The sound of chainsaws, abated somewhat, over the last several months, because of the County’s development moratorium, ought to be heard more and more often, around these parts. According to The Olympian, “Thurston County planners are bracing for a flood of development applications in the coming months now that county commissioners have lifted the building moratorium in a rural portion of the county. More than 5,000 property owners are affected.”
“The new rules impose stricter limits on rural housing densities and force low-density zoning on environmentally sensitive areas.”
The newspaper is reporting that, under the new rules, “Most parcels zoned for one housing unit per 5 acres will keep the same zoning. However, wetlands or critical areas must be subtracted when calculating the number of lots in a subdivision.”
“The good news is the building moratorium is lifted, new zoning rules are in place and developers can submit construction applications to be weighed against those new rules.
The bad news is that this is not the end of the growth-versus-no-growth debate in this community.
Pity the poor property owners who are caught in the middle of the tug-of-war.”
Pity should be extended, too, to homeowners who are not developing their property. Irrespective of the County’s new regulations, we have no reason to expect better County oversight of its regulations, more accurate or more timely processing of development applications, or an improved appreciation for diminishing resources and quality of life. In the rising tide of applications expected with the lifting of the moratorium, corners will be cut.