Petition to Prevent Missing Middle
MAJOR CHANGES... the City's Missing Middle Housing Proposal opens the door for developers and investors to dramatically change the livability and makeup of existing neighborhoods. It represents the most extensive change to the City’s land use policy in the last quarter century!
MORE EXPENSIVE HOUSING... the Missing Middle does not address housing affordability. In fact, it does the opposite; relatively inexpensive rentals and small "starter houses" will be replaced by larger more expensive structures that only people with more money can afford. It targets the already most diversified neighborhoods and leaves many upscale neighborhoods virtually untouched.
HOMES WILL BE DEMOLISHED… the Missing Middle provisions set the stage for tear-downs of structurally sound buildings and displacement of renters or loss of most starter homes. It contains no provisions to prevent or limit newly developed housing from being turned into short-term, “lodging” rentals that take away available homes and long-term rentals.
CALIFORNIA COOKIE CUTTER... the Missing Middle is a concept applied with little forethought to our City. It is the current development fad imported from California in a one-size-fits-all package. Look to Seattle for an example of how badly this approach works… it has become unaffordable!
MANY NEIGHBORHOODs... the ill-conceived Missing Middle proposal disrupts many Olympia neighborhood by allowing dense multi-unit buildings that tower over one-story houses. These units will block light, views, and privacy. They will be closely packed in between our homes with little green space to act as a buffer.
BYPASSES ENVIRONMENT... the Missing Middle does not address environmental impacts such as loss of green space/wildlife habitat, stormwater and flooding, traffic, noise and glare, keeping historic buildingsand the displacement of low-income residents.
SECRET SCHEME... the Missing Middle was concocted by City Planning staff working with special interest groups in a process that left out the public.
PUBLIC SHUT OUT... Any public engagement was a facade. No informational mailings were done and opportunity for voiced public comment was intentionally limited. Most people today still do not know about the proposal. It is broad and complex, comprised of ten separate housing types and forty-three different provisions. The opportunity for unintended consequences is enormous.
OUTSIDE MONEY & GENTRIFICATION... the Missing Middle will lead to gentrification of Olympia and speculation on housing by investors from outside of your neighborhood.
(For a detailed explanation, illuminating graphics and photos, and empirical data go to the Olympians for Smart Development & Livable Neighborhoods website at https://noolyupzone.yolasite.com/)
Stop imposing plans like the “Missing Middle” on neighborhoods.
We want the process to start over with a well-designed, research-based proposal that faithfully reflects the community’s vision. Involve the public from the start and let neighbors have input into how their neighborhoods develop. Establish clearly defined goals and objectives with specific targets and timelines--don't just copy other cities' failed strategies! Any changes to Olympia's zoning codes and policies should enhance and ensure livability of neighborhoods for everyone.
WE, THE UNDERSIGNED RESIDENTS OF OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON HEREBY ENJOIN THE CITY COUNCIL TO EITHER RESCIND AND REPEAL THE “MISSING MIDDLE” PROPOSAL OR SUBMIT THE ENABLING ORDINANCE TO A REFERENDUM VOTE OF THE PEOPLE AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE ELECTION DATE AUTHORIZED BY STATE STATUTE.
If you live within Olympia City limits, please go to this link to electronically sign this petition. (Link to become active 10/22/18)