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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Contact:
Maya Buhler, Associate Planner, Community Planning and Economic Development, (360)786-5578 or email at buhlerm@co.thurston.wa.us 

Public Hearing Set for Proposed Mineral Resource Lands Designation Options on March 7
The public is invited to comment on proposed designation options for Mineral Resource Lands

OLYMPIA – The Thurston County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at 7:00 p.m., or soon thereafter, to accept public testimony on draft designation options for Mineral Resource Lands. An open house will be held prior to the public hearing on March 7, 2018 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with information available on the mineral resource land designation options.

What: Public Hearing for Mineral Resource Lands Draft Designation Options 
When: Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Time: 7:00 pm or soon thereafter
Where: Thurston County Courthouse Complex, Building 1, Room 152

The purpose of the public review period is to allow Thurston County residents and others a chance to view the draft mineral lands designation options and submit written comments.  Proposals to change the draft designation options may be made during the comprehensive plan update or the Board of County Commissioner’s process. The options proposed are draft designation options for mineral resource lands in Thurston County and are intended to replace the current mineral resource lands designation in Chapter 3 and Map M-43 of the Comprehensive Plan.

For more detailed information about the proposed options for designating Mineral Resource Lands, visit www.ThurstonPlanning.org

Written Comments: If unable to attend, written or e-mailed comments may be submitted. Comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on March 7, 2018. Submit comments by email to buhlerm@co.thurston.wa.us or mail or hand deliver them to: 
Thurston County Community Planning and Economic Development
Attn: Maya Buhler, Associate Planner
2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW
Olympia WA, 98502 

Background
Mineral resource lands include areas that may support the commercial extraction of minerals, including sand, gravel, rock, and metals. Counties planning under the Growth Management Act (GMA) are required to designate mineral resource lands as part of their Comprehensive Plan (RCW 36.70A.060).

Thurston County is currently evaluating where and how to designate mineral lands of long term commercial significance. Staff have requested a recommendation from the Planning Commission on the scope of criteria to be considered in designating mineral lands. 

Designated mineral resource land does not imply that mining-related activities will automatically occur there. New mining operations planned in areas designated as mineral resource lands will be reviewed before they are permitted to operate, in accordance with all relevant state and local regulations.

The Planning Commission may make a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners after this hearing. Once a scope and/or designation option is selected, it will be the technical basis for policies to manage mineral resource lands in the Comprehensive Plan. These policy decisions will be considered in the update to the Comprehensive Plan, in 2018. Property owners with designated lands will still be required to apply for a permit and must comply with applicable land use and environmental regulations prior to conducting mining activities.

Disability Accommodations:  Room 152 is equipped with an assistive listening system and is wheelchair accessible. To request disability accommodations call the Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator at least three days prior to the meeting at 360-786-5440. Persons with speech or hearing disabilities may call via Washington Relay:  711 or 800-833-6388.

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County Commissioners:

John Hutchings

District 1

Gary Edwards

District 2

Bud Blake

District 3