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Then this happened — March 2020

Lohen Che’ s landlord kicked him and everyone else out of affordable duplexes on 10th Ave SE—and then applied for a tax exemption from the City Council for “market rate” apartments across the street. This month, the City Council granted an 8-year exemption from property tax on those apartments. Before being forced to move, Lohen had paid $790 per month for a one bedroom. A one-bedroom in the refurbished duplexes now rents for $1600. As Lohen wrote in the October WIP, landlords moving renters out in search of higher profits is a main source of homelessness in Olympia. (Read about what the Angelos’ tax exemption is worth on page 5)

Olympia councilmember Dani Madrone testified for the city in support of a new law that would “supercede, preempt and invalidate” local zoning that didn’t permit triplexes in every single-family lot; and in all neighborhoods allowed dup- tri-quad-six plexes plus townhouses, stacked flats and courtyard apartments. Madrone wants the state to mandate these things because people who resisted were like parents who didn’t immunize their children: they had to be ordered by the state to submit.

David Iyall was elected to the Thurston Conservation District Board of Supervisors in a vote that completes the reformation of the Board after an investigation by the state removed two previous members for malfeasance and neglect of duty. (See March 2019 WIP) The TCD website at is now a model of transparency and straightforward information about the role the District plays in Thurston County—and how it sets its rates.

WIP will gladly receive short & sweet reader contributions about things that relate to new development in stories covered in the pages of WIP. Bring ‘em on.

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