SWONA Annual Spring Meeting 3-21-2013

04/03/2013 12:24

SWONA Annual Spring Meeting 3-21-2013

Meeting held at Gloria Dei Church

Approximately 35-40 attendees

Meeting called to order by President Brad O’Brien at 7:00pm

First item:  Treasurer’s Report by Jean Caldwell, $1,104 in account after payments received by members, approximately 50 paid households with 79 members.   Motion to send  a “Thank you” to Gloria Dei for allowing us to meet at the church and also to send $50.00 to their flower fund , motion was offered, seconded and was passed unanimously.

Second item:  adding agenda items.  Decatur Street, Sustainable Thurston & Resilience Circles

Regarding updates on neighborhood crime/burglaries-suggest neighbors can log into Nextdoor website or contact the city or their website


Third Item:  Joslyn was not available for tonight’s meeting to talk about the mural project by the round-a-bouts.  Brad said she will be at the next SWONA meeting in June.  Basically the new Mural will start next year, she is applying for a city/neighborhood grant for 2014, one of the neighbors called the city about keeping the current mural wall power washed, there is invasive growth of plants/weeds due to absentee owner, neighbor will try to find owner from the current tenants, if this is a noxious weeds issue we may have more clout to get them to deal with the problem.

Fourth Item:  Walking Park update

Site#4-Rainier View spot, the solar steps need new batteries, Joslyn and Brad have maintained over the years

Site #2-Poetry Post, we applied for a grant with the city but that was a “new” pathways grant and this is an existing pathway so we did not get any additional funds, the site is in disrepair, lots of graffiti, possibly consider moving at some point

Site #3-Garden Site at Caton Way-there are raised beds in place, Brad indicated Jan Imus has worked up a plan for a sensory type garden but with no commitment, anyone can contact Brad if you want to work in the garden, there are 2-3 rain barrels for water, one neighbor mentioned trying to get together for a planting picnic at the site

Site #1-9th and Fern-Welcome to the Neighborhood is on private property, the owners do not wish to renew our 5 year agreement for egress on the site, they have no immediate plans to sell but the offer they had on the property this winter fell through, Neighbors agree to a clean-up day of Saturday 4-20-13 at the site from approximately 10am to 2pm, bring your own tools.

The corner of Division and Harrison, vacant lot, has been purchased by Westside Park LLC, this entity may want to develop a park at that site at some point?  Neighbors are welcome to submit their comments regarding us of that space to the LLC but we don’t have an address or contact person at this time that was stated during the meeting.

Fifth Item:  Elections for Vice President and Secretary

Our current V.P. Barb Day is resigning.  Thank you for your help over the years Barb!  Duties of V.P. are to provide assistance to the President when needed.  For example, the V.P. helps in setting up the meetings and to fill in for President if he/she is not available.  Phil Cornell agreed to accept the V.P. assignment.  Janis Rich will agree to one more year as Secretary.

Sixth Item:  Open Discussion

Rob Bradley from the Olympia Fire Department mentioned that he would like to see an emergency gate with an opticon at the end of Decatur St.  Only emergency vehicles could open gate.  Concern raised about others getting same technology and using as a pass through, officer indicated that this type of technology is very expensive and it is a licensed product.  Neighborhood has generally thought this was a good idea all along.  The city never seemed to consider this an option however.  Is it possible to offer the city this as a compromise to taking opening Decatur off the comp plan?  City could “save face” if an emergency only access was provided.  City always says “no” that this is too expensive. 
Concern:  the buildup of residences and traffic at Fern-where does the traffic go?  Emergency access point could be 16th and Fern. 

Connective streets idea is not consistent with how our neighborhood is “built”, however, the comp plan is set to be finished in 2014, so comments need to be made now.  Black Lake traffic can back up to 9th during rush hour. 

This issue has been going on for 20 years.  Why does the city want this so badly?  Who is driving this desire to open Decatur?  The “traffic issues” are the traffic engineer’s issue.  Concerns:   that the traffic just doesn’t disperse onto the open streets but increases traffic in the entire neighborhood.

Where are the sidewalks?  City discussed years ago, there is a tax established for funding parks and sidewalks and the city is moving to add more, however, Fern for some reason is a low priority and is not moving up their list. 

There was an offer to take the “emergency compromise” to the city manager-Steve Hall.  Questions: regarding what happens if the city puts out the money for this project but for some reason the end result is not what we as a neighborhood wanted?

The draft comp plan is due Sept/Oct 2013.

Mike Volz, running for Karen Rogers seat for Olympia City Council, advised that the staff puts the agenda forward.   Council members often do not have as much power as people think they might.

Rob Bradley from OFD offered to meet with Steve Hall at his office to discuss possibility of emergency option for Decatur.  Also, request to ask Steve Hall to one of our meetings.

Have other neighborhoods used gating system?  Rob did mention that there were one or two.

New concerns from neighbors about the potential for a slippery slope regarding opening the street for emergency vehicles will then get the city to open the road to through traffic.  At this point we are only offering a dialogue with the city.  Offer to meet with Steve Hall in a small group is also an option.

Info:  Leon advised of the: Thurston Regional Planning Council Public Meeting 3-27-13 and 3-28-13

Leon also talked about the idea of an Olympia Village Convergence, getting together, looking for projects to do in neighborhoods, looking for site hosts, working in community building.  “Build Resilience” is a project that looks at how to adapt to change and how to look in the future as we move into a changing world.

Another neighbor address the issue of Imperviousness in regards to land use.   The Low Impact Development EPA mandate which requires pervious pavement is only for new developments.  As a neighborhood we must create our own rain gardens, pervious surfaces and rain/water barrels for example.  The park at Decatur Woods has information on pervious surfaces.  Maybe department of Ecology could come and talk to us at a meeting?

Meeting adjourned at 8:45pm

Next Meeting June 20, 2013

Minutes by
Janis Rich, secretary