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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, September 8, 2022
Christina Chaput, Community Planning Manager, Thurston County Government christina.chaput@co.thurston.wa.us or 360-786-5486

Public Asked to Comment on Proposed Building Regulations in Gopher Areas
Draft Habitat Conservation Plan rules and online open house available now through Oct. 4.

OLYMPIA – Thurston County is asking the public to review and comment on proposed Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) regulations. The proposal spells out rules for building and development in unincorporated areas of the county mapped with Mazama pocket gopher habitat, and other HCP-protected species. It also addresses how the county will fund and manage federally-required conservation measures associated with HCP-related permitting.

The comment period is open now through October 4, 2022, when the Board of County Commissioners will host a public hearing at 3:30 p.m. on the draft ordinance and mitigation fees at the Thurston County Courthouse.

The draft ordinance, online open house, and planned October 4 hearing are part of the county’s push to begin permitting under its HCP in 2023. The county’s HCP was approved by federal regulators at U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in July of this year. County officials say much of the work to ensure smooth implementation of the plan is already in progress. County permitting processes are being reworked, habitat management plans and personnel are being readied, data gathering and reporting systems are being put in place so the county can meet its federal reporting obligations associated with the HCP, and mitigation land is being acquired.

How to review and comment on the proposed ordinance:

What: Public Hearing on Proposed HCP Ordinance and Fee Resolution
When: Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at 3:30 p.m.
Where: Thurston County Courthouse, Building 1, Second Floor, Room 280, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia, Washington 98503
Attend Virtually: Meeting information will be posted on the Board’s Public Hearings Page: https://www.thurstoncountywa.gov/tchome/Pages/publicmeetings.aspx

Written Comments: You can submit written or emailed comments if you cannot attend. Please submit your comment no later than 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 4, 2022. 

Mail to:
Thurston County Community Planning and Economic Development
Attn: Christina Chaput
Thurston County Courthouse, Building 1, 2nd Floor
2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW, Olympia WA, 98502

Review the Ordinance and Comment Online 
Visit www.ThurstonHCP.org - to find the draft ordinance, mitigation fee schedule, information about it in the form of an online open house, and comment forms.

Submit a comment using the online comment form (https://thurstoncomments.org/comment-on-the-habitat-conservation-plan/)

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 call via Washington Relay:  711 or 800-833-6388.


County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3