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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 19, 2006
 Jennifer Hayes, Senior Planner, 360- 786-5477

Volunteers Sought for Rural Rezone Project

OLYMPIA -- Thurston County residents are invited to attend a public meeting to find out about  

volunteering their property for rezoning.  Thurston County is seeking rural residential property owners who wish to volunteer their land for rezoning to lower development density - in other words, to reduce the number of houses that can be built on their land in the future.

"Zoning" determines how property can be used and developed. Most of Thurston County 's rural residential lands are zoned so that property owners can build up to 1 house per 5 acres, and have other rural uses such as agriculture and forestry. Rezoning under the Rural Rezoning Volunteer Program would change that to 1 house per 10 or 1 house per 20 acres.

Senior Planner Jennifer Hayes says people who want to see less development on their own property may be interested.  "Rezoning to a lower density would limit future subdivision potential of the land and provide for larger lots in the rural area for natural resource or large home site uses."  This may appeal to some property owners who:

  • Have no interest in subdividing land into 5-acre lots.
  • Have long-term investment in agriculture or forestry use.
  • Want to preserve their land for conservation purposes.

In addition, a fee is usually required for rezoning, but under the Rural Rezoning Volunteer Program, that fee is waived.  

Thurston County is seeking volunteers in order to help achieve compliance with the Growth   Management Act by rezoning some rural lands to lower residential densities. The County is currently studying rural lands to find areas that can be "re-zoned" to 1 unit per 10 acres or 1 unit per 20 acre. Many citizens have asked the County to seek volunteers for rezoning during the County's work on the Rural Rezoning Project.

You can find out more about the Rural Rezoning Project and Volunteer Program by visiting http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/permitting/gma/rural-rezoning.htm.  The Rural Rezoning Volunteer Program deadline is May 15, 2006.

The public meeting for property owners interested in volunteering their property for  rezoning will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 24, 2006 at the Expo Center , Thurston County Fairgrounds, 3054 Carpenter Rd. SE , Lacey.

Those who have questions can call 360-786-5490 Or email gma_mail@co.thurston.wa.us


County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3