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Development Code Docket

Official Docket of Development Code Amendments

calendar and penThe Official Docket of Development Code Amendments is a list of proposals for making changes to Thurston County’s development regulations. (The County also has a docket for changes to its Comprehensive Plan.)

The purpose of the docket is to provide information about potential changes to development regulations that the County is considering. The Board of County Commissioners chooses the topics from a “Preliminary Docket,” maintained year-round, and places them on an Official Docket, which is forwarded to the Thurston County Planning Commission for proposal development and review. This docketing process is used to provide the public with information about and opportunities to participate in the amendment process.

This chart on the general docketing process shows how a preliminary docket becomes an official docket.

2016-2017 Preliminary Docket of Development Code Amendments

  • A-2: Sign Code amendment
    • STATUS: The Thurston County Planning Commission will conduct a Public Hearing on December 7, 2016, at 7:00 p.m., in Room 152, of Building #1 at the Thurston County Courthouse Complex, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia, WA 98502.  The purpose of the hearing is to accept public input on the proposed amendments to the Thurston County Codes regulating signs in unincorporated Thurston County.  Comments will be accepted until 4:00 p.m., December 7th, and may be submitted by hand, or by mail to the Resource Stewardship Department at the street address noted above.  Comments may also be submitted by email to Kraig Chalem at: chalemk@co.thurston.wa.us

      Click here for more information about Sign Code Amendment.  Materials submitted by the planning department can be found under ‘News and Links’. NEXT STEPS:  At the close of the public hearing, the Planning Commission may choose to recommend the Board of County Commissioners adopt the proposed amendments, modify the proposal, or request staff provide additional information for consideration and schedule a work session.
    • RECENT ACTIVITY:
    • On June 1, 2016, the Thurston County Planning Commission received their initial briefing from staff regarding amendment of the four sign codes serving unincorporated Thurston County.

The 2016-17 Preliminary Docket of Development Code amendments is attached below for review. Prior to adopting an Official 2016-17 Development Code Docket, a minimum 20-day public comment period is required. The written public comment period will be from October 21, 2015 to November 13, 2015. A notice will be posted here, and published in The Olympian when the comment period begins.

Projects on the preliminary docket of development code amendments are prioritized into four tiers: Priority A, B, C and D.

Priority A: High Priority Amendments
Amendments mandated by the state to comply with the Growth Management Act or recent case law, as well as amendments needed to solve a significant issue as directed by the Board. These items would be taken up as staffing resources permit.

Priority B: Other High Priority Amendments
Amendments that are intended to address Board policy direction and/or respond to public interests that are not the highest priority. It is unlikely there will be staffing resources available to process these projects. They may be addressed throughout the year as part of a higher priority proposal, or as necessary to solve a pressing issue.

Priority C: Medium Priority Amendments
While important, it is unlikely that staffing resources will allow the processing of amendments at this priority level. These projects may be addressed throughout the year as part of another higher priority proposal, or as necessary to solve a pressing issue.

Priority D: Low Priority Amendments
As with Priority C projects, it is likely that staffing resources will limit the progression of these amendments through the adoption process. The Board may want to consider removing these items as it is unlikely staffing will be available to process these amendments.

If you have questions about individual items on the docket, please call Maya Buhler at (360) 786-5578 to be directed to the appropriate staff member for the proposed docket item.

If you would like to submit a comment by email, please send comments to Maya Buhler at buhlerm@co.thurston.wa.us.

Comments submitted by mail can be sent to:

Thurston County Resource Stewardship Department
C/O Maya Buhler, Assistant Planner
2000 Lakeridge Dr SW
Olympia, WA 98502

2014-2015 Official Docket of Development Code Amendments

  • Official Docket of Development Code Amendments
  • A-1: Amend Appeal Procedures to Remove the Board from the Quasi-Judicial Review Process
  • A-2: Penalties and Enforcement
  • A-3: Marijuana Regulations 
    • STATUS: The Thurston Board of County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, at 3:00 p.m. to accept public testimony on extending the interim zoning regulations for state-licensed marijuana producers, processors and retailers. Comments may be submitted by hand, or by mail to the Resource Stewardship Department, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia, Washington, 98502.  They may also be submitted by email to Kraig Chalem at: chalemk@co.thurston.wa.us.

      All materials submitted by the planning department can be found under ‘News and Links’.
      Click here for more information about Regulating Marijuana: Producer, Processors, and Retailers.
       
    • NEXT STEPS:  At the close of the public hearing, the Board may choose to adopt the proposed interim regulations, modify the proposal, or request staff provide additional information.
       
