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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, March 21, 2014
Christy Osborn, Senior Planner at (360) 754-3355 x4465 or OsbornC@co.thurston.wa.us

Comprehensive Plan Hearing on Mar. 25
Six amendments to county's Comprehensive Plan under consideration

Thurston County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, March 25 at 5 p.m. on six proposed amendments to the Thurston County Comprehensive Plan and joint plans with Lacey and Rainier. The public is invited to participate in informed discussion, and testimony will be accepted at the March 25 hearing in Room 152 in Building One of the County Courthouse complex.

Medela Site Specific Land Use Plan Amendment
Amend the Comprehensive Plan for the City of Olympia and the Olympia UGA to change the land use plan from Residential 4 to 8 Units per Acre (R 4–8) to Residential Multifamily 18 (RM 18) and rezone appropriately for 9.01± acres generally located at 9th Avenue SE and Chambers Street SE.

City of Rainer UGA and Land Use Plan Amendment
The City of Rainer has requested that a single parcel (APN: 21603330100) be added to the Rainier Urban Growth Area. The land currently contains the Rainier Fire Station owned by the Southeast Thurston Fire Authority. The one acre property is not expected to experience any additional development beyond the structures that are currently on the property.

North Thurston School District UGA and Land Use Plan Amendment
The North Thurston School District has requested approval of a site-specific Land Use Plan and Urban Growth Area amendment and associated rezone for approximately 72 acres to bring the property into the Lacey UGA and re-designate and rezone the property from rural land use and zoning to Open Space/Institutional to allow for construction of a future high school, middle school, and ancillary structures.

Ken Lake Area Land Use Plan Amendment and Rezoning
Amend the land use plan in the joint plan with the City of Olympia to change the land use and zoning for the unincorporated portion of the Olympia UGA northwest of Ken Lake to south of Highway 101 at Rainier. The amendment would the interim regulations adopted with Ordinance No. 14443 on December 7, 2010 permanent. The proposed amendment as recommended by the City of Olympia would change the land use and zoning from Residential 4 Units per Acre to Residential Low Impact 2-4 (RLI 2-4) Dwelling Units per Acre. The Thurston County Planning Commission recommended that the land use and zoning be changed to RLI 2-4 and that the impervious surface standard be changed for the study are to match the limits for the Residential 1/5 zoning district.

Schader Crown Ranch LTA Reconsideration
At end of 2012, Thurston County Commissioners adopted a land use plan amendment to finalize the reconsideration of the Schader Crown Ranch Long Term Agriculture designation. The amendment was appealed to the Growth Management Hearings Board. Following the appeal, the parties and the property owner came together with a negotiated settlement. The proposed amendment would re-designate 188.5 acres of property from Rural Residential/Resource One Dwelling Unit per Five Acres to Long Term Agriculture, and include a minor text amendment to Chapter 3–Natural Resources regarding farmland soils and their use in designating Long Term Agricultural lands of Long Term Commercial Significance.

Comprehensive Plan Amendment Methods
The language in the Thurston County Comprehensive Plan and the four Thurston County zoning ordinances are out of date and needs to be amended to be consistent with state law, recent case law, and amendments to Chapter 2.05 of the Thurston County Code enacted in 2011.

Written comments may be submitted in lieu of testimony at the March 25 hearing. Please send written comments to Christy Osborn, Associate Planner at OsbornC@co.thurston.wa.us, or mail them to Thurston County Planning Department, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia, WA 98502. Written comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25. For questions about the proposed amendments or the public hearing, please contact Christy Osborn via email or at (360) 754-3355 x4465.

More information about the proposed amendments is available in hard copy in the Thurston County Permit Assistance Center or online at www.ThurstonPlanning.org.

WHAT: Public Hearing on Comprehensive Plan Amendments
  • Medela Site Specific Land Use Plan
  • City of Rainer Urban Growth Area and Land Use Plan
  • North Thurston School District Urban Growth Area and Land Use Plan
  • Ken Lake Area Land Use Plan and Rezoning
  • Schader Crown Ranch Long-Term Agricultural Reconsideration
  • Comprehensive Plan amendment methods
WHEN: Tuesday, Mar. 25 at 5 p.m.

WHERE: County Courthouse Building One, Room 152 at 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW in Olympia


County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3