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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Allison Osterberg, Senior Planner (360) 754-3355 x 7011 or osterba@co.thurston.wa.us

Thurston County Planning Commission Considering Changes to Development Standards for Urban Growth Areas
Public asked to review and comment on draft revisions.

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 for the urban growth areas of Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater, including changes that support low impact development practices. The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, August 17, at 7 p.m. in Room 152 of Building One of the County Courthouse.

Planning within the Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater urban growth areas is guided by joint planning agreements that state the county will adopt each city's zoning standards. The changes match those proposed by each of the cities to support low impact development in their codes. This code review is required by the state under the county's stormwater permit. The proposed changes also include a number of revisions to bring the codes into alignment with existing city codes, including changes to better match city standards for landscaping and parking.

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

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 August 17, 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 the proposed changes, 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