Disputed 205-acre annexation on Olympia docket

Council’s next meeting also will address greenhouse gas report and environmental restoration assessment deal

ahobbs@theolympian.comMarch 3, 2014 

The Olympia City Council will address annexation, greenhouse gas emissions and more during its next meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

The council is expected to approve an agreement with Thurston County and Fire District 3 over the proposed annexation of 205 acres off Boulevard Road. The area is the largest unincorporated tract within the city.

The city is pursuing annexation through an interlocal agreement process with the county and fire district. The process is one of 10 annexation methods, and in 2009, the state ruled cities may initiate annexations of unincorporated areas without a public vote.

Annexation of the Boulevard Road area has been met with resistance by a handful of residents, including the owners of Forest Funeral Home, which is located on the northern edge of the island.

The council also is expected to approve the transfer of $142,000 to a fund designated for construction of a parking lot for city vehicles at the Artesian Commons.

Located at 415 Fourth Avenue, the future “urban courtyard” is home to the historic artesian well. The Artesian Commons’ 0.2-acre site will become an official city park that hosts live entertainment and food trucks. Opening day is set for May 3.

The council also is expected to pass a resolution supporting the non-profit Thurston Climate Action Team's Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report. The resolution calls for collaboration with neighboring cities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the report, Thurston County’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2010 were measured at 2,761,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. That equates to annual emissions from 575,208 passenger vehicles.

The report noted Olympia’s emissions for the same time period at 564,607 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent — or about 12.15 metric tons per person.

Also on the council’s agenda is approval of an agreement with the Port of Olympia for an “environmental restoration assessment” of West Bay in lower Budd Inlet. The agreement would divide costs for consulting services between the city and port, with the city agreeing to pay two-thirds of the total cost, capped at $150,000. The agreement also says the city and port will pursue grants or donations to support the assessment, which will target the shoreline habitat, stormwater basin, lagoon area and water quality.


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