Published July 26, 2012
Public invited to Olympia council shoreline-rules update meetingMATT BATCHELDOR
The Olympia City Council will hold a special meeting Saturday – a public workshop on a controversial update to the city’s shoreline-development regulations. The presentation will include an overview of the Shoreline Management Act – the state law that requires the city to have a shoreline plan – as well as geography and issues related to the shoreline and the impacts of proposed regulations, according to a staff report. A recommended plan from the Olympia Planning Commission that the City Council has yet to approve would place sweeping restrictions on the Budd Inlet shoreline. For example: • No new commercial development would be allowed within 100 feet of the Port of Olympia’s shoreline along all the north and most of the east side of the port peninsula, affecting the port’s expansion plans. • No new commercial development would be allowed within 50 feet of the Budd Inlet shoreline on the isthmus, affecting Bayview Thriftway, the Oyster House and the Olympia Yacht Club. • No new commercial development would be allowed within 50 feet of the shoreline for some uses, 100 feet for others. No new industrial uses would be allowed. Affected property owners include Hardel Mutual Plywood Corp., Dunlap Towing Co. and the West Bay Marina. The existing shoreline plan has no required setbacks on most of Olympia’s saltwater shoreline for commercial or industrial uses. The council can alter the planning commission’s recommended plan. It’s unclear whether the council will adopt the plan by the end of the year, as had been expected, or if planning will spill into next year. Ultimately, the state has the final say on the plan. Saturday’s workshop will be split into several parts. There will be an open house from 8:30-9 a.m. Educational presentations are set for 9-11:10 a.m. For the final 50 minutes, the presentation be will split into small group discussions at individual tables, with a council member present at each one, said Cari Hornbein, a senior planner for the city. Hornbein said the workshop will focus on the Budd Inlet shoreline. She said the public will ponder the following questions: What do you enjoy the most about our marine waterfront today? What value do you think the marine waterfront provides to the community? How would you like to see the marine waterfront change over the next 20 years? Because a quorum of City Council members is expected, it is considered a council meeting. But no action will be taken. There is no dedicated time for public comment, which is traditionally delivered by residents at a podium in front of everybody, Hornbein said. That will happen at future workshops, at dates to be determined, she said.