The Thurston region has made substantial investments in the infrastructure in urban corridors and centers, which are located in the Lacey-Olympia-Tumwater urban area. These areas serve as the region’s primary economic hubs, capturing around 13% of the total assessed land value even though they contain just 1% of the county’s land area.
Between 2012 and 2021 there was a 2% decrease in the share of assessed value in centers and corridors. At the same time, investment in north county urban areas outside a corridor, center, or infill area, increased 4%.
The average net density of new residential development in urban centers and corridors has increased since the early 2000s from 5.7 units per acre in 2000-2004 to 10.7 units in 2015-2019. The increase was driven by new housing in urban areas, which increased from 12.7 to 70.4 units per acre over the same time periods.
Residential density impacts the viability of transit service. In general, seven dwelling units per acre is the minimum density needed for transit service, and 15 units per acre (along with a mix of jobs and activities) is needed to support frequent transit service (service every 15 minutes or less).
Sustainable Thurston Report Card
The Sustainable Thurston Report Card tracks how well the Thurston region is doing at creating vibrant urban centers. The report card includes goals and targets for urban centers and corridors.
Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC); Thurston County Assessor’s Office