Thursday, April 17, 2008

There is a noise ordinance proposed for downtown Olympia. I oppose this, and sent an e-mail to the city council urging that a public meeting be held to discuss the issue, indicating my negative stance on such an ordinance. (Many opposed think the proposal is written for the benefit of developers hoping to create condos in downtown.)

To my surprise, I actually got an e-mail from a city council member, that I very much wish to reply to, but my lack of knowledge is tripping me up.

In my original e-mail, I state that such measures as noise ordinances for commercial districts, in the way they neuter commercial districts, move Olympia away from being its own sustainable community and more towards being a suburb of Seattle and Tacoma. The response said that this was not the goal, but that "Downtown Seattle presents a model of success worthy of imitation." Obviously, the difference between Olympia and Seattle is that Seattle is more decentralized, there are several areas dense with small commercial businesses, which effectively serve the same purpose for their neighborhoods as downtown Olympia serves for the whole of the city. This is my main objection. However, what confuses me is this: I'm not quite sure what is being defined as "downtown Seattle." There's no real area in Philadelphia, for instance, that is classified as "downtown"- it would be kind of a misnomer for a city of that size. That said, I'm relatively unsure as to what area "downtown Seattle" refers to. It's not a city I particularly care for. Anyone who wants to define downtown Seattle for me, please do so in the comments.


laura said...

i was JUST talking about this today, though i haven't been proactive by writing any bureaucrats yet.
i think "downtown seattle" is everything between the water and the interstate. first avenue to...whatever block is the last before I5 cuts the city in half, and everything exists on a steep hill. downtown, then, includes the seattle art musuem, seattle central library, et cetra. i'm thinking about this in terms of latitude, though, and i admit that i don't know the north/south boundaries that constitute downtown. i guess the southern boundary would be safeco field..

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