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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, October 13, 2017
Contact:
Jeremy Davis, Senior Planner-Resource Stewardship Department, (360) 754-3355 ext. 7010 or davisj@co.thurston.wa.us

Public Hearing Scheduled to Extend Interim Marijuana Regulations
Public are invited to comment on proposed extension of interim regulations

OLYMPIA – The Thurston County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, October 24, at 5:30 p.m. to accept public testimony on extending the interim zoning regulations for state-licensed marijuana producers, processors, and retailers.

What: Public Hearing on Six-Month Extension of Interim Marijuana Regulations
When: Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Time: 5:30 p.m., or soon thereafter
Where: County Courthouse, Building One, Room 280 at 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW in Olympia, 98502

County Commissioners are holding a public hearing and taking comment on a proposal for a six month extension on the interim marijuana zoning regulations, currently set to expire on November 8, 2017. The six month extension will provide time for staff to develop and refine a proposal for permanent marijuana zoning regulations that are consistent with state laws.

No changes to the current interim regulations are being made with the proposed renewal ordinance.

You can view more detailed information about the proposal to extend the interim regulations and the full text of the proposed ordinance on the Thurston Long Range Planning website.

Background:
Washington State licenses marijuana producers, processors and retailers under RCW 69.50. The state began to take applications for licenses on November 18, 2013. Thurston County did not have regulations governing such uses in its zoning regulations, and therefore passed Ordinance No. 14978 enacting interim regulations until final regulations could be considered and recommended to the Board of County Commissioners by the Thurston County Planning Commission. State law allows for the interim regulations to be extended up to six months, and requires a public hearing be held for a proposed extension.

The interim regulations amended the Thurston County Code to add Chapter 20.63 for the rural county, Chapter 21.103 for the unincorporated Lacey Urban Growth Area, Chapter 22.65 for the Tumwater Urban Growth Area, and Chapter 23.91 for the unincorporated Olympia Urban Growth Area.

The interim ordinance will renew the provisions of Ordinance No. 14944, as amended by Ordinance No. 14978, Ordinance No. 15210, and most recently Ordinance No. 15371 (November 8, 2016). The interim ordinance provides notification requirements, minimum lot sizes for producers and processors, restricts producers from locating in residential districts; and requires new buildings associated with marijuana operations over 8,000 square feet be subject to Chapter 17.09 TCC, requiring a review under the State Environmental Policy Act. In addition, most zones that permit industrial uses also permit processing, and most commercial zones permit retailing.

The public may submit written comments in lieu of testimony at the hearing. Written comments can be emailed to Jeremy Davis, Senior Planner, at davisj@co.thurston.wa.us, hand delivered, or mailed to:

Thurston County Resource Stewardship Department
Land Use and Permitting, ATTN: Jeremy Davis
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW
Olympia, WA 98502


The deadline for written comments is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. County Commissioners may choose to approve the Interim Ordinance at the end of the October 24, public hearing, or they may request that staff make changes to the proposal following the public hearing and adopt at a subsequent County Commissioners meeting.

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County Commissioners:

John Hutchings

District 1

Gary Edwards

District 2

Bud Blake

District 3