President’s Update – January 21, 2019

01/24/2019 21:17

President’s Update – January 21, 2019


Hi folks.  After the last SWONA meeting on January 10 I got quite a few requests for meeting minutes (both from people who were there and people who were not) so minutes from the January 2019 and September 2018 meetings should be posted now.


On January 14 I went to the monthly Olympia Council of Neighborhood Associations (CNA) meeting.   Their new website ( ) has their meeting agendas and minutes posted.  Some of my notes from that meeting:

  • IAP2 – The international Association for Public Participation is a group that trains people on the process of public participation.  There was a discussion of some of their training resources and general process.  More to follow.
  • There was a recent (Jan. 14) NPR story on the Olympia homeless problem (go to to listen or read) that provides a good snapshot of where the downtown situation is now.
  • In contrast to that article I also found out at the meeting (maybe some of you already knew this) that luxury apartment developments downtown (like 123 4th) get tax exemptions for 8 years for building downtown.  Developers of affordable housing units get 12 years of tax exemptions but so far there have been no takers.
  • The City utility tax provides about $1 million/year for sidewalk improvements and the east side of Fern near 9th is scheduled for sidewalk construction this spring.
  • The former ice rink by Capital Lake is to be replaced by a bike park.
  • A couple of City staff discussed the former Artesian Commons Park.  In the four years it was open there were 1392 police calls for service and 70 assaults.  Still no definite plan for how it will be used in the future, but Artesian well and Portland Loo are still open.
  • There’s a Neighborhood Matching Grant program (which we’ve used in the past for pocket park improvements) budget of $23,000 for this year with an application deadline of  March 18.  Let me know if you have any ideas (I was thinking of another printing of the neighborhood walking map).  There’s an application workshop at City Hall Room 112 on February 13 from 5 to 6 p.m.

I went through the website and there was a page on Subarea Planning which directed me to the City Comprehensive Plan which described a process but I had trouble finding anything specific to our neighborhood so I requested one of their planners to speak about it at our next meeting on March 21.  I still have to follow up on getting the community policing speaker booked.


On January 17 I went to a community meeting on the homeless situation at the Olympia Center.  It was nice that several homeless (and recently homeless) people were in attendance so they could have a conversation with people who weren’t homeless.


Upcoming events:

  • Wellington Heights.  Cut and pasted from the City website: February 4, 2019 - Is the date scheduled for the continuance of the hearing and will take place in the council chambers at 6 p.m. The updated staff report to the hearing examiner will be available to the public at least 7 days prior to the hearing
  • Come to an open house at the Plum Street Village Tiny Homes on Thursday, January 31, from 3-6 p.m. The village is located at 830 Union Ave SE, which is the City’s former plant nursery behind the Yashiro Japanese Garden. Come see the facility before residents move in and learn more about the operation and the volunteer builders who made it happen.