State Supreme Court Rules Against Thurston County on Maytown Gravel-Mining Permit


The Washington Supreme Court has affirmed a $12 million verdict against Thurston County over a mining permit for a Maytown property.

The case centered on a permit to mine gravel issued by Thurston County in 2005 for land near the intersection of Interstate 5 and state Route 121, once the site of an explosives plant.

The Port of Tacoma bought it with plans to build a railway yard and gravel mine, but opponents to the plan pressed Thurston County officials to designate the site a wildlife refuge, according to The Olympian archives.

The port later sold most of the land to Maytown Sand & Gravel.

In 2011, county officials ordered new environmental studies as part of a review of the permit, saying it wanted to examine land use issues that were missed in 2005, according to archives.

The Port of Tacoma and Maytown Sand & Gravel sued, arguing county commissioners were politically motivated and the delays cost Maytown contracts, causing it to miss payments to the port.

Maytown returned the property to the port in 2013.

In 2014, a Lewis County jury awarded Maytown Sand & Gravel and the Port of Tacoma $12 million in damages. The case ended up before the state’s Supreme Court, which issued its ruling Aug. 9 upholding much of the lower court’s ruling.

A Thurston County spokeswoman said the award would be paid from a multi-county insurance pool.