Olympia and Thurston County partner for Urban Growth Area Comprehensive Plan


Olympia and Thurston County’s Planning Commissions collaborated on Wednesday, January 25, to approve and forward a joint Urban Growth Area (UGA) Comprehensive Plan to the Olympia City Council.

“The Thurston County Planning Commission is the citizens’ advisory committee to the Board of County Commissioners on land use planning matters,” explained Eric Casino, Thurston planning commission chair. “Planning Commission actions are in the form of recommendations to the county commissioners, or the ‘final decision makers.”

According to the agenda packet, Olympia and Thurston County have collaborated to develop a single comprehensive plan for the unincorporated areas of Olympia's UGA.

The packet detailed that the plan will define a vision and regulations that, once implemented, will make the land use process more understandable for locals and more efficient for the city and county when annexations occur.

Olympia's recommendation would be forwarded to the City Council, which would then present it to the Board of County Commissioners.

Public comments submitted prior to the public hearing showed concerns related to the following:

  • UGA capacity;
  • Housing and population data;
  • Traffic impacts;
  • Stormwater and wastewater management;
  • School capacity;
  • Residential densities;
  • Farmland preservation;
  • and changes in zoning that would remove the requirement for a grocery store on the undeveloped portion of Glenmore Village.

During the meeting, Thurston County Community Planning Associate Planner Leah Davis presented minor revisions to the proposal.

Both commissions passed the motion to recommend adopting the amended Olympia joint plan, an element of the Thurston County Comprehensive Plan.


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