This land use element is comprised of interrelated land use goals which form the basis of the county’s land use strategy and:
•provide for a supply and distribution of land use types to accommodate the majority of county population and employment growth within urban growth areas;
•reduce land consuming urban development patterns and provide structure for urban development within neighborhoods or urban centers;
•reduce development pressures and patterns of sprawl within rural areas;
•conserve agricultural, forest and mineral resource lands of long-term commercial significance; and
•preserve and protect open space, scenic and cultural resources.
The following sections provide more detailed explanations of the land use strategy. Each section includes various land use goals, objectives, policies, and implementation measures to carry out the strategy.
Policy framework for this chapter comes from the Growth Management Act RCW 36.70A (GMA), the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Vision 2040 and Destination 2030 Policy Documents and the Countywide Planning Policies (CPPs).
The sections are:
•Urban Growth Areas:
◦Urban Development Patterns
◦Small Area and Neighborhood Structure
•Open Space, Shoreline and Scenic Resources
•Transfer and Purchase of Development Rights
•Future Land Use Map.
The GMA requires that urban growth areas (UGAs) be designated through the county’s plan. UGAs are to include areas and densities sufficient to permit the urban growth that is projected to occur in the county over the next twenty years. Urban growth should be located first in areas already characterized by urban growth that have adequate existing public facility and service capacities to serve such development, second in areas already characterized by urban growth that will be served adequately by a combination of both existing public facilities and services that are provided by either public or private sources, and third in the remaining portions of the urban growth areas.
Planning for growth in this way accomplishes two GMA goals: 1) the efficient provision and utilization of public facilities and services, including public transportation; and 2) reduced conversion of undeveloped land into sprawling, low-density development.
UGAs have been designated to include each city and town in the county, with the nine cities in southwest county included in one large UGA. Each UGA contains both incorporated and unincorporated areas. UGA boundaries will be re-evaluated as mandated by GMA to ensure they are adequate to accommodate 20-year growth projections. This assessment of UGA capacity is based upon developable lands, environmental constraints, city comprehensive plans, housing and economic development needs, public facility and service capacities and, lastly, the implementation of growth strategies aimed at developing and enhancing urban development patterns.
The county and the cities and towns within the county collaborated on a policy framework for designating UGAs and directing urban growth patterns. It is called the Countywide Planning Policies (CPP). This policy framework is informed by the multi-county planning policies (Vision 2040 and Transportation 2040) and the countywide planning policies.
The Southwest Urban Growth Area (SWUGA) has been divided to show where each city may annex the area in the future. These subdivided areas are labeled Municipal Urban Areas (MUGAs) e.g. Lynnwood’s MUGA; Mill Creek’s MUGA.
This General Policy Plan provides additional direction, consistent with the multi-county and countywide planning policies, for urban growth within the unincorporated portions of all the UGAs.
The plan also provides for the designation of rural urban transition areas (RUTAs) outside of UGAs. Rural urban transition areas are intended to set aside a potential supply of land for employment and residential land uses for possible future inclusion in a UGA. The policies provide direction for the designation of rural urban transition areas.
This plan promotes the use of innovative techniques, such as transfer of development rights receiving area designations, to encourage the preservation of rural and resource lands and the efficient use of urban land.
This chapter of the GPP addresses: 1) locating, sizing, maintaining and expanding UGA boundaries; 2) establishing potential future UGA areas; 3) urban development patterns and design; 4) urban centers; 5) urban phasing; and 6) neighborhood structures.
GOAL LU 1Establish and maintain compact, clearly defined, well designed UGAs.
Objective LU 1.AEstablish UGAs with sufficient capacity to accommodate the majority of the county’s projected population, employment, and housing growth over the next 20 years.
1.A.1UGAs shall contain sufficient land capacity for a variety of land uses and densities, including green belts and open space, in suitable locations to accommodate at least 91.5% of the county’s 20-year population and employment projections. No expansion of the UGA that increases population or employment capacity shall be permitted if the resulting total additional population capacity within the Snohomish County composite UGA as documented by both City and County comprehensive plans would exceed the total 20-year forecasted UGA population growth by more than 15 percent. A portion of the 20-year forecast UGA population may be reserved for allocation to Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) receiving areas.
