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For decades, the Chambers Lake Basin area has been fragile, prone to flooding, and a wetland in the rainy season.

One proposed development (39.55 acre Chambers Lake Residential development) bordering Chambers Lake will severely impact this environment.  The 221 housing units will impose impervious surfaces, streets and parking areas contaminated with automobiles residue and oil leaks, fertilizers and pesticides.

Another conceptual proposal, Village at Chambers Lake, covering 43.54 additional acres and adjoining the Chambers Lake development, would impose another 319 planned units abutting west Chambers Lake, a habitat-fragile ecosystem.  These are just two of the seven PROPOSED developments in the Chambers Lake Basin area, some of which are already being bulldozed.

The developer is suggesting that individual water gardens will handle stormwater runoff from the Chambers Lake development.  As we all know, 2004-2005 was an unusual drought year.  It was also the year the proposal for Chambers Lake Basin development was moving forward.

We citizens, some who have lived on this land for up to 40 years, testify to the problems of our land flooding in the rainy season.  Our few remaining small farms, organic berry fields, and organic gardens deserve protection, as do our wells, groundwater, and septic systems.  These developments should not be allowed to start until all facts are examined and mitigated.  The loss of decades-old trees, cut to accommodate the developments, and the added impervious areas will greatly increase the stormwater problems and runoff into the Chambers Lake drainage ditch.


Chambers Lake drainage ditch and Chambers Creek drain into the Deschutes River, Capital Lake, Budd Inlet, and then into Puget Sound.  This route is a known salmon habitat protected by state and federal governments.

A State Department of Ecology study, released in August, 2005 supports “other studies showing that pollution from industries is decreasing while pollution from individual citizens and urban runoff is growing,”,  Ecology Director, Jay Manning stated.  This critical information is reiterated by Brad Ack, director of Puget Sound Action Team who said, “the press of population growth, including more vehicles and more stormwater runoff, probably is behind the increase in PAHs.” *  “Saving Puget Sound is ultimately about smarter land use and management of wastes in the basin,”  Ack stated.

CRITICAL AREA:  A FRAGILE, UNIQUE NATURAL HABITAT We, the citizens of Olympia, the CAPITAL of the State of Washington, take pride in the fact that our state is admired nationally for respecting and protecting the environment.  The citizens of Olympia recently voted to tax themselves to ensure we conserved space for parks.

This unique, natural area, Chambers Lake Basin, could increase the size of the City of Olympia’s adjacent park site.  These acres are home to coyote, raccoon, deer, quail, hawks, eagle, heron, pheasant.  According to a printed study, Birds of Chambers Lake, prepared by Thurston County Storm  and Surface Water Program, almost 40 species of birds, including 15 rare species and 2 very rare species nest here.  Removing the trees and their cover destroys one remaining area of their habitat.  Chambers Lake, the wetlands and ponds are home to ducks who return to lay eggs and raise their young.

TRAFFIC, which is being presented at the Olympia City Council as a serious problem for many neighborhoods in our south Olympia community, is becoming worse on Wiggins and Herman Roads (37th St).  Picture Yelm Highway during the commute, the Boulevard Road dilemma, the Fones Road bottleneck, and south end neighbors unable to get out of driveways safely. Then add to this picture the impact of 3,164 more cars poured onto roads already backed up at intersections and struggling to absorb the growth in recent months. If only FOUR of these SEVEN  developments were permitted to build, and each household had the usual two cars, our roads become flooded with more than 3,000 additional vehicles...

Who benefits?  A few will benefit monetarily if these developments are allowed.

Who is burdened?  Our city and our entire Chambers Lake Basin community will bear the heavy burden and aftermath of increased water problems, pollution, and irreplaceable loss of open space and a unique wildlife habitat.



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Association of Citizens Concerned about Chambers Lake Basin © 2005-2012