Larida Passage Design Review Meeting: A Report from Little Hollywood

Janine Gates has a nice report about the Design Review Board Meeting and Public Hearing regarding the Larida Passage / Pearl Water proposal.

Here's a link the story and a short excerpt:

Design Review Board Hears Larida Passage Application - Board Continues Meeting To December 17th

By Janine Gates

After receiving two and a half hours of information and testimony, the city's citizen advisory committee charged with reviewing the design of Triway Enterprises’ Larida Passage project decided to continue tonight’s meeting to Thursday, December 17th.

City senior planner Cari Hornbein gave an overview of the project with staff recommendations, the applicant gave its presentation, represented by project manager Jeannette Hawkins and three others, and an overflow gathering of concerned citizens gave testimony until 9:00 p.m. Seventeen members of the public gave testimony against the project design. Two approved of the project: former city councilmembers Holly Gadbaw and Joan Machlis.

“Normally, we get zero members of the public….” started Design Review Board chair Thomas Carver, looking out at the crowd. The nine member board had two absent members.

click on link above to read the rest.

Save the Isthmus for the People

Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial
Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial Overlook

Residents of Washington State, as well as out-of-state and international visitors, deserve a Capitol Campus vista that is unobstructed and unimpeded by commercial development.

Many of the Triway Rezone and Larida Passage proponents have said that the luxury high-rise condominium development will not harm the vista.

"Panhandlers and Radicals" A Letter from Dan Evans on the Isthmus

Capitol Lake seen from Capitol Campus Law Enforcement Memorial
4392 x 1158

Here's a letter to certain key members of the House of Representatives from former Washington State Governor Dan Evans. It's addressed to Representatives Larry Seaquist, Jan Angel, and Marko Liias, whom are the sponsors of HB 1379, and House Local Government Committee Chair, Geoff Simpson:

Larry, Jan, Marko, and Geoff:
I know that three of you are the sponsors of HB 1379 and Geoff, that you are the chairman of the Local Government committee. As I'm sure you know the Senate amended this Bill to attach SB 5800, the Isthmus protection act. I am a strong believer in the strength and power of local government and normally would not support modifying their decisions. However there are some extra responsibilities for a Capital city. The state has invested millions of dollars over a century to build one of the finest state capitals in America. An essential part of the Capitol campus is the magnificent view North toward Puget Sound. Few other state capitals (and I have visited virtually every one) have the magnificent setting of our Capitol in Olympia. In this particular case I believe the state has an overriding interest in protecting this remarkable view. There are plenty of other places in downtown Olympia to build high-rise facilities of any kind but once the view in this particular place on the Isthmus is blocked it is gone forever.
I hope you will concur in the Senate amendments to HB 1379 in spite of the somewhat excessive and almost humorous opposition which charges those who want to preserve this unique view as a motley crew of panhandlers and radicals. I don't know how motley we are but all six former governors of Washington state support the Senate amendment.
Thanks for your consideration
Dan Evans
Governor 1965 -- 1977

On the Isthmus

Thad Curtz has a letter to the editor in today's Olympian. "Council should support Senate Bill"

Save Our Waterfront Views

State Legislative Hearing on Bills Relating to Isthmus

The Washington State Senate Government Operations and Elections Committee held a hearing yesterday, part of which concerned two proposed bills relating to the Olympia Isthmus. The Olympia City Council recently passed an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan intended to alter building heights regulations on the Isthmus of Downtown Olympia.

One of the Senate bills seeks to classify areas of the Isthmus as a shoreline of statewide significance, and the other would create a special height district. There is a subsequent plan to conjoin the two bills into one. If passed by both houses of the State Legislature and approved by Governor Gregoire, the (presumably then conjoined) bill would effectively nullify the earlier (December 2008) City Council decision to amend the Comprehensive Plan.

Janine Gates has an accurate and concise article about the day's events at her new blog, Little Hollywood: Isthmus Bills Heard in Senate Today

Here are 16 or 17 photos that I made. Some are from inside the hearing room (I was barely able to get inside). Others are from around the campus. They are presented in the chronological order in which they were captured. I hope you enjoy. Berd

Legislative Building
Legislative Building (South side)

The Isthmus Blues

I am talking about having the Isthmus Blues. Ow.

"Mistake on the Lake"

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
— Martin Luther King Jr.

Cop Talk Dicsussion of "Problem" Relating to Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial

Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation President Brian Johnston appeared on the September 13th installment of the Seattle talk radio program, Cop Talk. You can find an mp3 recording of the 9.13.08 program on the website (scroll down). Johnston is the first guest.

In a short interview with Cop Talk host Ron Conlin, Memorial Foundation President Brian Johnston expressed opposition to the isthmus rezone proposal.

9/13 Isthmus Panorama (11 image composite)
September 13th, 2008 Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial Overlook

Brian Johnston, President of the Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation, expressed explicit opposition to the isthmus rezone based on the situation of the Memorial overlooking Capitol Lake, Heritage Park, and the Puget Sound Budd Inlet.

The Memorial is intended to be a place where visitors and survivors can experience a degree of serenity and peace. That sense of serenity is furthered by views that are unobstructed and unfettered by massive commercial developments.

Another view:
Capitol Lake Panorama from Law Enforcement Memorial
Capitol Lake Panorama from the Law Enforcement Memorial

Vandals hit Triways, Oly Master builders

In the latest act of political intimidation, the worst and dumbest struck last night smashing windows and dousing paint on the offices of Olympia Master Builers and Triway Enterprises LLC Olympian story here.

I'm posting this for the record here at Olyblog. I also invite anti-rezone  everyone to condemn one more time this alarming turn in Olympia politics. Should these culprits be nabbed I believe jail time and a 1,000 hours of community service are reasonable due to the intention of these hooligans to quell political discourse.

In the end the only thing these fools have done is impress potential mates. Yes, yes son, yer fuckin' hard core. Oi Oi!

There is no tactical thinking, no strategic thinking, not damned thinking here at all. Trashing, not defeating your enemy is nothing but a childish outburst, a twenty something tantrum. 


December 12th Update/meta-comment

I just have to say my post got hijacked into some very strange spaces. I set out to document an assault on the political process in Olympia and provide a space in which to condemn an act of violence against my body politic. Initially got some valuable feedback but that quickly degenerated into Downtowner questioning my mental health, Berd blathering his predictable logic free monologues about what his heart tells the rest of us to believe, and conspiracy theories about just who tagged whom and why. 

This has been an unpleasant experience which I do not plan on repeating any time soon.  

How much is too much for an Isthmus park?

The current assessed value of the parcels on the isthmus that are under consideration for park rezone come to be about $20 Million, so about $5 Million an acre. A big price tag. [*editor's note: please see price-tag rebuttal by T. Curtz in comments section]

When the feasibility study is finished, how much will be too much for a park?

I imagine after the study is finished, the cost to de-construct existing buildings and rebuild park infrastructure will tip at about $30 Million or more.

For reference, the city spent nearly $10 million to buy eight park sites, totaling 49 acres.

So when does this parcel of land cost us too much? Is there a point when proponents of the park say the park is too expensive? Or will the benefits outweigh the costs?

What if the price tag tips $50 million? That could buy a lot of parks. Maybe even a couple schools.

Dear City Council: Please Wait! Don't Rush a Decision on the Rezone!

Let's assume for a moment that the rezone proposal is brimming forth —full of merit. In that case, if that truly is the case, then why can't a decision on the proposal be postponed until next year? The rezone decision will have decades long impact on the character of downtown Olympia. So why rush such a formative and high-impact decision?

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