1.A.2Snohomish County shall ensure no net loss of capacity to accommodate the amount and type of projected employment growth as adopted in Appendix D while ensuring an adequate supply of both new and existing affordable housing to meet the county’s identified current and projected housing needs.
1.A.3Snohomish County shall ensure a no net loss of housing capacity that preserves the County’s ability to accommodate the growth targets, as adopted in Appendix D, while pursuing compliance with all relevant federal, state and local laws and regulations.
1.A.4UGAs shall have existing or planned infrastructure capacity to adequately support urban growth over the 20-year period.
1.A.5Determination of adequate land capacity shall be based on methodologies developed jointly with other jurisdictions and shall be consistent with Countywide Planning Policy DP-4.
1.A.6REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
1.A.7Designated forest and agricultural lands shall not be included within the UGA unless the designated lands are maintained as natural resource lands and a TDR/PDR program has been enacted by the city or the county.
1.A.8UGA boundaries shall be periodically re-evaluated to determine whether or not they are capable of meeting the county’s 20-year population and employment projections. This re-evaluation shall be consistent with Snohomish County’s "buildable lands" review and evaluation program requirements established in Countywide Planning Policy GF-7.
1.A.9Ensure the efficient use of urban land by adopting reasonable measures to increase residential, commercial and industrial capacity within urban growth areas prior to expanding urban growth boundaries. The County Council will use the list of reasonable measures in accordance with the guidelines for review contained in Appendix D of the Countywide Planning Policies to evaluate all UGA boundary expansions.
1.A.10Expansion of the boundary of an individual UGA to include additional residential, commercial industrial land capacity shall not be permitted unless it complies with the Growth Management Act, is consistent with the Countywide Planning Policies and complies with the criteria established in Countywide Planning Policy DP-2.
1.A.11Land use and capital facilities required for growth within the UGA shall be evaluated consistent with the schedule established in Countywide Planning Policy GF-7 for the "buildable lands" review and evaluation program to determine whether or not modifications to land use or facilities are required to more adequately meet the projected needs of the UGA.
1.A.12Urban growth areas which are located within the floodplain, as identified in chapter 30.65 SCC (Special Flood Hazard Areas), shall comply with all provisions of that chapter. Annexation agreements shall ensure the continued implementation of this policy except that the annexing city or town may revise the list of allowed uses in the density fringe area once the area is annexed, provided that the city or town complies with the two percent maximum allowable density and the fifteen percent maximum allowable obstruction regulations in chapter 30.65 SCC and the purpose and intent of chapter 30.65 SCC are upheld.
1.A.13REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
1.A.14Any action to expand an UGA while contracting the same UGA in another area without resulting in a net increase of population or employment land capacity shall comply with the Growth Management Act, be consistent with the Countywide Planning Policies and comply with Countywide Planning Policy DP-3.
1.A.15All UGA expansions that add residential land capacity shall be designated as TDR receiving areas and all development approvals in such areas shall be consistent with adopted TDR policies in this chapter.
Objective LU 1.BDesignate rural urban transition areas outside of and adjacent to UGAs.
1.B.1The designation of rural urban transition areas (RUTAs) is an overlay that may be applied to rural lands adjacent to UGAs.
1.B.2Rural urban transition area boundaries shall not include designated farm or forest lands.
Objective LU 1.CEstablish and maintain a UGA boundary that provides a distinct edge between urban and rural land uses.
1.C.1Unique topographical and physical features such as watershed boundaries, streams, rivers, ridge lines, steep slopes, roads, railroad lines and transmission lines (where they follow property lines) and special purpose district boundaries shall be used, if possible, to delineate and define the boundary.
1.C.2The design of development and the location of structures along the UGA boundary should use guidelines such as the Residential Development Handbook for Snohomish County Communities (Snohomish County Tomorrow, 1992) which includes cluster development techniques.
