September 2019 Meeting Minutes
Southwest Olympia Neighborhood Association
Quarterly Membership Meeting
Thursday, June 20th, 2019
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Gloria Dei Church, 1515 Harrison St.
WELCOME & INTRODUCTIONS
Everyone in the room introduced themselves and noted where they live in the Southwest Olympia neighborhood. Roughly 25 people were in attendance.
Minutes for the June 2019 meeting were made available to all present. Approval passed unopposed.
SWONA PICNIC REPORT
Vice President Ryan Hollander gave a report of this year’s annual SWONA picnic. The picnic was a success with lots of folks in attendance. There was live music, food including the famous SWONA dog, games, and local candidates for city council present. Thurston County Foodbank was also there as well as Slow Food Olympia with an ice cream social.
NEIGHBORHOOD MATCHING GRANT
President Mark Toy reported out on a $1,000 neighborhood matching grant SWONA received which was used for new signage that has been posted around the neighborhood before meetings or events, new copies of the SW Olympia Walking Map (distributed at the picnic), and Pocket Park gardening materials.
POCKET PARK GARDENING WORK PARTY
Angela announced that there would be a work party at the pocket park on Fern & 9th on September 28th between 10am and 2pm. Volunteers can drop in and do what you can. Tasks include weeding, winter prep, and working on the retaining wall.
UPDATE ON WELLINGTON HEIGHTS
Mark gave an update on the Wellington Heights subdivision. As of the meeting, according to an update from Dan Leahy, ownership of the property had changed to Lennar Homes. Trees on the site had been cut. However, the Department of Ecology had revoked their stormwater permit for 30 days to allow for public comment. Lennar Homes will have to apply for a new permit.
Attendees discussed concerns regarding the new property including construction traffic, general traffic impacts to Fern St, new construction on Decatur St/impacts to the current bike path, and alignment with the City’s comprehensive plan. There were also some questions about the effectiveness of traffic calming measures such as those already existing in the neighborhood (e.g. at Percival & 9th). Secretary Bradley Bobbitt, a transportation planner at Washington State Department of Transportation, volunteered to see if any subject matter expert from the agency might be willing to come and talk to the association in the future about traffic calming measures.
(notes continued on next page)
Officer Mike Peters, a Community Policing Officer for the City of Olympia, and Officer Paul Frailey came to provide updates and field a few questions. Officer Peters’ presentation focused on crime prevention, particularly around the holidays. This time of year, package theft has been known to increase. Another thing to keep an eye out for is car theft when people turn on their cars and leave them running to preheat due to cold weather. The community policing unit is working on a package tracking operation. Generally speaking burglaries are down county-wide. However auto thefts are up, particularly unsecured motorcycles. Graffitti is also up. The City’s clean team has expanded beyond downtown to parts of the east and west side neighborhoods.
Some questions came up including:
Q: There was a question about how to report graffitti
A: Officer Peters said you can report online with a picture and address using Police to Citizen (P2C). You can find info on how to use P2C here https://olympiawa.gov/sitecore/content/OlympiaWA/city-services/police-department/police-2-citizen
Q: How can we report unsafe driving?
A: This can be reported either directly to Officer Peters/the community policing unit or through P2C. If they have reports of patterns of unsafe behaviors at certain locations they can use that information to allocate resources.
Community Policing Officer
Other non-emergency contacts
Nextdoor: OPD is a user and provides weekly crime updates
MASTER RECYCLING PRESENTATION – MOVED TO DECEMBER MEETING
Mark gave a brief update on the planned city candidates forums. The westside neighborhood’s forum date was set for October 17th. Mark asked for any interested volunteers. Ryan and Delores volunteered to help.
SUB-AREA PLANNING DISCUSSION
Mark gave a brief recap of previous discussions the association has had on sub-area planning. See June meeting minutes for notes on a presentation regarding the Northeast Olympia Neighborhood experience with sub-area planning.
Attendees discussed the pros and cons of carrying out a sub-area planning process and if the association is interested in committing to it. Themes of the conversation included (see next page):
· It can be a long process. NE Olympia’s plan took three years. However, they were the first neighborhood to complete a sub-area plan. Also if the association can always stop if the process isn’t proving to be worth the effort.
· Community engagement beyond the “usual suspects” will be important and takes effort.
· The City provides staff time (1/4 Full-Time Equivalent) to support the process.
· Doing the process has very low or no risk to the neighborhood and provides the opportunity to have conversations with other westside associations about our shared priorities.
Based on the conversation, Mark said SWONA officers would begin work with other westside neighborhood associations to draft a letter to the City declaring intent to conduct a sub-area planning process. The president of the Wellington West HOA and Northwest Olympia Neighborhood Association were present and said they would also be interested in working with SWONA to investigate the sub-area planning process further.
Mark asked if there were any interested members who would be willing to help. Three members volunteered.
The next meeting is tentatively planned for Thursday, December 12th. More details to come. See you then!
Submitted by Bradley Bobbitt, SWONA Secretary