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Critical Areas Update

News and Links

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated the Mazama pocket gopher as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Click here for more information.

  View our videos about the Critical Areas Ordinance planning process .

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Thurston County Critical Areas Ordinance

The Growth Management Act requires local governments to protect five types of critical areas: important fish and wildlife habitat areas, wetlands, critical aquifer recharge areas, frequently flooded areas; and geologically hazardous areas, (such as bluffs). Thurston County’s critical areas regulations are a response to that law – they regulate how development and redevelopment can safely occur on lands that contain critical areas.

2013 Amendments to the Critical Areas Ordinance

Thurston County is in the process of amending the critical areas regulations adopted in 2012. The purpose of the changes are to modify the critical areas regulations for agricultural activities consistent with a negotiated settlement with the Thurston County Farm Bureau and the Washington State Farm Bureau, and to make changes to address issues found during the implementation of the new regulations over the last year. To see the staff report, please click here.

The Thurston County Board of County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on amendments to the Critical Areas Ordinance on October 23, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. in Room 280, Building 1 of the Thurston County Courthouse Complex located at 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW. For directions, please click here.

TCTV Show on Critical Areas Ordinance, June 2011

Contact Us

For questions on critical areas, please call (360) 754-3355 x6299. For updates on Long Range Planning activities, sign up for our mailing list here.

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