1.C.3The designation and siting of new industrial, commercial, and public facility land uses along the UGA boundary should include vegetative buffers.
1.C.4Annexations and planned urban densities shall be prohibited outside of the UGA boundary.
1.C.5The county may consider the expansion of UGA boundaries as part of an update to the Comprehensive Plan as required by GMA, or as part of a growth target and plan reconciliation process that follows an update. In situations where urban infrastructure or special regulatory controls are needed and anticipated but are not in place to serve the population and employment allocated to the UGA the county may defer implementing zoning. Where such UGA expansions with deferred implementing zoning are approved, no rezoning of properties within the expansion area may occur until: (1) necessary capital facilities plan updates have been completed and adopted by the utility provider; or (2) the necessary development regulations have been adopted.
Objective LU 1.DContinue to support the joint city/county planning process that may result in adjustments to UGA boundaries consistent with this plan and GMA.
1.D.1Following the reconciliation of population and employment projections by Snohomish County Tomorrow and the county, make adjustments to UGA boundaries, if necessary. A UGA boundary adjustment shall be considered only when necessary to ensure adequate capacity for accommodating projected urban growth in the succeeding 20-year period, as required by Policy LU 1.A.10 and when it is consistent with GPP policies and the GMA.
1.D.2UGA plans may be undertaken to provide greater detail as to the type and location of future land uses and shall address the following.
Subsection (a)Analyze and designate locations for increased residential, commercial, and industrial densities.
Subsection (b)Preserve and enhance unique and identifiable characteristics such as urban centers, cultural and historic resources, critical areas, open space areas and trails, distinctive development patterns, and neighborhood areas.
Subsection (c)Provide for growth phasing areas within UGAs where appropriate.
Subsection (d)Provide for any needed amendments to the General Policy Plan following adoption of the UGA plan.
Subsection (e)Consider open space, parks, and recreational facilities needed for urban growth.
To promote efficient utilization of land within unincorporated UGAs, the county will encourage well-designed, more pedestrian-friendly urban development patterns. Within designated centers (described in the next section) and along their connecting network of transit emphasis corridors (as defined in the Transportation Chapter), the county will encourage a greater mix of uses and a more efficient, creative use of land and transportation assets. By improving land use and transportation integration and efficiency in UGAs, several GMA objectives can be accomplished:
•reduced dependence on the automobile;
•increased physical activity;
•increased support for public transportation;
•improved air quality;
•increased choice of housing types;
•improved efficiency of infrastructure provision and usage;
•reduced consumption of fossil fuels and associated emissions of greenhouse gases; and
•reduced transformation of rural lands to urban use.
In addition to the GMA, the Washington State Integrated Climate Change Response Strategy (Chapter 43.21M RCW), the Vision 2040 multi-county planning policies and the countywide planning policies also support these objectives.
For all commercial and industrial developments, the County intends to encourage the expansion, revitalization, redevelopment, and intensification of existing commercial and industrial areas before re-designating new properties for commercial and industrial development. The county also intends to discourage new strip commercial development and focus the majority of new commercial growth within mixed-use commercial centers or revitalized strip commercial areas.
To ensure efficient expansion of infrastructure and services, the plan provides for the designation of urban growth phasing overlay areas. This overlay designation, when used, will direct development into areas where existing infrastructure capacity is available before infrastructure is extended into predominantly undeveloped areas.
Mobile home parks and manufactured home parks provide affordable housing to many county residents. In many cases, they provide the opportunity of home ownership to households which cannot afford to purchase more traditional types of housing. Mobile and manufactured home parks provide a transition between traditional single family detached dwellings and higher density attached housing. Preservation of mobile and manufactured home parks is an important goal of the county. However, preservation requires a careful balance between the rights of park owners and the rights of the tenants living within in them.
GOAL LU 2Establish development patterns that use urban land more efficiently.
