Friends of the Waterfront
Almost everyone now agrees that the planet is getting warmer, polar ice is melting, and sea levels will keep rising. According to The Olympian's coverage of a recent city report (Part 1, Part 2), downtown areas already come very close to flooding during some winter high tides, and Olympia may well have a 3-foot rise in sea levels during the next 100 years, or more. The bright blue on this city map shows estimated flooding with 2 feet more water at high winter tides. (Click on it for the full size version.) The whole isthmus floods.
Granting this rezone request will put major new development on the lowest area in the city, where it will be most threatened by flooding and water rising through the soil. Taxpayers will have to pay to defend million dollar condos with dikes, seawalls, and pumping systems. Building and maintaining these will cost tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars. The city has barely begun to think about this issue; it should have at least some sense of what protecting these buildings might cost and how we might pay for it before it cheerfully commits itself to this risk.
Email, write or phone the City Council — P. O. Box 1967, 900 Plum St SE, Olympia, WA 98501; 360-753-8569.