Dividing property into smaller lots is typically the first step in the development process. In Thurston County, there are generally three methods for subdividing land:
Large lot subdivisions divide a property into 2 or more lots larger than 5 acres but smaller than 40 acres. These subdivisions occur only in unincorporated portions of Thurston County.
Short plat subdivisions create a small number of lots that are smaller than 5 acres and may not need new public streets or other facilities. Short plat subdivisions can be approved in an expedited manner.
Long plat subdivisions constitute a major division of land and require a more extensive review.
The number of new residential lots created through large lot, short plat, and long plat subdivisions in Thurston County remains far below historic norms. In 2020, 189 new lots were created, compared to a high of 3,266 in 2006. 72% of new lots created in 2020 were in the incorporated cities and towns.