For several decades the Heritage Park Fountain has had dedicated park land for future growth, but today, under the guise of Olympia’s need for public restrooms and mechanical rooms, city government-private partnerships intend to switch dedicated park land to development. Entrepreneurial transformation of dedicated park land to development belies the community’s commitment to the “Washington Mall” – a 104 year old grand civic park plan stretching from the state Capitol to Puget Sound.
The result of city government’s transfer of irreplaceable park land east of Heritage Park fountain for development puts an end to the long standing civic park plan for the benefit of corporate development.
It is a perversion of public property rights that takes tracts of public land for development. It’s a taking.
Mayor Stephen Buxbaum, who lacks threshold credentials of education in urban science, uses the ruse of eliminating “barriers to development” to plunder public land /assets from urban areas: the waterfront; single-family residential neighborhoods (such as the Eastside and Bigelow neighborhoods); National Historic Downtown District; community views; isthmus civic park; and the failure to demolish the Capitol Center Building fiasco.
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To attract population growth downtown, park land must increase, not decrease. Between Fifth Avenue and Percival Landing the community needs park land for people and trees on Water Street, not cars. Water Street’s east edge needs to be the “urban edge” between commercial development and the street-wide greenbelt along the waterfront that will link Percival Landing to Heritage Park for people.