Downtown Design Guidelines

Thurston First building in Downtown Olympia

What are design guidelines?

Design guidelines are regulations applied to development projects. They intend for projects to upgrade physical attractiveness; be compatible with neighbors; promote safety, security and livability; be environmentally responsible; and promote health and pedestrian activity.

What is the City doing?

The City is updating the design guidelines for downtown Olympia. This action was recommended in the Downtown Strategy to simplify the organization, promote a more urban design quality and be compatible with the Downtown Strategy’s character areas.

What's happening now?

The public hearing draft of the guidelines is now available below. This draft considers public comments received on the first and second drafts and refines earlier language. The City provided briefings on the draft guidelines to the Planning Commission on October 7 and 21, November 4 and 18, and December 2, 2019. People are invited to review and comment on the proposed guidelines and related code amendments.

How to comment

You may provide comments using the button below or in-person at the public hearing, scheduled for Feb. 10, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. in Olympia City Hall Room 207.

DRAFT Design Guidelines

Summary Handouts


Contact Joyce Phillips at 360.570.3722 or