Agriculture Policies & Programs Review Project

A community-driven review of Thurston County government's policies and programs related to agriculture is in process now. The Board of County Commissioners approved this project, numbered as CPA-16, for the 2022-2023 Official Docket of Comprehensive Plan Amendments. The project includes, but may not be limited to, a review of the following:

  • Land use policies and zoning
  • Incentive programs
  • Regulatory programs
Staff is working closely with the county's Agriculture Advisory Committee and other stakeholders throughout the county to help define priority issues the project should address.

Subscribe to our interested parties list to receive updates on this project.

Submit a public comment to the project manager, Maya Teeple.


​Project Updates: 

  • Request for Qualifications Published - The County is soliciting consultant proposals to facilitate a stakeholder workgroup to review and update the designation criteria and mapping for agricultural lands of long-term commercial significance. The stakeholder workgroup is expected to meet 6-8 times starting in late summer.

  • Scope of LTA of Commercial Significance Review & Re-Mapping - The BoCC provided direction on the scope of the Long-Term Agriculture expansion on Jan 13, 2022. That direction is to conduct a targeted review and update to the long-term agriculutre designation criteria and mapping to review updated soils information (criteria 1) and review the following criteria: (criteria 2, 4) consider designating LTA within Urban Growth Areas; (criteria 5) consider adjusting criteria to include smaller acreage farms; (criteria 8) consider elimination of block size requirements.

  • Results from the Community Survey on Agriculture - More than 400 people provided critical feedback on County agricultural policies and programs. Thank you for your participation! County staff have analyzed the results and provided them in the Agriculture Survey Report (PDF). Learn more about the policies and programs covered by this survey via the links at the bottom of this page.

​Project Timeline (subject to change)

  • Spring 2020 - Spring 2021 - Project Scoping, Community Survey, Initial Stakeholder Outreach

  • Spring 2021 - Summer 2021 - Data Analysis and Prioritizing Actions

  • Summer 2021 - Fall 2023 - Developing Amendments, Public Outreach

  • Summer 2022 - Spring 2023 - Targeted Stakeholder Review of Designation Criteria, Draft Re-Mapping

  • Early 2023 - Winter 2023 - Planning Commission and BoCC Review


Follow the meetings:

  • (Past) April 21, 2022 - Agriculture Advisory Committee briefing on RFQ for a facilitator of the Long-Term Agriculture stakeholder workgroup.

  • (Past) April 20, 2022 - Planning Commission review of Open Space proposal. Public Hearing scheduled to be held on May 18. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQQimS4EVGM

  • (Past) January 20, 2022 - Agriculture Advisory Committee discussion on Open Space Tax Program

  • (Past) On January 13, 2022, the  BoCC provided direction on the scope of the Long-Term Agriculture expansion. That direction is to conduct a targeted review and update to the long-term agriculutre designation criteria and mapping to review updated soils information and review the following criteria: (criteria 2, 4) consider designating LTA within Urban Growth Areas; (criteria 5) consider adjusting criteria to include smaller acreage farms; (criteria 8) consider elimination of block size requirements. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LABND4C-Jsw

  • (Past) Watch the December 1, 2021 project update provided to the Board of County Commissioners. At this briefing, staff reviewed to options for scope of work of one component of the CPA-16 project, the LTA Review and Re-Mapping Expansion. https://youtu.be/SbTEIetoO-Q

  • (Past) Local leaders, community members, and planners gathered to hold a virtual summit to discuss Thurston County's Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program. The group discussed how the program might be improved to serve its goals of protecting farmland and managing growth. See a YouTube of the Summit here: https://youtu.be/YzY8lyYoMWw

    For more information about the TDR program, visit https://www.thurstoncountywa.gov/planning/Pages/incentives-tdr-pdr.aspx.

  • (Past) Watch the September 16, 2021 project update provided to the Agriculture Advisory Committee, including discussion of near-term action proposals focused on the Open Space Tax Program. https://youtu.be/5e5RTAmAvPU

    For more information about the Open Space Tax Program, visit https://www.thurstoncountywa.gov/planning/Pages/incentives-open-space-tax.aspx.

  • (Past) Watch the May 20, 2021 project update provided to the Agriculture Advisory Committee, including discussion of several near-term action proposals focused on incentive programs. https://youtu.be/EX6lzf7xkfI

  • (Past) Watch the May 13, 2021 project update provided to the Board of County Commissioners, including a presentation on the final Community Agriculture Survey Report and preliminary actions planned for the project. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wv2cEasALjU 

  • (Past) Watch the April 15, 2021 project update provided to the Thurston County Agriculture Advisory Committee, including a presentation on a second draft of the Community Agriculture survey report, as well as a discussion of long-term agricultural lands designation: https://youtu.be/Jh6gWi3WUcY

  • (Past) Watch the March 18, 2021 project update provided to the Thurston County Agriculture Advisory Committee, including a presentation on the draft results from the Community Agriculture survey (final report is currently in development): https://youtu.be/B_cOdsIHcSQ

  • (Past) Watch the February 18, 2021 project update provided to the Thurston County Agriculture Advisory Committee, including a presentation on how Thurston County agricultural lands incentive programs work (Open Space Tax Program, Conservation Futures, and Transfer of Development Rights): https://youtu.be/EwzuXw8PFZ0

  • (Past) Watch the January 21, 2021 project update provided to the Thurston County Agriculture Advisory Committee, including a presentation on how agricultural lands are designated and zoned in Thurston County, and presentation and discussion of maps comparing designated lands to other data sources about local farmland: https://youtu.be/n8vbRqKU1Js

  • (Past) Watch a November 25, 2020 presentation and discussion with the Board of County Commissioners on regional agricultural economic development here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8OcL6K3MIA 

  • (Past) Watch a discussion about current Thurston County Agriculture Programs and Policies with the Thurston County Agriculture Advisory Committee at their November 19, 2020 meeting here: https://youtu.be/55DH51RmDKY

  • (Past) Watch the October 15, 2020 project update provided to the Thurston County Agriculture Advisory Committee, including a discussion of a future mapping project and development of a community survey here: https://youtu.be/9jfo6yB80-o

  • (Past) Watch the September 17, 2020 project kick-off meeting with the Thurston County Agriculture Advisory Committee, including presentations from county staff, American Farmland Trust, and the Community Farmland Trust here: https://youtu.be/2LlTwLt-wRs 

 

Document Center:

Board of County Commissioner Review:


Links to county agriculture policies and programs