County Commissioners to Hold Public Hearing on Cluster Developments – March 30

The Thurston County Board of Commissioners has scheduled two public hearings at the end of March. The Board may take action at the conclusion of the hearings. The first of these hearings is regarding a moratorium temporarily prohibiting any new uses for the portions of Thurston County in Maytown. The second topic is one of significant interest to residents in the Griffin area: Cluster Development Regulations. We are uncertain as to whether the Maytown Moratorium will be covered in the hearing first, or the topic of Cluster Development regulations.

Date: Tuesday March 30, 2010
Time: Beginning at 5:30 P.M.
Location: Room 280, Building 1 of the Thurston County Courthouse Complex
Address: 2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW, Olympia, WA 98502.

Cluster Development Regulations: The public hearing is to accept public comment on the adoption of regulations to limit cluster developments. Through these proposed amendments, Thurston County will consider making the interim regulations permanent until the County has time to make additional changes to the cluster development provisions. Contact Olivia Terwilleger, (360) 754-3355 ext 7544, More information:

The web site of the Griffin Neighborhood Association has some material related to Cluster Developments, also called Planned Rural Residential Development or PRRD. Some details on our web site may be out-of-date, but it may give you some background on the topic. Click here to read that information page. The Thurston County Planning Department also offers current information regarding PRRD. Click here for the Planning Department’s information page.

Referenced ordinances, draft regulations, and maps are available at the Thurston County Resource Stewardship, Permit Assistance Center at the address below or online. Those wishing to testify should appear and be heard. If unable to attend, written comments maybe sent to the staff contact listed above by March 30, 2010, 4:00 P.M., by email or mailed to Planning Department, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia, WA 98502. If you need special accommodations to participate, call (360) 786-5489 by 10:00 a.m. at least three days prior to the meeting and ask for the ADA Coordinator. Citizens with hearing impairments may call the TDD line at (360) 786-2933.


Also, we ask that you subscribe to our new Web Mail service in order to continue to receive e-mail updates after April 15. The Web Mail service offers several advantages to the traditional way of sending out e-mails. The new service provides a secure way for residents to subscribe, unsubscribe and forward e-mails, and it makes the e-mail process more efficient and dependable for Thurston County planners. After April 15, e-mail updates will be sent exclusively to Web Mail subscribers.

Click here to sign up for our new Web Mail service.

Thanks, in advance, for helping us transition to the new system. We look forward to staying in touch.

Thurston County Planning Staff

UPDATE: From Futurewise, we received this email:

It’s time to permanently protect rural areas from sprawl.

In 5 days the Thurston County Commissioners will be asked to decide whether to make temporary protections to discourage rural sprawl more permanent. The Planning Commission and County staff recommends we keep protecting our rural lands – and we agree.

Please take a moment right now and let the County Commissioners know that you too support making the cluster development regulations permanent in order to protect Thurston’s water quality & quantity, reduce traffic congestion, and keep working lands productive. Click here to email your Commissioners today!


Thurston County’s clustering regulations, and their rural density bonuses, have long created problems for Thurston County residents and property owners because they allow the overdevelopment of rural areas. In response to these concerns, the county eliminated the density bonuses in rural areas in 2004 as part of an interim regulation. Now the Planning Commission and Planning Department both recommend the County permanently eliminate the density bonuses in rural areas – and we agree.

The recommendation also includes other improvements to the county’s cluster development regulations which will help protect Thurston County’s rural character, Thurston County’s working farms many of which are located in rural Thurston County, help protect the water quality of Puget Sound and the county’s rivers and streams, and help conserve ground water resources as higher density rural development is typically served by wells.

On Tuesday, March 30 at 5:30pm, the County Commissioners are holding a public hearing to determine whether to adopt these recommendations. Please click here to let them know that you too support these efforts because they will help to permanently protect the rural character of Thurston County.

Thanks for all that you do,

To read the Planning Commission & Department’s recommendations, please click here.

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