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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Jeremy Davis, Senior Planner, Community Planning and Economic Development Department, (360) 867-2103 or email at

Building and Construction Code Amended
Board adopts amendments to expand building permit exemptions

​OLYMPIA – The Thurston County Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance amending the Building and Construction Code (Title 14), reducing permitting requirements and working to protect residents from flooding hazards.

Thurston County amended building and construction regulations to update requirements, remove unnecessary permits, clarify language, and other minor clerical amendments. These changes are part of an ongoing effort by the Board of Commissioners to enhance economic development and increase customer service by streamlining the permitting process.

 "The changes adopted by the Board of Commissioners will save citizens both time and money," said Joshua Cummings, Community Planning and Economic Development Director. "Permits for a number of smaller projects will no longer be needed, like adding solar panels, and replacing windows, doors and siding.  Also, in an effort to increase customer service, the changes extend building permit expiration from six months to one year."   

 Amendments include: 

  1. Increasing the size for exempt residential storage buildings outside of Urban Growth Areas in rural parts of the county from 200 square feet to 400 square feet, adding a loft area for all exempt residential storage buildings, and adding other allowances and limits.
  2.  Exempting exterior siding replacement, same-size window and door replacement requiring no framing modifications, solar panels, and replacement of electric forced air heating units and electric water heaters. 
  3. Extending the expiration time for building permits from 180 days to one year.
  4. Amending the fire code to clarify standards, and allow an administrative waiver for fire flow where the occupancy is no more hazardous than the existing occupancy.
  5. Making necessary amendments to Chapter 14.38 - Development in Special Flood Hazard Areas - to retain the current Federal Emergency Management Agency flood insurance rating. Amendments include clarifying the two foot elevation requirement as "freeboard," and clarifying the use of fill in for the Special Flood Hazard Area to ensure consistency with other codes and amendments.

 You can view more detailed information about the amendments and the full text of the approved ordinance on the Thurston Community Planning and Economic Development Services website.



County Commissioners:

John Hutchings
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3