Downtown Strategy Implementation Underway

City of Olympia
Date of Release: June 08, 2017

Amy Buckler
Senior Planner

Downtown Strategy Implementation Underway

The City Council Adopted Olympia’s Downtown Strategy on April 25

With the City Council’s recent adoption of a Downtown Strategy, the City of Olympia has already launched several large implementation efforts. The aim is to move forward our community vision for Downtown as a vibrant, attractive urban destination with a variety of shopping, recreation and housing options. Structured around a concept of Connecting People, Places and Spaces, the Strategy outlines an ambitious set of actions to be carried out by the City and partners over the next 5 years. Some big implementation efforts are already underway:

  • Sea Level Rise Response Plan: The City of Olympia, LOTT Clean Water Alliance and the Port of Olympia are creating a response plan to protect Downtown Olympia and the Port peninsula from the impacts of sea level rise (SLR). The SLR Response Plan will identify needed actions, estimated costs and resources, implementation schedules and responsibilities. Mark your calendars for a community meeting on June 27, at the Olympia Center, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with an open house.
  • Parking Strategy: This effort evaluates and will recommend a variety of changes to our current parking system so that residents, visitors, customers and employees all have access to predictable short and long-term parking. Mark your calendars for a public open house on Thursday, July 13 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at City Hall Council Chambers.
  • Design Guideline Update: This effort is about making sure that new development is compatible with neighbors, promotes safety, security and livability, is environmentally responsible and promotes health and pedestrian activity as well as the attractiveness of the built environment. Watch for a public meeting this fall.
  • View additional upcoming actions related to transportation, housing, homelessness, design, land use, development and retail.

The Downtown Strategy was cultivated through an extensive public process with approximately 3,500 people from throughout the county participating in meetings and online. It builds on over $180m of public sector investment since the mid 90’s along with current demographic and market shifts that favor urban redevelopment. Centered on broad community vision and goals, the Strategy integrates a variety of actions focused on the following priorities:

  • Setting the stage so there are housing options for people with a full range of incomes
  • Creating a more vibrant, dynamic business environment that attracts people, activity and investment
  • Encouraging private sector investment
  • Retaining unique qualities such as our historic fabric and natural waterfront environment
  • Improving the multi-modal transportation system with a special focus on making the pedestrian experience extraordinary

For more information visit our website at Also, stay connected to future opportunities to get involved by subscribing to our City Plans and Strategies e-newsletter.