The Thurston County Board of Commissioners recently approved an ordinance that amends the Building and Construction Code (Title 14) to update and reduce permitting requirements, clarify language, and protect residents from hazardous floods.

“The changes adopted by the Board of Commissioners will save citizens both time and money,” Joshua Cummings, community planning and economic development director, said in a statement. “Permits for a number of smaller projects will no longer be needed, like adding solar panels and replacing windows, doors, and siding.  Also, in an effort to increase customer service, the changes extend building permit expiration from six months to one year.”

Changes to the code include the following:

  • Increasing the size of exempt residential storage buildings outside of Urban Growth Areas from 200 square feet to 400 square feet.
  • Exempting exterior siding replacement, same-size window and door replacement, solar panels, replacement of electric forced air heating units, and electric water heaters.
  • Extending the expiration time for building permits from 180 days to one year.
  • Clarifying the fire code and allowing administrative waivers for fire flow when occupancy is no more hazardous than the existing occupancy.
  • Making changes to Chapter 14.38 (Development in Special Flood Hazard Areas) to maintain the current Federal Emergency Management Agency insurance rating.

More information can be found at the county’s website.