    • RECENT ACTIVITY:
      • On January 5, 2016, a public hearing was held to receive testimony on proposed changes to Interim Ordinance No. 15122, which were adopted on November 10, 2015, extending Ordinance No. 14944 for an additional six months, and is now scheduled to expire on May 10, 2016.  The changes adopted in November, affected: public notice requirements, screening, setbacks, removed producers and processors from residential zones, modified minimum required lot size for outdoor grows, and clarified that any production area not fully enclosed in a permanent structure would be considered an outdoor operation.
      • On January 20, 2016, the Thurston County Planning Commission received a briefing from staff regarding marijuana regulations affecting unincorporated Thurston County. County staff has recommended that the county's current interim regulations be made permanent and consistent with state laws that have been approved during the legislative sessions.
      • February 3rd, on behalf of the Board of Commissioners, staff presented marijuana operation specific topics that they would like the Commissioners to consider in their deliberations.
      • February 17th, a public hearing was conducted; 23 members of the public testified.  In addition, information was provided by representatives of the Olympic Regional Clean Air Agency, and the Washington State Department of Health. These discussions and the public testimony may be heard online at the Thurston County Planning Commission website under “Minutes & Audio”.
      • March 2, 2016, the staff provided written and oral responses to questions received from the Planning Commission at the previous meeting.
      • April 20, 2016, Planning Commission reviewed a comprehensive final draft of proposed permanent regulations for unincorporated Thurston County and the Urban Growth Areas for the cities of Tumwater, Lacey, and Olympia.
      • May 10, 2016, The Board of Commissioners approved to extend the interim marijuana regulations for another six months, and are now set to expire on November 10, 2016.  There were no changes to these standards.
      • In June the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend to the Board of County Commissioners their preferred option.
      • In July the Board of County Commissioners received an initial briefing, and received the Planning Commission’s recommendation.
      • A Public Hearing was held September 20, 2016 at 5:30 p.m., to take public testimony on a proposal to: permanently adopt zoning standards regulating state-licensed marijuana producers, processors and retailers; that buildings over 8,000 square feet associated with marijuana operations would be subject to SEPA environmental review; and, to amend Chapter 20.54, to add special use standards for Marijuana Producers permitted to operate in certain zoning districts subject to Administrative and Quasi-judicial approval.
  • A-4: Proposed Amendments to Wetland Rating System
    • STATUS: A public hearing has been set by the Thurston County Board of Commissioners for March 22, 2016 at 3pm in room 280 at Building 1 of the County Courthouse to take public comment on Development Code Docket A-4. Thurston County is in the process of updating the development codes for Chapter 24.30, the Wetlands chapter of the Thurston County Critical Areas Ordinance, brought about by Ecology’s 2014 update to their document, Washington State Wetland Rating System for Western Washington.
    • Proposed Amendments to Wetlands Chapter
    • May 10, 2016, The Board of Commissioners approved Ordinance No. 15291 amending the Wetland Chapter of the Thurston County Critical Areas Ordinance, Chapter 24.30, of the Thurston County Code.  Chapter 24.30 TCC includes standards for wetland mitigation, buffers, and wetland categorization. The amendments do not change any regulations in the Agricultural Activities Critical Areas Ordinance (Chapter 17.15 TCC). The updates amend Chapter 24.30 TCC to adopt changes related to updated terminology and new wetland function scoring methodology, included in Ecology’s updated 2014 Wetland Rating System for Western Washington. Thurston County Code (Section 24.30.025 TCC) requires the use of the most recent version of Ecology’s wetland rating system.
  • A-5: Modify Maximum Building Coverage Limits in Specific Rural Zones for Schools (Title 20)  
  • A-7: Amend the UGA Zoning Codes for Urban Agriculture 
    • STATUS: On Tuesday, June 7, The Thurston County Board of Commissioners approved Ordinance No. 15304 amending the Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater Urban Growth Area (UGA) zoning codes in regards to urban agricultural activities. The amendment includes additional chapters for urban agriculture in Title 21, Zoning Ordinance for the Lacey Urban Growth Area; Title 22, Tumwater UGA Zoning Ordinance; and Title 23, Olympia UGA Zoning Ordinance. This proposed County Code update is intended to encourage more urban agricultural activities and increase clarity and consistency in regulations between the Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater UGAs and their respective municipalities. The changes to the UGA zoning codes for urban agriculture incorporate input and recommendations from citizens, experts in the field, the Thurston County Agricultural Advisory Committee, Code Enforcement, Public Health and Social Services, and the Planning Commission.
    • Proposed Amendments for Urban Agriculture in the UGAs
    • Staff Report
    • Planning Commission Letter of Recommendation
    • Public Comment
  • A-10: Personal Social Events Amendment 
    • STATUS: On December 7, 2016, the Thurston County Planning Commission will receive a briefing from staff regarding amendment of the temporary use section of the rural codes regulating “Personal Social Events”. The ‘Planning Commission staff report and attachments’ can be found from the Agenda on the Planning Commission webpage under News and Links. Click here for more information about ‘Personal and Social Events’ Amendment.

Docket Priorities

Projects on the docket are prioritized into four groups.  The groups include:

Priority A, High Priority Amendments:  Amendments mandated by the state to comply with the Growth Management Act or recent case law, as well as amendments needed to solve a significant issue as directed by the Board.  These items would be taken up as staffing resources permit.

Priority B, Other High Priority Amendments:  Amendments that are intended to address Board policy direction and/or respond to public interests that are not the highest priority.  It is unlikely there will be staffing resources available to process these projects.  They may be addressed throughout the year as part of a higher priority proposal, or as necessary to solve a pressing issue.

Priority C, Medium Priority Amendments:  While necessary, it is unlikely that staffing resources will allow the processing of amendments at this priority level.  These projects may be addressed throughout the year as part of another higher priority proposal, or as necessary to solve a pressing issue.

Priority D, Low Priority Amendments:  As with Priority C projects, it is likely that staffing resources will limit the progression of these amendments through the adoption process.  These projects may be addressed throughout the year as part of another higher priority proposal, or as necessary to solve a pressing issue.

red arrow Also see Comprehensive Plan Docket

2009-2010 Official Docket of Development Code Amendments

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Docket Facts

Click here to read facts about the docket process.

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