10/4/19 Today, fourteen BNAers showed up at Bigelow Springs Park to do a Fall cleanup. We weeded and vinegared the trail, weeded gardens, trimmed overhanging branches, removed blackberries, cleaned out the stream, and generally neatened things up for winter. Thanks tho Steve Mazepa, Josie and Seth Hutt, Jon Gilstrom, Barb and Ray LaForge, Cristina and Charlie Harrington-Charney, Marge and Mike Carlson, Gayle and Bruce McGee, Jay Elder and Peg O'Keefe.
8/27/19 Missing Middle Update: Olympians for Smart Development & Livable Neighborhoods (OSD&LN) won their appeal of Missing Middle to the Washington Growth Management Hearings Board. The GMHB invalidated the MM ordinance until the City fills out a proper State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) checklist to identify MM impacts, redoes some of the plan to prevent degrading neighborhood character by exceeding parking and density requirements, and to study and predict impacts on parking, natural environment, the City budget, and sewer, storm water and water. To find out more, go here.
8/7/19 Last night was a very successful BNA Block Party, with 70 people attending. City council member Clark Gilman, a few Olympia Police, Representative Beth Doglio, and many new neighborhood faces came to enjoy a perfect summer evening with great food. This is what a neighborhood association looks like: dependable friends who are there for you.
Recent past events:
• Neighborhood Cleanup: Grub curbs/sidewalks, trim branches obstructing sidewalks. Saturday, December 8, 10 to noon
• Caroling Party with cookies and cider at the Bigelow House. Tuesday, December 18 from 7 to 8:30 PM
• Bigelow Springs Park Cleanup: Saturday, April 6, 10 AM to 1 PM.
6/3/19 Missing Middle: Following approval by the City Council last summerof Missing Middle changes to housing regulations , the decision was challenged by a group of citizens, including the group Olympians for Smart Development & Livable Neighborhoods. On May 23, 2019, the Growth Management Hearing Board heard arguments by both sides on two parts of that challenge, that the City violated SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) requirements and its own comprehensive plan; the decision will be issued on July 10. For more information on how the Missing Middle changes are already affecting neighborhoods, see the following article in The Olympian: https://www.theolympian.com/news/local/article230429694.html
6/1/18 Missing Middle : The Planning Commission is close to finalizing a decision about the 43 provisions of MM. After that, it will go to City Council for a final decision. In the meantime,
• The MM SEPA (State Environmentral Policy Act) was designated as DNS (determination of non-significance). This means the City claims that MM will have no significant impacts in Olympia. The DNS has been appealed by a group of Olympia citizens. The appeal has been denied by the City Hearings examiner, but it looks like it may go to superior court.
• Some of the 43 provisions have been approved by the Planning Commission and others haven't.
• If you want more info, go to the ONNA News site http://www.olynna.com/News.php
2/11/18 How would Missing Middle affect the Bigelow Neighborhood? Right now (map below left), much of our neighborhood is R-4-8 (magenta enclosure), which includes an Historic District (yellow enclosure). This means single-family houses only, at a density of 4 to 8 living units per acre.
Each single-family house can have an Accessory Dwelling Unit (remodeled garage or new cottage) as long as the owner lives on the property and an off-street parking place is provided. No duplexes, triplexes or fourplexes are allowed.
The gray areas on the map are empty lots. The 1.35 acre lot on East Bay Drive could have a 24-unit apartment or condo. The other empty lots could only have single-family houses: 12 of them. Total unit increase: 36 units.
In Missing Middle (map below right), the orange enclosure shows the area that would change. The East Bay property would still have 24 units. However, now 2 fourplexes, a triplex, and 5 single-family houses could be built. Total unit increase: 40 units.
Or, 14 Cottages, Townhouses, or Courtyard Apartments could be built, along with 5 single-family houses. Total unit increase: 43 units.
In addition, every single-family house could have an ADU without the owner on the property and without off-street parking. Although ADU's don't officially count as additional density, they would add units.
