Friday, July 29, 2005

Moratorium on Certain Subdivisions in Thurston County

The Olympian: "County officials say it was the only way to keep their options open after last week's ruling by the state Growth Management Hearings Board in response to an appeal of the county's land-use rules by the environmental group 1,000 Friends of Washington. The ruling found several flaws in the county's comprehensive plan and development rules: The urban growth area is too big; the county sometimes allows the development of more than one unit per five acres in the rural area and needs to have some rural areas that are less dense; and it has not set enough eligible agricultural land aside for farming. County commissioners also announced Wednesday that they will petition the board to reconsider its ruling. They have not decided whether they ultimately will appeal. If the county allows more development in the rural and urban growth areas, 1,000 Friends could appeal again, prompting the growth board to find the county's land-use rules invalid and barring all development in the county, officials said. County commissioners blocked development in the rural county and urban growth areas to anyone without a valid lot by 4:25 p.m. Wednesday."