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Eye On Olympia

There will always be an Olympia…

From Monday’s Olympian story by staff writer Matt Batcheldor:

“Those elected will help determine whether the city needs yet another plan for developing downtown or whether the existing dozen or so plans are adequate.”

The paper went back and looked at 14 such studies, dating back to 1979. As neighboring Lacey grows at a breakneck pace — much of it in strip-mall development — Olympia is struggling to rejuvenate its downtown.

Among the quoted studies: a 1991 “urban design vision and strategy” that included a never-built trolley system.

“Unfortunately, for the city of Olympia, the historic downtown has suffered from a variety of actions which have sapped its vitality and compromised its civic integrity as a seat of government,”
the report concluded.

The downtown issues — safety, parking, downtown housing and helping struggling merchants in Olympia’s core — are a key part of Olympia’s city races this fall.


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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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