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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Allison Osterberg, Senior Planner at (360) 754-3355 x 7011 or osterba@co.thurston.wa.us

Thurston County Considering Low-Impact Development Standards
State requirements are driving the change.

OLYMPIA - The Thurston County Planning Commission will host a public hearing for residents to weigh in on proposed updates to the county's development code that support low impact development practices. The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, June 15, at 7 p.m. in Room 152 of Building One of the County Courthouse. An informational open house is scheduled prior to the start of the hearing, from 5:30 until 6:30 p.m. in Room 280 - members of the public can come to learn about the proposed changes and ask questions of staff prior to giving comment at the hearing.

The changes would affect standards for parking, landscaping, impervious surfaces, setbacks, open space, clearing and grading. This code review is required by the state under the county's stormwater permit. The current changes are mostly focused on unincorporated parts of Thurston County. The cities of Olympia, Lacey, and Tumwater are undergoing a similar review process, and their revised codes will be the basis for proposed changes to those Urban Growth Areas (UGAs) that will be reviewed later this summer.

Low impact development practices include preserving trees and other vegetation already on a site, minimizing new impervious surfaces like concrete and asphalt, and using permeable pavements and rain gardens to allow rain to infiltrate into the ground on site. This approach to development slows soil erosion and reduces the amount of pollution that flows off of a developed site after it rains.

Without such measures, stormwater runoff carries debris and toxins into local waters faster than the ground can absorb them. This rapid runoff degrades water quality and causes impacts to aquatic life, including salmon and other species. The goal of this code update is to minimize the impact of new construction on water resources and improve water quality in local streams, lakes, and Puget Sound.

To read a draft of the proposed code revisions and learn more about LID, visit http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/waterresources/lid/

Public Hearing and Open House

The Thurston County Courthouse is located at 2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW, Olympia, WA 98502.

You may provide comments in person during the meeting, or submit them, in writing through email to osterba@co.thurston.wa.us, or by regular mail to-

Allison Osterberg, Resource Stewardship Department
Thurston County Courthouse, Building One, 2nd Floor
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW
Olympia, Washington, 98502.

All emailed or mailed comments must be received by June 15, 2016 at 5:00 P.M. to the staff contact listed above, or provided at the public hearing.

If you need special accommodations to participate in this meeting, please contact the county commissioners' office at 360-786-5440. Citizens with hearing impairments may call the TDD line at (360) 754-2933.

If you have questions about this proposed change, you may contact Allison Osterberg, Senior Planner in Thurston County's Resource Stewardship Department at (360) 754-3355 x7011 or osterba@co.thurston.wa.us.



County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3