In 2017 the Washington State Legislature approved funding to update county Buildable Lands Reports. Phase I of this funding was used to update the population and employment forecast for Thurston County. Phase II will be used to draft the updated report and evaluate what policies – if any – are needed for cities and the County to meet the goals of the Growth Management Act.
An updated Buildable Lands Report for Thurston County was adopted by TRPC on March 7, 2014 ahead of the June 30, 2015 deadline. Due to the lack of state funding, the Council decided to fund an abbreviated report to ensure that jurisdictions will continue to be in compliance with the Growth Management Act. The report and executive summary can be downloaded below:
The Buildable Lands Report is a monitoring report to determine if growth in Thurston County is consistent with the goals of the state Growth Management Act (GMA). In particular, it answers 2 key growth-related questions.
Is residential development in the urban growth areas is occurring at the densities envisioned in local comprehensive plans?
Is there is an adequate land supply in the urban growth areas for anticipated future growth in population and employment.
The Growth Management Act was passed in 1990. It required requiring local cities, towns, and the county to develop detailed plans on how they planned to accommodate growth. These are called Comprehensive Plans. At the same time the 7 cities and towns and Thurston County developed countywide planning policies that laid out how Thurston County was to grow as a region. Under these policies, Thurston Regional Planning Council was formally asked to review land supply and planned densities to ensure that the urban areas were large enough to accommodate 20 years of projected growth.
The legislature added a monitoring and evaluation provision to the GMA in 1997 affecting 7 western Washington counties (Clark, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, and Thurston, and later Whatcom) and the cities and towns within them. Thurston Regional Planning Council TRPC was asked to develop the Buildable Lands Report for Thurston County based on its long history of monitoring land supply. Reports were issued in 2002, 2007 and 2014.