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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, January 31, 2008
Contact:
Celinda Adair, Associate Planner, 360-786-5477 or adairc@co.thurston.wa.us

Thurston  County   Planning Commission Holds Hearing Regarding the Long-Term Agricultural Lands of Commercial Significance Designation Project


OLYMPIA – The Thurston County Planning Commission will hold a Public Hearing next month regarding proposed additions to the areas in the county designated as long term agricultural lands of Commercial Significance.

The State has ordered the County to designate these additional areas. Specifically the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board issued a Growth Management Act compliance ruling on October 30, 2007 that requires Thurston County to designate the additional acreage.  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 hearing is to accept public comment and testimony on 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 public hearing will be held at Swede Hall located at 18543 Albany Street in Rochester on February 13, 2008 at 6:30 p.m.  An open house will be held at 6:00 p.m.  For more information on the Long Term Agricultural Lands of Commercial Significance Project, County residents can obtain a public hearing packet at the Permit Assistance Center located at the Thurston County Courthouse Bldg. 1, Second floor or online at www.co.thurston.wa.us/permitting/GMA/agricultural-lands.htm.  Those interested may also contact Celinda Adair at (360) 786-5477 or by email at adairc@co.thurston.wa.us.  

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3