Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan is central to land use and infrastructure planning under the Washington State Growth Management Act. The Plan expresses a vision for the City in its goals and policies and serves as a guide for future development. It identifies those characteristics the community desires to retain, reinforce, and achieve as the City grows; it establishes the policies to realize the goals; and it identifies the resources necessary to provide services to the residents and businesses now and in the future. The vision contained in the policies is a self-sufficient community where its citizens can live, work and play.

Access the Comprehensive Plan and related documents using the links below.

The Plan was revised substantially in 1995 to meet the requirements of the State Growth Management Act and subsequently in 2005 and 2015. Planning for the City’s future extends outside the current city limits to include an Urban Growth Area within which the City may expand. The Comprehensive Plan is reviewed annually in a public process and recommendations for amendments are made to the City Council by the Planning Commission.

Comprehensive Plan Amendments

Any individual, organization, business, or other group may propose a text or Land Use Designation Map amendment to the Comprehensive Plan. Affected property owners must agree to site-specific map amendment requests.

2019 Docket

Residents, property owners, and any interested party may propose amendments to the Comprehensive Plan by submitting a “docket” application.  The deadline for submitting 2019 Docket applications is December 10, 2018.  Docket applications may also be used to propose amendments to the City’s development regulations found in Title 14, Land Use Development Code, Snohomish Municipal Code (SMC).


To download a docket application form click here.  For answers to frequently asked questions click here.


The docket process can be used to propose three types of amendments:

  1. Map amendments (rezones) to change the land use designation for specific parcels or areas.  Only property owners may propose a site-specific rezone.
  2. Text amendment to change an existing Comprehensive Plan policy or to propose a new policy.
  3. Land Use Development Code amendments to change an existing development regulation or to propose a new one.

All docket applications will be compiled and placed on a “Preliminary Docket” list.  The City Council will consider all applications at a public hearing that will be scheduled for January or February 2019.  Amendment proposals determined by the City Council to warrant further analysis and consideration will be placed on the “Final Docket”. 


Placement on the Final Docket does not mean the proposal will be adopted.  Rather, it means the proposal will be analyzed by staff and brought to the Planning Commission for a recommendation to the City Council.  The City Council will then make a final decision on all Final Docket items by the end of 2019.


For more information about the docket process contact Planning Director Glen Pickus via email or by calling 360-282-3173.

2018 Comprehensive Plan Amendments

The City is considering four proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Plan this year.  All four proposals were initiated by the City.  The four amendments are to:


  • Merge the Parks and the Open Space land use designations into a single Parks, Open Space & Public land use designation. Currently, there is a land use designation for Parks and a land use designation for Open Space.  The proposal is to merge the two designations into a single Parks, Open Space & Public land use designation because they are so similar.  The merger will require text amendments as well as a map amendment.
  • Redesignate the City-owned boat launch site and Cady Park as Parks, Open Space & Public.  Currently Cady Park is designated Urban Horticulture and the Boat Launch site is primarily designated Urban Horticulture with a smaller portion designated High Density Residential.  The proposed amendment would designate both areas as Parks & Open Space to reflect how they are used today.  Click here to see the parcels to be redesignated.
  • Amend annexation policy AN 1.11 to allow connection to City utility systems for property in the UGA if certain conditions are met.  Currently, AN 1.11 does not allow connection to the City’s utility systems if the property is not located within city limits (with some rare exceptions).  The proposal is to allow connection to the City’s utility systems to properties in the UGA if certain conditions are met.  Those conditions are:
    • Support of future annexations must be supported; and
    • Development must be consistent with the City's development standards.

Click here to see the wording for the current AN 1.11 and the proposed AN 1.11.


  • Split the Land Use Designation Map into two maps; one that includes the City only and one that includes the Urban Growth Area only.  The proposal is to divide the current Land Use Designation Map into two maps in order to reduce confusion.  Casual viewers of the map can easily assume the UGA is already part of the City.  By splitting the map into two, one for the City and one for the UGA, that confusion can be eliminated.

The Planning Commission is tentatively scheduled to hold a public hearing on the amendments at their regular October meeting which takes place 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018.  They will make a recommendation on each amendment to the City Council which is tentatively scheduled to make a decision during their Dec. 5, 2018 meeting.


Stay Informed


The Planning Commission reviews proposed amendments and seeks public comment during the review process. Meetings are held the first Wednesday evening of every month and are open to the public. Interested parties can track proposals via the Agendas link on this website.