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Purchase of Development Rights

"Preserving Agriculture in Thurston County"

On September 27, 2011, the Board of County Commissioners adopted an ordinance to enable the establishment of a voluntary Purchase of Development Rights program. The details of that program are listed in Chapter 17.35 of the Thurston County Code.

Read the enabling Ordinance

Purchase of Development Rights information:

  • This ordinance is the result of a grant from the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office to develop and adopt a Purchase of Development Rights ordinance.
  • This is an enabling ordinance to set up a voluntary Purchase of Development Rights program with Thurston County.
  • What the ordinance does:
    • Authorizes Thurston County and qualified conservation organizations to purchase development rights (essentially residential density), with the purpose of preserving farmland.
    • The program will compensate land owners for agreeing to conserve their land.
    • Generally, the property owner would retain ownership of the land and continue to reside and farm the property.
    • County Conservation Futures funds would be used as matching funds in partnership with non-profit land trusts to maximize and leverage public funds.
  • There are additional program details still to be developed, including:
    • A program guide
    • project selection and ranking criteria
    • Application materials, and
    • Assembling a technical advisory committee to assist with future PDR applications.

Thurston County thanks the following agencies and organizations for their participation:
National Resources Conservation Service, the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, the South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust and the Capitol Land Trust.

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