Letters to the Editor

Missing Middle: A key element of a happy and vibrant Olympia

I would like to express my support for the city of Olympia’s Missing Middle proposal. I wholeheartedly support any efforts to develop thoughtful plans to accommodate the 20,000 additional residents that will call our wonderful community home in the next 20 years.

If our community takes the short-sighted approach to community planning, we can expect a number of adverse outcomes. Presently, we see a disturbing trend where increasingly higher percentages of income are consumed by rent and debt service for housing. When it is challenging for some of our residents to meet their basic needs, our entire community suffers. Healthy and happy communities are ones where the fundamental basic needs are satisfied.

Successful communities are ones where the needs of the community are broadly met. We live in a world where more and more of the resources are concentrated at the top. We should take every opportunity to thoughtfully address the growing inequality of all types. Finding ways to address the diverse needs for housing is a key element of this effort.

Lastly, I sincerely believe that increased density will facilitate a more satisfying community dynamic. This increased density will naturally lead to more neighborhood-centric development like we see with the Wildwood Center. I also firmly believe that Olympia will be a much happier and more exciting place if we innovatively plan for the needs of our diverse community. The Missing Middle plan is keystone element of this effort.

The Olympia I love recognizes that we are stronger and happier when we support our diverse population.