Objective LU 2.AIncrease residential densities within UGAs by concentrating and intensifying development in appropriate locations, particularly within designated centers and along identified transit emphasis corridors.
2.A.1Maintain development regulations that will require that new residential subdivisions achieve a minimum net density of 4 dwelling units per acre in all unincorporated UGAs, except (1) in the UGAs of Darrington, Index, and Gold Bar as long as those cities do not have sanitary sewer systems and (2) in areas without sanitary sewers which the sewer purveyor with jurisdiction, or in nearest reasonable servicing proximity will certify are either an unsewered urban enclave or are not capable of being connected to public sewers via annexation within the next six years or by the improvements provided pursuant to its adopted six year capital facilities plan, (3) where regulations for development on steep slopes require reduced lot or dwelling unit yields, or (4) where a lower density is necessary because of the existence of critical areas that are large in scope, with a high rank order value, and are complex in structure and function. Lot size averaging, planned residential developments, sewerage regulations and other techniques may be used to maintain minimum density or to insure later development at minimum densities is not inhibited when sanitary sewers become available.
2.A.2The county shall not support any proposed annexation by a city unless and until an annexation agreement has been signed by the county and said city ensuring the continued implementation of Policy LU 2.A.1 for the area to be annexed.
2.A.3Any UGA shall provide for a variety of residential densities identifying minimum and maximum allowable. Density ranges shall consider the presence of critical areas.
2.A.4UGAs shall provide opportunities for a mix of affordable housing types (e.g. small lot detached, townhouses, duplex, triplex, 6 to 8 unit apartment and small group housing units) within designated residential areas.
2.A.5Within UGAs, alternatives to standard single family designs such as zero lot line housing and cottages on small lots around a central courtyard, shall be considered in development regulations for residential areas.
2.A.6REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
Objective LU 2.BPlan for future land use and development patterns that are consistent with countywide and regional planning policies and that complement and support the future transportation system outlined in the Transportation Element.
2.B.1In association with affected local, regional, tribal, and state agencies, the county shall pursue integrated land use and transportation planning along transit emphasis corridors. Corridor planning and corridor plans will include the following features consistent with the direction in the Transportation chapter, and may also address other topics relevant to each particular corridor:
Subsection (a)Potential comprehensive plan changes along the corridor – and particularly around stations/stops - to strengthen ridership on existing and planned transit services;
Subsection (b)Potential land use regulation changes along the corridor, including the development of one or more new zoning classifications and/or overlays appropriate to mixed-use development; possible regulatory changes may address height and bulk limits, incentives for public amenities, mixing of uses and transit-supportive features, parking requirements, and permitted and prohibited uses;
Subsection (c)Any appropriate adjustments to UGA and/or MUGA boundaries;
Subsection (d)Potential changes to transit service or facility design to improve connections with neighboring development to stations and stops;
Subsection (e)Phasing of land use and regulatory changes with planned transit service additions/enhancements and capital facility improvements;
Subsection (f)Non-motorized facility improvements within and adjacent to the corridor needed to strengthen neighborhood connections with transit facilities and corridor businesses.
Subsection (g)Other transportation improvements and policy implementation measures consistent with the direction in the Transportation Element.
2.B.2The county shall encourage, and may require, higher minimum densities within designated urban centers, urban villages, and along connecting transit emphasis corridors to support planned transit service.
2.B.3Through corridor-based planning, the county shall identify opportunities for mixed use and medium and high density residential development (including housing for the elderly and disabled). These uses shall be encouraged to locate within walking distance of transit facilities, particularly along transit emphasis corridors, and, where possible, in close proximity to medical facilities, urban centers, parks, and recreational amenities.
Objective LU 2.CEncourage intensification and revitalization of existing and planned commercial and industrial areas.
2.C.1The county shall encourage the expansion, revitalization, redevelopment, and intensification of existing areas, with special focus on those located within designated centers and along transit emphasis corridors, before new sites are designated and zoned.
