Comment in person at the Thurston County Planning Commission online public hearing on Wednesday, April 6, at 7:00 p.m.
The HCP is the County’s response to the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing of several animals in Thurston County. The ESA requires building permit applicants to get federal permits in addition to County permits if their project impacts listed species.
If approved, the HCP is how the county government will locally manage HCP-species-related permitting and conservation so county applicants won’t need federal permits.
To view the HCP Online Open House and learn more about the HCP and the development regulation visit ThurstonHCP.org.
Thurston County’s Habitat Conservation Plan to streamline building permit process for applicants with gophers or other HCP species
If the County’s HCP is approved by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, getting a building permit will be simpler for applicants with projects that impacts gophers or other HCP species.
Currently, applicants on mapped gopher soils go through a series of gopher inspections that run only from June through October. If gophers are found, the applicant needs a federal permit before breaking ground. Getting a federal permit is a long and costly process.
Basic HCP Permit Process (Not yet approved)
Applicant checks the HCP soils map before applying. Projects on mapped HCP soils will use the HCP permit process.
All-year round, the County will visit all project properties to make sure County HCP maps match real-world conditions.
County staff checks submitted site plans for use of the required HCP Best Management Practices. If BMP’s are not used to the fullest extent possible, plan revisions will be requested.
County staff calculates HCP mitigation fees based on final submitted site plan and project materials. Applicants can estimate fees anytime using the gopher form or the frog form.
Permitted projects will get a Certification of Inclusion to show coverage by the County’s HCP & Federal Permit.
Other County permit application processes and regulations apply. The HCP review process will happen at the same time as other required reviews.
IMPORTANT: The HCP is not yet approved, and does not yet apply. The steps above are for planning and information purposes only.