Opinion

OPINION: In Support of West Bay Yards

OPINION: In Support of West Bay Yards

“A five-alarm blaze ripped through a lumber mill on the west side of Olympia early yesterday, causing an estimated $25 million to $50 million in damage and igniting piles of plywood that burned for hours.” A 1996 Seattle Times article paints a vivid picture of what would be the end of the Hardel Mutual Plywood Corporation’s mill at 1210 West Bay Drive.  And now, after twenty-five years of blight, this formerly contaminated industrial site has the potential to provide much needed multi-family housing, complete a public waterfront trail system, and be a part of a shoreline restoration envisioned collaboratively by…
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OP-ED: Concerns About West Bay Yards Development Proposal

OP-ED: Concerns About West Bay Yards Development Proposal

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following letter was originally submitted as a comment to the Olympia City Council. I must express my concerns about the West Bay Yards (WBY) development proposal. Having recently provided public comment re: the proposed (a) relaxation of Olympia's Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) and (b) further development on the Port of Olympia, I had collectively expressed these concerns: The proposed SMP reduction in shoreline buffers (supposedly to provide more amenities for West Bay Park) was likely a "Trojan horse" for other development, which the recent WBY proposal has since revealed to be true.We don't need developments closer to the shoreline…
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Don’t Turn Your Backs on People

LISTEN! More suffering is being caused in our community by local officials than by the Whitehouse. Lacey bans RVs, the Port of Olympia (biggest property owner in town) arrests campers at the behest of millionaires, State DES has the budget to pristinely manicure campus lawns and build a multimillion dollar new office, but refuses to stop locking vital public bathrooms during a pandemic. Thurston County has the biggest budget and does almost nothing. And Mayor Selby's Olympia will tow a pregnant woman's only home before waiting one week for a disability check to come in. ENOUGH!!! THERES NOWHERE TO GO!!…
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‘Just Housing’ Letter to Oly City Council regarding Ensign Road Soft-Raid

‘Just Housing’ Letter to Oly City Council regarding Ensign Road Soft-Raid

Mayor Selby and Council Members, By now, most of you have likely received an update about what took place along Ensign Road yesterday morning. Monday night, we were able to share the news with residents that the sweep was put on hold after the City received a letter from the Attorney General's Office asserting that they believed the sweep would likely be considered a violation of the State's eviction moratorium. We also let people know that the City would still be there in the morning asking people to leave, but that they would not compel anyone to leave. We did…
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More Diverse Housing Please

More Diverse Housing Please

By Janae Huber, Olympians for People-Oriented Places With pressures from our larger neighbors--looking at you King County--and the ability for more people to work from home and live farther from their job--thanks technology--Olympia is welcoming new neighbors and the vibrancy they bring. Unfortunately, the approximately 1,000 new people arriving each year put pressure on our housing market. It may seem like we are building a lot of housing, but it is still not enough for Olympia’s growth. Vacancy rates are currently lower than 5%, which means that purchase and rental prices are rising rapidly.  To keep pace with the growth…
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