“We’re still in limbo,” Thurston County Commissioner Gary Edwards said as county commissioners shared their concerns about the proposed relocation of 18 recreational vehicles (RV) from Ensign Road to 720 Carpenter Road.
During the Board of County Commissioner meeting on Tue., Nov. 9, Commissioner Tye Menser confirmed that the commissioners decided to hold off the vote for the approval of the Memorandum of Understanding between Thurston County and the City of Olympia.
The proposed MOU covers the temporary relocation of RVs from Ensign Road to 720 Carpenter Road, which would free up access to and parking at Providence St. Peter Hospital. “The MOU is not moving forward,” Menser said. He explained that they decided to postpone the vote until the county is able to conduct more discussions on the proposed relocation.
In addition, Commissioner Caroline Mejia also shared that she is not supportive of the Carpenter Road site, however, she clarified that she is still in favor of making use of a property on Franz Anderson Road which could provide a long-term site for the RVs.
While the MOU is not moving forward, Assistant County Manager Robin Campbell noted that the permitting process is still ongoing. This raised serious concerns for Edwards. “I am very concerned that the permitting process continues to move forward. As we are speaking right now, staff is working for the permitting process of 720 Carpenter Road. I think that is unfair.”
He added, “I don’t think we should move forward with the permitting process just because we’re still in limbo.” As a result, Edwards suggested removing the Carpenter site from the MOU or have the permit completely denied. “It's only fair that we stop the process. We’ve taken the Memorandum of Understanding off of the books..that doesn’t mean that it's continuing right now.”
To resolve the issue, the commissioners agreed to hold a work session to discuss whether or not they would put a pause on the permitting process for the Ensign Road RV relocation.
Due to various regulations and access restrictions, the county-owned Carpenter Road location would accommodate only 18 of the approximately 40 RVs currently parked on Ensign Road.
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