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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, October 31, 2022
Contact:
Leah Davis, Associate Planner, Community Planning and Economic Development Department,  (360) 786-5582 or email at Leah.Davis@co.thurston.wa.us

Board of County Commissioners to Hold Public Hearing on Emergency Housing Ordinance
You’re invited to comment on proposed amendments

OLYMPIA – The Thurston County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing to accept public comments on proposed amendments to the Emergency Housing Ordinance, or EHO, Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 3:30 p.m. in Room 280, Building 1 of the Thurston County Courthouse (2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia, WA 98502). There is also a video teleconference option for those wishing to provide testimony virtually.

You can view more detailed information about the proposal on the Emergency Housing Ordinance project webpage.

What: BoCC Public Hearing on Proposed Amendments to the EHO
When: Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022
Time: 3:30 p.m., or soon after
Where: Room 280, Building 1 of the Thurston County Courthouse, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia, WA 98502, or online at https://www.thurstoncountywa.gov/planning/Pages/pc-meetings.aspx     

How to Submit Public Comments

In-Person or Virtually: Those wishing to testify should appear in person or virtually and be heard. Testimony will be accepted at the Tuesday, Nov. 8, hearing.

Written Comments: You can submit written or email comments if you cannot attend.  Comments must be received no later than 12 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8. You can email comments to Leah Davis at Leah.Davis@co.thurston.wa.us. You can also mail comments to:

Thurston County Community Planning and Economic Development

Attention: Leah Davis, 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 first adopted, and has since renewed, interim rules allowing for flexibility in the permitting requirements of homeless encampments at the discretion of the Community Planning and Economic Development Department Director; this flexibility is only available 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 changing the length for which waivers are valid. In addition, the proposal does not allow for a waiver of the criteria prohibiting encampments in critical areas. The proposal also makes changes that clarify the application and permitting procedures.

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