Thurston County Hearing Thursday, Jan 11 on Renewing the Residential Subdivision Moratorium

Last year the Thurston County Board of County Commissioners issued a development moratorium on all new subdivisions in unincorporated Thurston County, protecting our oyster beds, working farms, and drinking water supply. Now the Commissioners are being pressured to lift this moratorium.

This Thursday, January 11th at 6pm, there is a public hearing on Renewing the Moratorium on Residential Subdivision at the Thurston County Courthouse (Building One) in Room 280, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia, WA 98502-1045. It is critical that we are there to speak in support of keeping this protection. Arriving early increases you chance of testifying.

We believe the work that must be done before the moratorium can be lifted is not yet complete.

The Board of County Commissioners did the right thing by stopping the continued creation of substandard lots in unincorporated Thurston County. These substandard lots:

  • Put Puget Sound and oyster beds are risk by allowing high density development in rural areas.
  • Allow the subdivision of current unprotected working farms.
  • Increase costs to taxpayers by allowing land development that will require urban services where they will expensive to provide.
  • Put drinking water supplies at risk by allowing high density development in areas that contribute to drinking water for county property owners and residents.
  • Harm the character of Thurston County by allowing urban style developments in rural areas.

The moratorium will continue to prevent these adverse impacts on Thurston County.

However, we believe the best reason for retaining the moratorium is to allow continued quality staff time and public input into the County’s comprehensive plan. Retaining the moratorium will:

  • Retain choices for Thurston County as it updates its comprehensive plan. Preventing inappropriate vesting allows the county to update its plan without having to worry that the new plan will be undermined by poorly planned vested developments.
  • Conserve resources. The moratorium will allow limited county staff to focus on the updating the plan rather than reviewing poorly planned developments.

Please attend Thursday’s hearing and testify!

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