Cooper - These plans are vital to the long term growth and livability of community and state. We must maintain their long term objectives and minimize the short term obstacles and frustrations for those confronted by the many regulations and requirements.
Gates - Olympia's Comprehensive Plan is a living document for the future of community, reflecting Olympia at its best. As such, it must also have consistency and its implementation enforced through the city's zoning codes and ordinances. The priority of the Shoreline Master Program (SMP) is to balance development and economic activity with public access and the enjoyment of shorelines with a no net loss of ecological function. The restoration of degraded aquatic and marine habitat of shorelines is also a key component. We have a tremendous opportunity to take bold action to accomplish these goals. The challenge is to coordinate and enforce existing city policies and ordinances with the plans. I am fully committed to working with fellow council members, city staff, and citizens to accomplish this goal. As the state capital, we have a responsibility to be a trendsetter for environmental protection and enforce good planning efforts.
Gray - I have served on the Olympia Heritage Commission (OHC) for the past three years, most recently as Vice-Chair. From 2003 to 2009 I was the historic preservation planner for the State Capital Campus. In that position, I encaged the Dept. of General Administration and the City of Olympia to cooperate more closely in addressing planning issues for the capital campus that affected both the State and the City. I believe my OHC is relevant for the perspective it gives me of reviewing historic properties and neighborhoods (including the downtown area) and seeing the evolution of the development of city from its earliest days to the present. This helps develop an understanding of economic development, the changes that have occurred to economy, how that has affected development in general and where it might lead city in the future. My work with General Administration helped further an understanding of the interaction of state government with city planning, including land use, transportation and business development.
Langer - Overall, the Comprehensive Plan and the Shoreline Master Plan are important documents to guide the city in its development. I am particularly impressed with the Police chapter in the plan, which is very well written and reflects the values of the community well. I understand it is unusual to have such a chapter in a Comprehensive Plan. A concern: I believe that the Municipal Code (ordinances) should be in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan rather than supersede it, as the Comprehensive Plan best reflects the policy makers and citizen current goals for the city. Ordinances can be outdated and not represent the wishes of the community and should be superseded as the Comprehensive Plan is revised. The Shoreline Master Program is a critical part of protecting fresh and saltwater shorelines to maintain the viability of the water bodies in an urban setting. I believe that we must continue to improve and fine tune SMP policies and goals as new scientific understanding informs us of the consequences of actions. We continue to make multiple improvements, such as placing a park on the West Bay shore, and the planned changes for the Percival Landing area look promising. We need to continue to undo mistakes of the past at every opportunity and be mindful of impact on water bodies with any new development.
Lazar - I understand the importance of these documents very well. I was active in the development of the 1994-95 Comprehensive Plan, and have proposed several amendments since that time that have been adopted by the City Council. The goals and policies related to non-motorized transportation adopted in the Plan have served as guidance to a decade and a half of public investment that has transformed community. There is a disconnect, however, between the City's goals and policies, as set forth in the Comprehensive Plan, and the City's enforceable ordinances, as set forth in the Municipal Code. I will work to bring the Municipal Code into conformance with the goals and policies, so that those goals and policies can be achieved.
Richards - Both of these documents serve a vital purpose for Olympia. They are the foundation for future growth, they serve as a measuring stick to monitor progress, and give us clear benchmarks to follow. For instance, we can look at the Sustainable Economy chapter of the Comprehensive Plan and use it as a guide during this period of economic downturn. I also believe that they are living documents and we need to review and update them regularly as new data or better science becomes available. They serve as the operating principles of system, and every system needs regulation and modification to make it more efficient.
Selby - The City is undergoing an impressive re-visioning process with the goal of planning for future growth and consequently it's impact on environment, economic stability and quality of life. The new Olympia Comprehensive plan will reflect the realities that we are facing as a moderately fast growing city and attempt to find the balance between planning responsibly for future while preserving the qualities of life that Olympians hold dear to their hearts. Intrinsic to this future vision will be how we manage precious natural resources, specifically, fragile shorelines. My impressions to date are that we have great community involvement in the process of refining and revising these two programs. It's my belief that the community input, together with the expert data presented by city, county and state staff, will result in a collective vision of how best to handle future growth.
Smith - A strong Comprehensive Plan and Shoreline Master Program are needed to provide for sustainable growth that includes opportunity for environmental preservation and economic progress. We live in one of the most beautiful and richly productive environments in the world. We must work together to protect these environmental riches while population and economic growth demands continue to rise. I believe that the Comprehensive Plan and Shoreline Master Program are the force to allow us to plan for a better future
Thomas - The policies and goals are sound. They articulate a solid vision for the future of Olympia. However, Olympia has been slow in absorbing growth allocated through the process required by the Growth Management Act. We have struggled to find a way to absorb growth and density in order to create a more compact and environmentally friendly city. Bad economic times have created the most recent challenge and have almost halted private sector development. In the past, market factors allowed us to develop relatively large single family homes that lack the characteristics of compact, walkable neighborhoods. Public preferences to preserve waterfront views and access have slowed development of dense housing downtown close to the water. Recent housing development has been of relatively large single family homes, with continued reliance on single occupancy vehicle trips. This has brought increased individual use of precious natural resources, which in turn threatens the health of water and shorelines. The passage of time has brought with it pressure to absorb more growth, while simultaneously trying to preserve threatened environmental resources. The challenge for the updated Comprehensive Plan and Shoreline Master Program will be to develop a road map to go beyond setting goals, and to achieve measurable results. The plans should also provide for a method to chart course corrections - changes in policies and development regulations - as needed to achieve the goals.
Veldheer - The city's Comprehensive Plan and Shoreline Master Program are both comprehensive, well developed documents. They both seem to adequately address the issues they are designed to address. These documents are the road maps for future policies and should be consulted and used regularly by city staff and council members as policy decisions are being made. The Shoreline Master Program is a perfect example of an issue that effects the city, county and State governments since all levels of government have in interest in the health of Budd Inlet. I would look to regional solutions and seek to tap the expertise of all levels of government and knowledgeable citizens to develop concrete, well-documented proposals. The efforts to identify alternatives for the future of Capitol Lake is an example of how comprehensive, well thought out alternatives can be developed for the shoreline areas which are crucial for the future of Olympia.