Olympia Planning Commission to continue policy discussion on Capital Mall Triangle plan, housing


The Olympia Planning Commission will carry on discussions about policy issues on Neighborhood Centers, the Capital Mall Triangle subarea plan, and the Housing Action plan.

"These issues often take longer," senior planner Joyce Phillips said during the Planning Commission's 2023 work plan discussion.

She said the commissioners had briefings in January and July on Neighborhood Centers' policy, but the review, public hearing, and recommendation could happen in 2023.

The commission is expected to review current codes and policies, strategy, and market analysis of Neighborhood Centers for scale commercial development and higher-density housing.

For the Capital Mall Triangle subarea plan, Phillips said the commissioners had a briefing in September. The commission expects more briefings for the project with the subarea envisioned to transform into multifamily residential, commercial, and mixed-use neighborhoods.

"The draft plan is supposed to be completed by June 2023," Phillips told the commissioners.

Contract planner Gary Cooper gave the commissioners a first briefing on Housing Action Plan in September, which aims to reduce minimum parking requirements to accommodate more housing projects.

"That will continue in 2023 with adoption by June 2023. We hope to have a public hearing in March on that one," Phillips added.

According to Phillips, the policy review on subdivision code amendments is on hold.

She explained that the city needs the permit processing ordinance to be adopted first before reviewing the subdivision code.

"We have a lot of processing information in the subdivision code. The code is pretty old. It does need a substantial rewrite," Phillips said.

The commission's recommendation on zoning map and development code text amendments is now going to the city council in January.

Other issues that will be on the Planning Commission agenda next year include:

  • Review of the six-year Capital Facilities Plan
  • Creative District Code Amendments – reviewing of code amendments to implement the Creative District, a 30-block area of downtown Olympia that is home to creative enterprises such as theaters, galleries, breweries and industrial designers.
  • Quarterly updates from Community Planning and Development and Public Works on private development and capital projects.
  • Comprehensive Plan update
  • Housing strategies/ Regional Housing Action Plan update
  • Martin Way Corridor study – briefing on a study regarding land use and transportation planning along the Martin Way corridor; a joint effort between Intercity Transit, Lacey, and Thurston County.
  • Park projects
  • Economic Development
  • Gridded streets – briefing on the use of gridded street systems with a focus on neighborhood design, infill development and transportation choices.
  • Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan


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