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Thurston County Comprehensive Plan


comprehensive plan montageThe Comprehensive Plan is a policy document that describes the community’s long-term vision for Thurston County, looking ahead to set direction for accommodating growth in the coming decades. It contains common goals that guide development within the county, and addresses state Growth Management requirements related to urban growth, housing, economic development, environmental protection, property rights, historic preservation, and more. It also includes specific policies and actions needed to achieve those goals. The Comprehensive Plan provides a framework for zoning and other development regulations in the county.

The Comprehensive Plan is made up of several pieces:

  • The main Comprehensive Plan focuses on unincorporated Thurston County, those rural areas inside the County, but outside of the cities and the urban growth areas that surround cities.  The Comprehensive Plan includes chapters focusing on land use, natural resources, housing, transportation, utilities, and more.
  • Chapter 6 of the Comprehensive Plan includes the Capital Facilities Plan, a detailed list of projects planned over the next six years to support growth and the goals of the Comprehensive Plan. The Capital Facilities Plan is updated annually.
  • Three Subarea Plans address growth in the communities of the Nisqually Valley, Rochester and Grand Mound.
  • Joint Plans with the cities of Bucoda, Lacey, Olympia, Rainier, Tenino, Tumwater and Yelm guide land use in the unincorporated county areas between city limits and urban growth area boundaries. Joint Plans are adopted by both the specific city and the County.
  • Development regulations in the county are required to be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. These include regulations related to zoning standards, subdivisions, open space, and critical areas.

Thurston County is currently conducting a periodic update of its Comprehensive Plan. The last major update to the Comprehensive Plan was in 2005.

Outside of the periodic update, any interested citizen can request changes to the Comprehensive Plan using the annual docket process. Past amendments are archived here.

Here are links to various plans:

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