11/4/17 Thanks to Patti Sievert, Geoff Glass, Jenny Schar, Deb Walter, Steve Mazepa, Gayle and Bruce Magee, Helene Hutt, Paul Plein, Gregg Dorris and Jay Elder for cleaning up the Bigelow Springs Park today. We weeded the trail and garden, dug up blackberries and trimmed plants . It's ready for winter.
9/3/17 Are you interested in a Neighborhood Center development at the intersection of Bethel Street and San Francisco Avenue? Olympia Northeast Neighborhood Alliance (ONNA) will give a presentation of tentative options on Sunday 9/17/17 from 6 - 7:30 in the San Francisco Bakery garden. For more infor, go here.
8/3/17 The 2017 BNA Block Party was a great success, with about 60 residents attending. In addition, Congressman Denny Heck, Washington Representative Beth Doglio, police Chief Ronnie Roberts, Council candidates Renata Rollins and Lisa Parshley, and many City and Police personnel showed up to socialize. Thanks to Seth Hutt for arranging all the food and barbequeing, Rob Beckwell for BBQing, Barb LaForge for logistics and setup, Laurie Dills for membership drive, and me (Jay Elder) for setup and cleanup. Thanks also to the many members who helped clean up and make everything work. See pictures below.
8/2/17 The minutes from the July 14, 2017 BNA Board can be read here
6/5/17 If you haven't walked up the Bigelow Street hill lately, do it. Jean Brady has painted a beautiful floral mural on her retaining wall.
4/15/17 Thanks to Seth, Eli and Josie Hutt, Rich Christian, Linda Schneider, Cristina Charney and Charlie Harrington, Patti Sievert, Jeff and Terry Vanderpham and their Kids, Patti Tinsley and Tim Walker, Bill Gierach, Peggy O'Keefe and Jay Elder, Beth Milton, Barb LaForge, Jon Gilstrom, and many others I can't name, who came out for 3 hours and grubbed curbs and sidewalks, trimmed vegetation and picked up litter for the 2017 BNA Neighborhood Cleanup.
1/24/17: The BNA Board minutes for 1/17/17 are here.
The picnic table platform and Asahel Curtis Olympia Panorama sign were completed last week, with Seth Hutt, Rich Christian, Britt Nederhood, Stephanie Gilstrom and Jay Elder pouring the concrete. There is still some leveling of dirt to do, and in the Spring, we'll plant rosemary bushes around the table and grass seed in any bare dirt in the meadow. BSP is more beautiful and useable each year!
In January, we'll be planting fruit trees in the lot behind the Bigelow House, and putting up protective fencing to keep the deer from eating them the for first few years. BNA will advertize these work parties so you can help. This will finish the three matching grants we received from the City of Olympia this year. These grants paid for all materials, and BNA residents supplied all the labor.
11/16/16 Minutes from 11/15/16 BNA Board Meeting here.
There have been some burglaries and attempted burglaries in our neighborhood this past few weeks.
Oneburglary was on Olympia, near Tullis. Also, a squatter with an extensive criminal record was
removed from an empty house on Olympia Avenue near Quince by Police a few days ago .
On Glass and Quince, in the middle of the night a few nights ago, people came through a
gate onto a resident's porch, tripped and made noise and then ran. They took the bunge
cord, used as a closer, on the gate. A week ago, someone removed the gate-closing bunge
cord on an Olympia Avenue house during the night. It’s important to report things like this
to the Police or to a Block Watch member (TBA). Otherwise, no one knows there’s a problem
or a possible pattern developing.
What’s being done about these kinds of incidents?
1. Tuesday night at 1018 Olympia Avenue at 7:00, we’ll be having our monthly BNA board meeting. For the first 20 minutes of this meeting, the Olympia Police Department will give a presentation on the Blockwatch program for anyone in our neighborhood, and we will sign up BNA members and get organized. We invite anyone to come. Afterwards, we’ll have our normal BNA board meeting, and you’re welcome to stay for it.