2.C.2The majority of new commercial development shall be accommodated as mixed use in urban centers, and/or urban village or adjacent to transit stations or within transit emphasis corridors (see also policies under objectives LU 2.B, LU 3.A, LU 4.A and 4.B).
2.C.3The intensification or redevelopment of existing strip commercial developments shall be encouraged including changing to mixed use in appropriate locations, particularly along transit emphasis corridors.
2.C.4New strip commercial development shall be discouraged.
2.C.5New industrial areas within the UGAs shall be designated only where direct access to existing and/or proposed transportation facilities (airports, highways, rail and transit lines), utilities and services has been adequately planned and programmed.
Objective LU 2.DPreserve mobile and manufactured home parks within urban growth areas.
2.D.1The county shall maintain development regulations to encourage the preservation of mobile and manufactured home parks.
2.D.2Whether to allow the rezoning of mobile and manufactured home parks to other zones should involve a balancing of the property rights of mobile home parks owners and the rights of owners of mobile homes who are renting space in mobile home parks. Some of the factors to consider are: (1) the cost to the mobile home park owner of maintaining the property as a mobile home park or related use; (2) the cost to the mobile home park tenant of the closure of a mobile home park; (3) whether the uses allowed under the proposed rezone are compatible with the existing neighborhood; (4) whether there are available spaces in other mobile home parks in the vicinity that can accommodate relocating the mobile home park tenants that would be displaced by the closure of the mobile home park; and (5) whether there is relocation or financial assistance for the parks’ tenants.
Objective LU 2.EProvide for reasonable flexibility in land use regulation and planned mixing of uses, where appropriate, while maintaining adequate protection for existing neighborhoods.
2.E.1Land use designations on the Future Land Use Map are used to indicate general locations of land uses by broad categories, such as residential, commercial and industrial. In limited situations within UGAs, it may be appropriate to designate certain areas with two overlapping designations. The following criteria shall be used in evaluating the suitability of any proposal that includes overlapping FLU Map designations. All criteria must be met before any proposal for FLU Map amendment that includes overlapping designations may be approved.
Subsection (a)The proposal involves property or aggregated properties under unified development control that is likely to develop or redevelop over an extended period (five years or more) comprising at least 50 contiguous acres. The area of overlapping designations must cover no more than 50% of the proposal area (50 contiguous acres or more).
Subsection (b)The public facilities necessary to support development from any of the implementing zones for either of the proposed overlapping designations are in place, planned, or proposed by the applicant as part of the proposal.
Subsection (c)At least 75% of the perimeter of the area proposed for overlapping designations, whether on-site or off-site of the overall proposal, is bounded by lands having – or proposed for - the same land use designations as those in the proposed overlapping designation area (i.e., the area of overlapping designation occurs along the boundary of the two overlapping designations). And
Subsection (d)The proposal and site exhibit a comparable situation where both of the proposed overlapping designations would be individually compatible with the surrounding land use designations and neighborhood character.
Centers have been identified by the county and its cities where significant population and employment growth can be located, a community-wide focal point can be provided, and the increased use of transit, bicycling and walking can be supported. These Centers are intended to be compact and centralized living, working, shopping and/or activity areas linked to each other by transit emphasis corridors. Centers are pedestrian and transit oriented with a focus on circulation, scale and convenience with a mix of uses.
An important component of Centers is the public realm. The public realm is the area that the public has access to for informal rest and recreation activities such as walking, sitting, games and observing the natural environment. The public realm along with residential and employment uses help define a sense of place and give Centers an identity.
The pedestrian and transit-oriented design of Centers helps reduce single-occupancy auto trips and promote physical activity, which can reduce obesity. Similar attention to the transit emphasis corridors that connect the Centers can further reduce such trips and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions – a main contributor to climate change. A reduction in vehicle miles traveled helps the county in meeting its goals for climate change as detailed in the Natural Environment chapter of this comprehensive plan.
Specific Centers also promote the county’s goals for sustainability by incorporating environmentally friendly building design and development practices into the development process such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Built Green and low impact development (LID) techniques.
