Let’s not be anti-Missing Middle

Not In My Back Yard syndrome, as well as our long-standing epidemic of “fear of the other” has been a major factor impeding our communities from developing in the sustainable way that Washington State’s Growth Management Act intended. Opposition to housing developments in and near the city core and in the designated urban growth areas has helped to push the expensive and extremely low housing availability crisis we are dealing with today.

“Rushed” Olympia “Missing Middle” process? Not so. There have actually been 46 open public comment meetings since 2017 on the Missing Middle, including this years open public comment meetings on April 2, April 16, May 7, May 21, June 4, and June 18. These meetings about the Missing Middle were all advertised in the Olympia utility bill notifications, which started being posted in 2017. These open public comment meetings were also advertised elsewhere.

Fear of changing character to “carefully designed” older neighborhoods in the city? Most of Olympia’s older neighborhoods actually developed over time, in a very eclectic way. Non homogeneous neighborhoods remain very popular. The Missing Middle housing build will only make older neighborhoods even more appealing and, most importantly, affordable.

Don’t want to live where there are possibilities for a mix of housing types that can meet the needs of households over a lifespan? No worries – there are plenty of suburban, subdivisions with covenants, conditions and restrictions that will preclude any of the Missing Middle types from developing.