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Friends of Rocky Prairie

Zoning

ACTION ALERT

We are so very grateful to everyone who came to the Port of Tacoma meeting on Thursday, June 13, to show and speak their support for saving Rocky Prairie!!

Unfortunately, the Port of Tacoma Commissioners voted unanimously to extend the Purchase and Sale Agreement with Northpoint development company through August of 2020!, ignoring the pleas of Thurston County citizens to sell the property to WDFW.

The fight continues. 
Please stay tuned....

 (View, read, and share the fact sheet).

 

The Maytown property currently contains two zoning designations:

  • Forty percent of the property has a Rural Resource Industrial (RRI) zoning designation. The intent of the RRI district is:

    • To provide areas where industrial activities and other uses dependent on agriculture, forest practices and minerals may be located.

    • The RRI district allows uses involving the processing, fabrication, wholesaling and storage of products associated with natural resources.

    • The RRI district requires industrial uses to be functionally and visually compatible with the character of the rural area. [Thurston County Code (TCC) 20.29.010.]

  • The remainder 60% of the property has a Rural/Residential Resource – one dwelling per five acres (RRR1/5) zoning designation. The purpose of RRR1/5 zoning districts includes:

    • the provision of opportunities for agriculture, forestry and other rural land uses that are compatible with rural residential uses,

    • that protect sensitive environmental areas and create open space corridors that are sensitive to the site’s physical characteristics, and do not create demands for urban level services. [TCC 20.09A.010.] (See Environmental Considerations page.)

The Natural Environment Chapter of the Comprehensive Plan includes the following policies:

  • Protecting wildlife habitat for important species and protecting unique and rare habitats;

  • Insuring that land uses that produce air pollutants and odors comply with adopted air quality standards for the region;

  • Providing for the peace and quiet of residential neighborhoods through the use of screens, open space and other buffers and noise standards;

  • Ensuring that facilities that store, process or utilize hazardous materials use best management practices for the protection of ground and surface waters, and be periodically monitored for compliance, recognizing the hydrologic continuity between ground and surface water;

  • Protecting groundwater aquifers, fish and wildlife habitat, and recreational functions of streams;

  • Protecting streams from adverse impacts of activities occurring adjacent to their waters or within their wetlands by avoiding degradation of water quality;

  • Maintaining the quality and quantity of run-off entering the wetlands and streams, ensuring that storm water systems are adequately maintained, and preventing on and off-site erosion and sedimentation

THE PORTS WILL NEED TO APPLY FOR SEVERAL VARIANCES BECAUSE THE LOGISTICS CENTER IS NOT SUITED TO THE AREA’S ZONING AND CODE REQUIREMENTS. (See SSLC Variances Considerations.)

Granting of Variances:

TCC 20.52.010 Variances – General
The Thurston County hearing examiner shall have the authority to grant a variance from the requirements of a title after considering the matter at a public hearing duly called, giving notice to adjoining property owners.

TCC 20.52.020 Findings – Variances
Before any variances can be granted, the hearing examiner shall make findings of fact setting forth and showing the following circumstances exist:

  1. That the granting of the variance will not result in the allowance of a use which is not classified as a permitted or special use in the district wherein the use would be located;

  2. That special conditions and circumstances exist which are peculiar to the land, such as size, shape, topography or location, not applicable to other lands in the same district and that literal interpretation of the provisions of this title would deprive the property owner of rights commonly enjoyed by other property owners similarly situated in the same district under the terms of this title;

  3. That the special conditions and circumstances are not a result of the actions of the applicant;

  4. That granting of the variance requested will not confer a special privilege to the property that is denied other land in the same district;

  5. That the granting of the variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to other land or improvements in the vicinity and district in which the property is situated;

  6. That the reasons set forth in the application justify the granting of the variance, and that the variance, if granted would be the minimal variance that will make possible the reasonable use of the land;

  7. That the granting of the variance will be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of this title and will not be injurious to the neighborhood or otherwise detrimental to the public welfare;

TCC 20.52.30 Variances – Limitation of Review by Hearing Examiner
The fact that the property may be utilized more profitably shall not be an element of consideration in any review of a variance request.

TCC 20.52.30 Action – Final
The order of the hearing examiner on an application for a variance shall be final and conclusive unless appealed to the board of county commissioners in accordance with Chapter 2.06.TCC (Hearing Examiner). The filing of the appeal within such time limit shall stay the effective date of the order of the hearing examiner until such time the appeal has been adjudicated or withdrawn.


SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) Review:
Adopted by the state of Washington in 1971, this provided the State’s basic environmental charter. The rules that implemented the act directed agencies to consider environmental SEPA information (impacts, alternatives, and mitigation) before committing to a particular course of action. [Chapter 43.21C RCW (State law) and Chapter 197-11 WAC (SEPA Rules)]

DNS (Determination of Non-Significance):
The written decision by the responsible official of the SEPA lead agency that a proposal is not likely to have a significant adverse environmental impact, and therefore an EIS (Environmental Impact Statement), is not required. [WAC 197-11-734]

DS (Determination of Significance):
The written statement by the responsible official of the SEPA lead agency that a proposal is likely to have a significant environmental effect and therefore an EIS is required. [WAC 197-11-736]


Those who are concerned about the usage of this land for the development of the SSLC must be vigilant in participating in comment periods and attending zoning hearings for any variances that are applied for by the Port of Tacoma and Port of Olympia. When you add your name to our mailing list, we will forward announcements to you.
 

 

Friends of Rocky Prairie

Contact us by email:  friendsofrockyprairie@gmail.com

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