Snohomish County has four types of Centers in unincorporated UGAs that are differentiated by purpose, location, intensity, and characteristics:
•Transit Pedestrian Villages
•Manufacturing and Industrial Centers
Whenever possible, it is the county’s intent to support the efforts of the cities to preserve, enhance, or develop centers within their city limits. Centers within unincorporated UGAs will be established with special emphasis on areas within the Southwest UGA cognizant of the cities’ efforts for their own centers. The county will explore incentives and develop other techniques to make center development viable in the long term. Careful attention must be given to the recreational and cultural needs of those who will live and work in unincorporated county areas.
GOAL LU 3Establish a system of compact, clearly defined mixed-use centers that promote neighborhood identification, reduce vehicle miles traveled, promote physical activity, and support the county’s sustainability goals.
Objective LU 3.APlan for Urban Centers within unincorporated UGAs consistent with Vision 2040 and the CPP’s.
3.A.1The Future Land Use Map (FLUM) and UGA land use plans shall include designations and implementation measures for Urban Centers, based on the characteristics and criteria below.
3.A.2Urban Centers shall be located within a UGA and:
•Be sized up to 1.5 square miles;
•Contain a mix of high-density residential and higher-intensity commercial, office, and public uses;
•Be pedestrian and transit-oriented;
•Include urban services;
•Reflect high quality urban design;
•Emphasize open spaces, parks, and plazas to create a sense of place;
•Develop/redevelop over time and in phases;
•Plan for "complete streets" that are designed and operated to allow safe access for users of all modes and ability levels with a street center line mile average of no less than 30 center line miles per square mile, as a measure of street connectivity. Street grids should strive to have blocks no larger than three hundred feet by three hundred feet square. In areas where this is not possible, well-designed mid-block pedestrian and bicycle pathways could be used to accomplish a similar result;
•Plan for sidewalks and bicycle infrastructure commensurate with population and traffic patterns, including measures of street type, vehicle volume and speeds;
•Plan for housing affordable to low-income and moderate-income households commensurate with the identified need through Snohomish County’s fair share housing methodology;
•Include plans and regulations that encourage no net loss of affordable housing;
•Plan and zone for a balance of residential, commercial, retail, and recreational uses. At least one housing unit shall be allowed for each employment unit in the center;
•Develop with the community design guidelines and standards for buildings and streets that include criteria to make safe and active streetscapes, discourage uses and designs that disrupt pedestrian and bicycle flow and access, incorporate locally important characteristics and historic structures, and promote good building design;
•Prohibit surface parking lots and at-grade parking, with the exception of on-street parking; and
•Have good access to the local and regional transportation and transit system.
3.A.3Urban Centers shall be located adjacent to a principal arterial road, and meet one of the following additional locational criteria (measured along existing road rights-of-way):
•Be within 1/2 mile of an existing high capacity transit station;
•Be within 1/2 mile of an existing transit center; or
•Be within 1/4 mile of an existing bus stop on a major transportation corridor.
3.A.4Residential net densities shall not be less than 12 dwelling units per acre; maximum densities may be established as part of more detailed planning. Population and employment size will be consistent with criteria in the Countywide Planning Policies and General Policy Plan.
3.A.5Urban Centers are designated on the FLUM and additional Urban Centers may be designated in future amendments to the Comprehensive Plan.
3.A.6Desired growth within Urban Centers shall be accomplished through application of appropriate zoning classifications, provision of necessary services and public facilities, including transit, sewer, water, stormwater, roads and pedestrian improvements, parks, trails and open space, and protection of critical areas. The County will identify and apply methods to facilitate development within designated Urban Centers, including supportive transit, parks, road and non-motorized improvements.
3.A.7All Urban Centers are designated as TDR receiving areas and all development approvals in Urban Centers shall be consistent with adopted TDR policies in this chapter.
Objective LU 3.BPlan for Transit Pedestrian Villages within Urban Centers.
3.B.1Transit Pedestrian Villages are areas that surround an existing or planned high capacity transit center. Transit Pedestrian Villages may be designated on the FLUM.
