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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, August 11, 2022
Contact:
Leah Davis, Associate Planner, Community Planning and Economic Development Department, (360) 786-5582 or email at Leah.Davis@co.thurston.wa.us

Planning Commission to Hold Public Hearing on Emergency Housing Ordinance
The public is invited to comment on proposed amendments

​OLYMPIA – The Thurston County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Wednesday, August 17, at 7 p.m., or soon thereafter, to accept public comments on proposed amendments to the Emergency Housing Ordinance. You can view more detailed information about the proposal on the Emergency Housing Ordinance project webpage.

What: Public Hearing on Proposed Amendments to the Emergency Housing Ordinance
When: Wednesday, August 17, at 7 p.m., or soon thereafter
Where: Room 280, Building 1 of the Thurston County Courthouse, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW in Olympia, or online at https://www.thurstoncountywa.gov/planning/Pages/pc-meetings.aspx     

How to Submit Public Comments
Those wishing to testify should appear in person or virtually. The Planning Commission will accept testimony at the Wednesday, August 17 hearing. You can also submit written or emailed comments if you cannot attend. Please submit your comments no later than 4 p.m. Wednesday, August 17 to Amelia Schwartz at Amelia.Schwartz@co.thurston.wa.us.  You can mail comments to:

Thurston County Community Planning and Economic Development

Attention: Amelia Schwartz, Associate Planner

Thurston County Courthouse, Building One

2000 Lakeridge Drive SW

Olympia, WA 98502

Background
Thurston County has had regulations for permitting homeless encampments since 2010. In 2019 the board adopted and has since renewed interim rules that allow for flexibility in the certain permitting requirements of homeless encampments. This flexibility is at the discretion of the Director of Community Planning and Economic Development when the Board of County Commissioners has declared a public health emergency.

The current proposal considers making the interim regulations permanent, with some minor adjustments that would change the length for which waivers are valid, prohibit encampments in critical areas, and make changes that clarify the application and permitting procedures. This item is A-24 - Emergency Housing Ordinance: Permitting Criteria Flexibility (Titles 20, 21, 22, 23) on the Official Development Code Docket for this year.

Disability Accommodations: To request disability accommodations, call the Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator at least three days before the meeting at 360-786-5440. Persons with speech or hearing disabilities may contact via Washington Relay:  711 or 800-833-6388.

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County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3