Growth Management

Regional Projects

Thurston Regional Planning Council works on regional interjurisdictional projects and programs that explore and take action on both required and optional elements of the State Growth Management Act. These include:  
  • Amending Urban Growth Areas — Urban Growth Areas are the areas designated to be annexed into city limits over 20 years’ time to accommodate urban growth.
  • County Wide Planning Policies — County Wide Planning Policies are the framework for developing and adopting city and county Comprehensive Plans. County Wide Planning Policies are a Growth Management Act requirement. 
  • Buildable Lands Report — A Growth Management Act monitoring requirement to ensure that there is adequate land in urban areas to meet expected growth.
  • Regional Benchmarks — A report to track progress towards meeting the goals of the Growth Management Act.
  • Population and Employment Forecast — A 20-30 year forecast integral to many planning efforts including Comprehensive Plan updates, the Buildable Lands Report, and the Regional Transportation Plan.

The Urban Growth Management Subcommittee is responsible for reviewing changes to the County Wide Planning Policies and Urban Growth Areas and making recommendations to the Thurston County Board of Commissioners.

Key Dates in Recent Growth Management Planning in Thurston County


First Urban Growth Area Boundary interjurisdictional agreement adopted


Revised Urban Growth Area Boundary interjurisdictional agreement adopted


State Growth Management Act (GMA) passage


County passes interim downzone of 1 unit per 5 acres in most of rural area


County Wide Planning Policies adopted


First post-GMA Regional Transportation Plan adopted


GMA Comprehensive Plan amendments adopted by jurisdictions


GMA implementing development regulations adopted by jurisdictions


“Buildable Lands” amendments to GMA passed


Regional Transportation Plan updated


First Buildable Lands Report completed


GMA Comprehensive Plan updates


County passes rural rezone


GMA Comprehensive Plan updates due