I hope the Olympia City Council doesn’t end up rezoning downtown Olympia to a no-growth zone. This is the path some are on.
By having reasonable waterfront setbacks, as Mayor Stephen Buxbaum puts forward, and takes steps to attract new business and housing to downtown, the city will work to reverse the current increasing trend of crime, disorder and filthiness in the downtown core.
Increased development in the downtown area will also help to reverse the trend of the city going to voters every two years to ask for extra money for police, fire or public works.
This is a two-way street. If Olympia is to have things that we value as a community – nice parks, solid roads and sidewalks, a waterfront worthy of attracting tourists and a strong public safety system – city leaders must embrace responsible development, not try to shut it down at every turn.
This development pays for these things through tax dollars and by attracting more tourism and commerce.
The City of Olympia cannot have it both ways. I urge council members to foster investment in our downtown, or soon, there won’t be one.