Give Janine your comments over at her blog:
With both parties making an effort toward finding common ground, Olympia Mayor Doug Mah met with about 20 people gathered at a meeting of the Olympia Isthmus Park Association on the evening of March 12. Mah, who said he had just eaten at the Olympia Oyster House with his wife, got right to the issue. Mah explained his new proposal to fund an isthmus park and Percival Landing and said, "We would like to capture the energy you have already started and build off of that base."
At the city council meeting on March 10, Mah proposed a plan to fund the isthmus park and Percival Landing by asking Olympians to approve a property tax levy. The levy, if approved, would cost the owner of a $250,000 home about $105 for a period of 20 years. The proposal, as it currently stands, does not include the critical parcels owned by Triway Enterprises.
Mayor Doug Mah is apparently taking the isthmus bull by the horns and pointing in the direction of Percival Landing. For the past few years, the city has been wrangling about how to deal with the crumbling docks. Now, he looks like he's tying the two projects together for a large scale downtown project.
Tomorrow night Mah will move to refer to two of the city's council committee's a plan to put a multi-million dollar bond issue to address both of these issues.
From the email below:
Appeals to stop the proposed new buildings along Capitol Way in Tumwater were denied a few days ago by a hearings examiner.
More on the proposed Bellatorre development here.
Here is one decision:
UPDATE (7:56 p.m.): Diamond and the Thurston PUD have come to an agreement. Looks like this is locked in. Via email:
From: Subir Mukerjee
Sent: Friday, February 20, 2009 5:02 PM
Subject: RE: Contract Between Diamond Parking, Inc. and Thurston PUD
Late breaking good news!
Thurston PUD and Diamond Parking have reached agreement on a contract for the artesian well. This means that we can move forward with our agreement with the PUD to pay for testing the water.
This item is in your agenda packet for next week. At the time the packet was launched, this issue was still up in the air, and so the staff report language reflects that. In any case, your action next week will allow all parties to move forward.
If all goes well (ha!), the artesian well downtown will have a proud new papa, the Thurston Public Utility District. Staff report here, and from that report:
The city council, meeting as the Transportation Benefit District Board that they set up last year, is getting down to the details of what exactly the board will end up doing. First on the agenda, how much of a car tab fee to levy (they can go up to $20 without a public vote) and what projects to consider.
Here's the staff report. And, from that report, the discussion on the tab fee:
Without a vote of the people, the revenue option available to the Board is a fee of up to $20 per vehicle. The Board does not have to charge the full $20. You may charge $10, $15 or an amount up to $20 per vehicle per year. (In the future, if the City of Olympia ceases to use transportation impact fees, the TBD could implement transportation impact fees on commercial and industrial projects without a vote of the people.) Revenue rates, once imposed, may not be increased without voter approval. Using information from the Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC) the TBD would generate approximately $634,500 per year from a TBD with a $20/vehicle fee (assuming 20,209 households and an average of 1.57 vhh).
The Friends of the Olympia Library met earlier this week for our regular monthly business meeting. We approved about $600 for programs at the library (kind of a small amount for this month) and heard updates on our projects and the library itself.
Our recent two day book sale was a success, netting (if my memory serves, because I didn't note it during the meeting) ~$4,200.
There's a new facebook group for Friends to join here.
During the last month a very large underground oil tank in the parking lot near the staff entrance was removed. After the work, it was discovered that the soil was not contaminated.
The January average daily door count was 1,550 patrons, the average amount is 1,200-1,300.
Here is the service story that Cheryl Heywood shared during the meeting:
From the Little Hollywood Blog:
A petition for review of the proposed Olympia rezone of the downtown isthmus was filed last week with the Growth Management Review Board. Three former Washington State governors, Albert Rosellini, Dan Evans, and Booth Gardner, along with former Secretary of State Ralph Munro, joined in the appeal.
According to the petition filed February 13th, the rezone violates the Growth Management Act, the Shoreline Management Act, the State Environmental Policy Act and the Open Public Meetings Act.
In part, the petition reads, "The proposed heights of 65 feet and 90 feet in the Olympia Isthmus violate the law and policy of the State Capitol Campus, and the rezone fails to avoid piecemeal and uncoordinated development of the Olympia Isthmus property....negating the statewide interest in preserving and enhancing the design and plans for the State Capitol Campus, preserving and enhancing the public views from and to the State Capitol Campus, the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains."
Read the entire piece over there and leave Janine your comments, as they are off here.
Or, as I like to call it: "let's have the state government send us some money" bill. Rep. Sam Hunt introducing the bill:
The balance of the testimony:
HB 2030, the Capitol City district bill, will be heard in a public hearing tomorrow (seriously late notice) at 1:30 p.m. The hearing Scheduled for Monday, Feb. 16 1:30 House Hearing Room E (John L. O'Brien Building).
The Capital City District does not raise local taxes. It would permit Olympia to establish a special geographical district downtown that would include the Capitol Campus. Within that district, the State would effectively leave with the City 1% of the 6.5% in sales tax collected. That revenue could in turn help fund important infrastructure projects critical for downtown’s economic development such as parking garages, street improvements, etc. As these infrastructure projects stimulate the local economy, the tax base would to grow, and with it, revenue from the Capitol City District.
Why is this important? Olympia, as a Capitol City suffers from low revenues, in part, because its largest employer (the State Government) is exempt from property and B&O taxes.
Here's the bill analysis from legislative staff.
Get out the red Sharpie and mark February 18 at 8 a.m. That's the date and time of the public hearing on HB 2081 and HB 2082, the bills that woud declare downtown shoreline "significant" and establish a state mandated hight limit in downtown Olympia.]
The hearing of the house Local Government and Housing committee will be in House Hearing Rm E in the John L. O'Brien Building.
More on the bills here.
And, original bloggin on the bills at Little Hollywood blog here.