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Thurston County facilities are now open to the public with restrictions, including maintaining physical distancing of at least six feet at all times and, per the Washington State Secretary of Health’s face covering order wearing a cloth face covering or mask. If you come to county facilities, please be prepared for potentially long wait times or lines due to distancing guidelines. We continue to encourage residents to access county services online, by phone, by email, or through the use of drop boxes located outside of county buildings.
The availability of remote services vary by office and department.

Click here for office and department contact information
Click here for information on COVID-19

Land Use Ordinances

Reasonable Use Exception

Thurston County property owners may apply for a "Reasonable Use Exception" if they believe the buffers and critical areas (frequently flooded areas, rivers, wetlands etc..) defined in the Critical Areas Ordinance leave them with no reasonable use of their properties.  Applicants must demonstrate that no other reasonable use can occur without impacting the critical area or buffers.

This process requires public notification and a public hearing. The approval authority is the Hearing Examiner for Thurston County.

In order to approve a Reasonable Use Exception, the Hearing Examiner must find that there is no other alternative for developing the property; the request will not threaten public health, safety or welfare; and that the alteration is the minimum necessary to allow reasonable use of the property.

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Contact Us

Thurston County Building Development Center, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia, WA 98502-6045.
Phone: (360) 786-5490. TTY/TDD call 711 or 1-800-833-6388  E-mail: permit@co.thurston.wa.us.

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