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A Guide for Home Builders

Step 6: County Review

application reviewIn the previous step, you submitted a complete application and paid the residential plan review fee. Now it's time for Thurston County to route your plans to all the required reviewers. 

The County Review Process

Your application will undergo several types of review, including zoning, critical areas, septic systems, and drinking water supplies. To learn about the review process, click here.

How Do I Check My Status?

We will begin to work on your application immediately and in the order received. For a basic residential permit, it can take up to 12 weeks; however, more complicated projects and land-use reviews might take up to a year. To check the status of your permit, you can use our online "Check Permit Status" tool, or call our automated information line.

County May Request More Information or Revisions to Application

Sometimes information in your application may be incorrect or missing. The reviewer will contact you or your designated agent with a list of information to be added or revised. If you have questions about the reviewer’s request, please contact the reviewer directly. He or she will include a contact telephone number and address in any correspondence.

County Issues Conditional Approval Letter

When all departments have reviewed and approved your proposal, they will forward comments to your case manager. Your case manager will send you a conditional approval letter with a list of remaining requirements and an invoice for all remaining review and permit fees.

Prepare Your Property

The following is allowed without further review or permit from Thurston County. 

Please remember:  waterfront, wetlands, streams, steep slopes, Oregon white oak trees, and high groundwater hazard areas have additional regulations under the Shoreline Master Program and the Critical Areas Ordinance. Do not clear, grub or cut trees in these areas until you check with the Building Development Center.

  • Clearing/grubbing/grading:

    You are allowed to remove shrubs and small trees (less then 6 inches in diameter at 4.5 ft) if the total cleared area is 7,000 square feet or less. You may excavate or fill up to 50 cubic yards of material to establish driveways, footings, etc. Proper sediment and erosion control features must be in place when performing these activities. All other clearing and grading activities require a grading permit.

  • Cutting:
    • Properties in the Olympia/Lacey/Tumwater Urban Growth Areas: A Forest Lands Conversion permit is needed if you are clearing more than 5,000 square feet of land or cutting more than 5,000 board feet and if those trees are more than a tree length from existing structures.
    • Property in rural areas (outside of Urban Growth Areas): A Forest Lands Conversion permit is needed if you are cutting trees located further than a tree length from existing structures, or own two acres or more and are cutting more than 5,000 board feet of timber.

Purchase Approved Permits and Begin Construction

After meeting all the approval conditions and paying the remaining fees at the Building Development Center, the county will issue you an On-Site Sewage (Septic) Installation Permit and Building Permit, or a Building Permit only (if your building site already has on-site sewage (septic) system approval or is served by a sewer). You may now begin construction.

Contact Us

Please click here for contact information.


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