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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, November 6, 2008
Contact:
Olivia Terwilleger, Assistant Planner, 360-786-7372 or terwilo@co.thurston.wa.us

Thurston County Long Range Planning Holds Open-House regarding the Long-Term Agricultural Lands of Commercial Significance Designation Project


OLYMPIA –Thurston County Long Range Planning Division will hold a Public Open House on November 19, 2008 at 6:00PM regarding proposed additions to the areas in the county designated as Agricultural Land of Long Term Commercial Significance.

The Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board issued a Growth Management Act compliance ruling on October 30, 2007 that requires Thurston County to identify Agricultural Lands of Long Term Commercial Significance, and apply criteria that would identify lands "capable of being used for agriculture.  This means that Thurston County must rezone areas within rural Thurston County to Long-Term Agriculture or Nisqually Agriculture or risk an invalidity ruling. An invalidity ruling could prevent most building in Thurston County .

The purpose of this Open House is to present maps, explain the designation process, and provide the public with an opportunity to comment on the proposed amendments to map M-15, "Future Land Use" and M-42, "Designated Agriculture and Forest Lands" in the Thurston County Comprehensive Plan, as well as amendments to the official Thurston County Zoning Map. It is important to note that designating additional parcels as Long-Term Agricultural Lands of Commercial Significance will result in the rezoning of properties from rural densities of 1 dwelling unit per 5 acres or 1 dwelling unit per 10 acres to the Long-Term Agriculture zoning density of 1 dwelling unit per 20 acres or the Nisqually Agriculture zoning density of 1 dwelling unit per 40 acres.

The open house will be held at Swede Hall located at 18543 Albany Street in Rochester on November 19, 2008 from 6:30 – to 8:00 p.m.  For more information on the Long Term Agricultural Lands of Commercial Significance Project go online at www.co.thurston.wa.us/permitting/GMA/agricultural-lands.htm., or contract Olivia Terwilleger at  (360) 754-3355 or e-mail at terwilo@co.thurston.wa.us  

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3