Street. City of Olympia Public Works has recently completed sidewalk construction at the corner of 9th Avenue SW and Fern Street SW. The new pedestrian way ties in with a bus stop at that location, on 9th Ave, and will greatly enhance the safety of those walking along those sections of the streets. Look for an email soon, announcing volunteer restoration work for the pocket park located at this same corner. Work is proposed for Saturday, April 6. 

- City Matching Grant Application. Mark submitted an application to the City of Olympia for grant funds that are allocated to neighborhood associations for various projects. The projects that SWONA is hoping to fund are: replacement sandwich signs for announcing neighborhood meetings & events, general insurance that the association is required to carry, restoration & maintenance work for various pocket parks located throughout the neighborhood, and a reprint of the SWONA walking map. 

- Bicycle Commuter Contest in May. Mark announced the upcoming contest. In years past, Bethany Weidner has organized a neighborhood welcoming/acknowledgement of bicyclers on the opening day of the contest at the poetry post location, with refreshments and handout information. It is unsure if something similar will be planned for this year. 


Treasurer Carrie LeRoy reported that SWONA membership currently stands at 34 members, plus 8 new members who signed up this evening. A total of 42 members. Current bank balance is $830.00 ELECTIONS Each SWONA board position is held for 2 years. In even numbered years, a new President and Treasurer are elected, and in odd numbered years, election is held for the Vice President and Secretary positions. The current board members Karen Janowitz, Vice President, and Angela Rush, Secretary, briefly described their roles. Nominations for each position were then opened to those present. Karen Janowitz nominated Ryan Hollander for Vice President. There being no other nominations, vote was made by acclamation of those present and was unanimous. New SWONA Vice President is Ryan Hollander. Bradley Bobbitt expessed an interest in the Secretary position, and was then nominated by Peter Sanderson. There being no other nomination, vote was made by acclamation of those present and was unanimous. New SWONA Secretary is Bradley Bobbitt. 


Marygrace Goddu, Associate Planner and Historic Preservation Officer for the City of Olympia, described the City's Subarea Plan and its creation process. Handout information was provided to those present, and included a map of the various subareas within the city. The Southwest Olympia Neighborhood is located within Subarea J. Each subarea has the opportunity to create its own subarea plan, the purpose of which is to allow residents to work more proactively with City staff to acheive identified needs or to address concerns that may arise. For the plan creation process, the City will dedicate a .25 FTE (Full Time Employee) staff person to facilitate, coach and assist. The process is begun with a formal Letter of Interest. Sets of surveys are part of gaining community input for the plan development. Completing the plan can encompass a fair amount of time - the Olympia Northeast Neighborhoods Alliance (ONNA) took approximately three years, for example. Once a plan is in place, a City staff person continues to facilitate the Subarea with fulfillment of goals, etc. A short discussion time followed Marygrace Goddu's presentation, and ideas were raised regarding how to go about contacting neighborhood associations within Subarea J and encouraging a collective participation. Perhaps we can invite an ONNA member to speak at the next SWONA quarterly membership meeting. 


- Stacey Kempf made a brief announcement regarding Unity Church's intention of creating a small tiny home development in conjunction with the City of Olympia. She would like the neighborhood to know of the church's plans, since they may not be notifying neighbors outside of the City's required process. 

- Hannah Hollander raised issue of people in the neighborhood having backyard recreational fires or burning debris. There is a ban on fires within city limits. As well, ORCA (Olympic Regional Clean Air) restricts fires within city limits. Hannah asked for ideas on how to go about approaching neighbors who either did not know about the fire prohibition, or who have outdoor fires anyway. 

- Josh, West Central Park board president spoke to the group and briefly described some the park's planned events for the summer. He will notify SWONA leadership of upcoming plans, so that the membership can be sent an email. 


A date and location will be decided at the June SWONA membership meeting. Stay tuned! 


- Thurston County Housing Land Trust presentation 

- Annual picnic/bbq planning 

- Presentation by Olympia Northeast Neighborhood Alliance and their Subarea Plan creation. 

- Those present indicated by show of hands, agreement to extend the length of the meeting rather than postpone presentations.

 Meeting adjourned at 8:20 pm. Next quarterly Membership meeting: June 21, 2019 

-Submitted by Angela Rush, SWONA Secretary