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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, September 9, 2016
Contact:
Kraig Chalem, Associate Planner-Resource Stewardship Dept. at chalemk@co.thurston.wa.us or (360) 754-3355 x2087

Public Hearing to Adopt Permanent Marijuana Regulations
Public invited to comment on regulations for the unincorporated area including the three Urban Growth Areas.

OLYMPIA - The Board of Thurston County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, at 5:30 p.m. to accept public testimony on proposed permanent zoning regulations for state-licensed recreational marijuana producers, processors, and retailers.

County Commissioners are conducting a public hearing and taking comment on a proposal to amend the Thurston County Code by adding Chapter 20.63 for the rural county, Chapter 21.103 for the unincorporated Lacey Urban Growth Area, Chapter 22.65 for the Tumwater Urban Growth Area, and Chapter 23.91 for the unincorporated Olympia Urban Growth Area. In addition, it is recommended that new buildings over 8,000 square feet associated with marijuana operations be subject to State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Review under Chapter 17.09; and, to amend Chapter 20.54, to add special use standards for Marijuana Producers permitted to operate in certain zoning districts subject to Administrative and Quasi-judicial approval.

For more detailed information about the proposal to permanently adopt zoning standards regulating recreational marijuana facilities operating within the unincorporated territories of Thurston County, and to view the full text of the proposed ordinance, go to theBoard of County Commissioner's Agendaand click on the link for the September 20th, Board of County Commissioners hearing under "Current BoCC Agenda".

Background:

Washington State licenses marijuana producers, processors, and retailers under RCW 69.50 and 69.51A. The state began accepting applications for licenses on November 18, 2013. Thurston County did not have regulations governing such uses in its zoning regulations, and therefore passed Ordinance No. 14978 enacting interim regulations, and has subsequently renewed said interim regulations consistent with state law until final regulations could be considered and recommended to the Thurston County Commissioners by the Thurston County Planning Commission. The interim regulations currently in effect are set to expire November 10, 2016. On June 1, 2016, the Thurston County Planning Commission issued a letter to the Board recommending that the Thurston County Code be amended as noted above.

WHAT: Public Hearing on Proposal to Permanently Adopt Marijuana Regulations.

WHEN: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 5:30 p.m., or soon thereafter.

WHERE: County Courthouse Building One, Room 280 at 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW in Olympia, 98502

The public is invited to participate in an informed discussion, and testimony will be accepted at the September 20th hearing. Written comments may be submitted in lieu of testimony at the hearing. Written comments can be emailed to Kraig Chalem, Associate Planner, at chalemk@co.thurston.wa.us, or mailed to:

Thurston County Resource Stewardship Department
Land Use and Permitting, ATTN: Kraig Chalem
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW
Olympia, WA 98502

Written comments must be submitted by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20th. County Commissioners may choose to amend the TCC adopting permanent ordinance regulating the production, processing, and retailing of marijuana at the close of the public hearing, or they may request that staff make changes to the proposal following 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 Kraig Chalem, Associate Planner in Thurston County's Resource Stewardship Department at (360) 754-3355 x2087 or chalemk@co.thurston.wa.us



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County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3