The Olympia Metropolitan Parks District is clearly intended to turn 150 acres of Olympia into a huge park or perhaps some other pet projects not included in city plans. The truth is the city can not afford to do this and have enough land for the variety of housing types we’ll need for the 20,000 additional residents who will live here by 2035.
Actions like this will lead to sprawl that will quickly eat up farmland and forests, jeopardize our groundwater, and drive up costs for roads, stormwater management, police, firefighting and other services required by a farflung population. This was the conclusion embodied in Sustainable Thurston – the most data driven, in-depth analysis ever completed in this region.
Yes we’ll need good design, beautiful sidewalks, lots of street trees as well as parks. Saving 150 acres of tree canopy in the urbanizing area has little value compared to the same amount of forest land needed to protect sensitive stream corridors in the county.
Sustainable Thurston just received its fifth award – a “Lifetime of GMA Achievement Award” – recognized as one of this state’s eight best planning projects over the last 25 years.
Sustainable Thurston goals and targets for a thriving society, healthy environment and robust economy demand informed actions that consider the big picture and move the region toward the full range of commitments in our plans that have been so carefully and responsibly crafted. The MPD proposal breaks those commitments and voters should reject it.