Current Plans, Programs & Studies

Thurston County government develops plans, operates programs, and conducts studies as mandated by the Washington State Legislature's Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A.020) which requires county governments to plan for long-term growth, protect natural resources, reduce urban sprawl and comply with state and federal laws.  

County-wide Planning Policies (PDF)    |   The Local Planning Process (Video) (PDF)


Capital Improvements Plan
Thurston County government's six-year plan of community investment projects for unincorporated areas of Thurston County.

Comprehensive Plan
Thurston County government's 20-year plan to accommodate growth in unincorporated Thurston County. 

Critical Areas Ordinance
The County limits development in areas prone to natural hazards, those which drain to drinking water aquifers, and wildlife habitat.

Shoreline Master Plan & Program 
Building, zoning and land-use regulations for fresh and salt-water shorelines in unincorporated Thurston County. 

Subarea Plans
Building and zoning plans for the communities of Grand Mound, Rochester and the Nisqually Valley.

Programs & Studies

Flood Programs
Many County departments work on flood-related planning and programs. Find details on the Flood Programs webpage.

Land Conservation Incentive Programs
Thurston County government operates programs to reduce urban sprawl, minimize development, maintain open spaces, and protect natural resources. 

Shellfish Protection District
Thurston County government operates a water quality program for Henderson Inlet and Nisqually Reach, where pollution threatens economically important shellfish farming.

Water Programs & Studies
Thurston County government operates many water-related programs (managed by various County departments) and also studies the waters in our area to identify specific projects to benefit community health, safety, and the local economy.