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
Following up on my previous post here, there's going to be a discussion this week by the city of how to expand state leasing of office buildings in Olympia.
One of the proposed sites is a vacant (except for tree, you know) area in west Olympia, the other is currently a residential neighborhood in far east Olympia.
So, how does a neighborhood surrounded by a highway and commercial development get suggested as a good place for state office buildings? Most likely because the company the suggested the site, Capital Development Company (who also owns the South Sound Center right next door) also owns most of the residential lots in the neighborhood.
In the image below, the red line is the proposed Preferred Leasing Area and the green areas are the lots owned by CDC:
Click on the image for a larger version. Download this file to get a closer look in Google Earth.
The proposal from CDC downplays the prospect of the neighborhood developing into a cluster of state office buildings, saying it is "very prospective" and would simply give the state and city "another option."
So, here are my questions:
What happens to the folks who rent from CDC when or if state office buildings would be built there? Probably what happens to most folks who rent from people who want to use the property for another use, they move somewhere else. No big deal.