2. ONNA, the Olympia Northeast Neighborhoods Alliance, of which the BNA is part, has begun a program to study crime patterns in our neighborhoods and come up with ways to combat our most common crime - residential burglaries. Contact me if you’re interested in helping. Also, go to the ONNA (http://www.olynna.com) or BNA (http://www.thebigelowneighborhood.com) websites to learn practices that reduce burglaries. One article found there is at http://www.thebigelowneighborhood.com/resources/pdf%20Burglars'%20MO.pdf
3. The Coalition of Neighborhood Associations is working with the City to revise and improve Olympia's Code Enforcement policies. This will help combat drug and nuisance houses.
4. YOU can prevent people from coming on your property by putting a loud noisemaker on your gate at night, and leaving your front porch light on. Dogs are good alert systems as well.You can also make sure your car is locked and valuables are removed from it at night.
Get to know your neighbors, and watch their homes while they are gone.
If you see someone you don’t know on the block, especially sitting in a parked car or wandering without apparent purpose, say "hi". You may make a friend. You may also let someone casing properties know that this neighborhood isn’t an easy mark.
If you see a person acting suspiciously on your neighbor’s property, just call Police Dispatch (704-2740). The Police need to witness someone in the act of a crime to catch them.
10/1/16 In spite of the rain, Seth, Eli and Josie Hutt, Jon and Stephanie Gilstrom, Caleb Smith, Elaine Harmon, Gregg Dorris, Geoff Glass, Jay Elder and Peggy O'Keefe spread mulch over the cardboard at the future Bigelow Orchard. Next step is tree-planting in January when plants are dormant. Below left; the lot before we removed all blackberries and their roots. Below right; last Saturday after spreading much.
9/20/16 BNA Board Meeting minutes. Read them here.
9/23/16 Read the September 2016 Newsletter here
8/5/16 Minutes from the 2016 Annual Meeting here.
8/2/16: We had our annual BNA meeting/picnic/block party on Olympia Avenue. The weather was perfect. We elected new officers, got to reconnect and meet new neighbors, got some new members, and just had a great time. See pictures below
7/9/16 Read the August 2016 BNA Newsletter
6/16/16 Read the latest BNA Board Minutes
6/1/16 We were awarded all three grants detailed below (3/1/16). In the next few weeks, we'll sign contracts with the City and start on the Asahel Curtis sign installation and the picnic table platform installation. As soon as an archaeology analysis is done on the Bigelow Orchard site, we'll spread mulch and plant trees and berries in the Fall. Contact Jay Elder or Seth Hutt if you want to help with these projects.
3/14/16 Spring at Bigelow Springs
3/1/16 The BNA has just applied to the City for another matching grant this summer. Included in it is money to:
• Complete the Bigelow Orchard project
• Place a ceramic sign at the top of Bigelow Springs Park, which shows a 1909 Asahel Curtis panorama photograph from that location in 1909
• Create a level base for the picnic table
3/9/16Downtown Strategy: For many years, in spite of its attractions, downtown Olympia has had a number of problems, which have discouraged people from enjoying it. For this reason, this year the City Council has made the maintenance and development of downtown Olympia first priority.
For a few months now, interested Olympia residents have taken part in Stakeholders Workshops and an open house, in order to set plans for Olympia's future development. See the Downtown Strategy website so you too can make suggestions, attend meetings or at least monitor the process to create downtown Olympia's future.
In the meantime, to see what's been discussed so far, you can look over the "Preliminary Results from Workshop #2". At first, skip to page 6, where the maps begin. The maps will give you an intuitive grasp of proposals quickly, and you can look back at the text later
September 14, 2015: The BNA Annual Picnic just happened yesterday at the top of Bigelow Springs Hill. About 30 people showed up. It was a beautiful day, with good food and friendly people. We elected new board members (see About Us page), Marj Shomshor signed up some people for disaster preparedness training classes, and we talked about the two grants we'll be beginning work on soon (see bottom of page)