3.B.2Transit Pedestrian Villages will be located around existing or planned transit centers.
3.B.3Minimum densities within Transit Pedestrian Villages shall be determined through more detailed planning and implementing development regulations.
3.B.4The county shall develop and adopt a detailed master plan for each Transit Pedestrian Village as an amendment to the GPP. State Environmental Policy Act review shall be conducted for each plan. The plan and planning process shall include the following elements:
Subsection (a)a survey of local residents and property owners to identify local issues;
Subsection (b)analysis of land use, including an assessment of vacant and redevelopment land potential, ownership patterns, and a ranking of sites based on their potential for development/redevelopment in the near and long terms;
Subsection (c)analysis of demographic and market conditions, to help identify the most feasible mix of land uses;
Subsection (d)assessment of environmental constraints and issues (e.g., wetlands, streams, views);
Subsection (e)identification and mapping of the geographic boundaries for each Transit Pedestrian Village;
Subsection (f)identification of and creation of a conceptual plan for each Transit Pedestrian Village, indicating the general location and emphasis of various land uses including residential, employment and the public realm, and any potential phases of development;
Subsection (g)review and allocation or reallocation of targets for population and employment growth and affordable housing, in conjunction with land use planning;
Subsection (h)identification of public service and capital facility needs (e.g., drainage, sewerage facilities, parks, cultural/educational facilities, transit facilities), and development of a targeted, phased capital improvement program;
Subsection (i)development of a circulation plan, including street improvements, parking management, and pedestrian and bicycle improvements;
Subsection (j)recommendations to address specific design concerns and planning or regulatory issues; and
Subsection (k)analysis of existing and potential transit service.
3.B.5Transit Pedestrian Villages shall be regulated through appropriate zoning classification(s).
3.B.6Snohomish County will work with key service providers and agencies to develop coordinated capital facility plans for each designated Transit Pedestrian Village. The county will also use its budgeting process to target and prioritize provision of adequate county services and facilities to designated centers.
Objective LU 3.CPlan for Urban Villages within unincorporated UGAs.
3.C.1Urban Villages shall be planned as compact pedestrian-oriented areas within designated Urban Growth Areas. Urban Villages are generally smaller than an Urban Center and provide an intermediate level of commercial or other services for an existing community, or take advantage of unique characteristics of an area that provide opportunities for higher intensity development with public benefits of open space or other public amenities. The development will include a variety of small-scale commercial and office uses, public buildings, high-density residential units, and public open space. Pedestrian orientation includes circulation, scale and convenience with connections between neighborhoods, communities and other centers. Urban Villages should also include urban services and reflect high quality urban design. Urban Villages serve several neighborhoods within a radius of about two miles. Urban Villages will develop/redevelop over time and may develop in phases.
3.C.2Urban Villages shall be located where access to transportation facilities is available or can be improved based on the demands of the specific site and intensity of development and shall be designed to maximize use of nearby transit facilities. Locations may be on or adjacent to a minor arterial road, or within one-fourth mile of existing or planned access to local transit service, or within one-half mile of a high capacity transit station.
3.C.3Residential net densities shall be at least 12 dwelling units per acre; maximum densities may be established as part of more detailed planning.
3.C.4Additional Urban Villages may be designated in the future through amendments to the comprehensive plan.
3.C.5Urban Villages will be implemented through application of appropriate zoning classifications, provision of necessary services and public facilities (including transit, sewer, water, stormwater, roads and pedestrian improvements, parks, trails and open space) and protection of critical areas. The county will identify and apply methods to facilitate development within designated Urban Villages, including targeting of public facilities such as transit, parks and road improvements. Provision of needed public services provided by entities other than the county shall be incorporated in the Capital Facilities Plans of the service providers and may be planned and programmed in phases. Capital Facilities Plans shall provide for urban services needed at the time of development approval of specific phases of a project. The intensity of development may be tied to implementation of specific elements of Capital Facilities Plans including provision of roadway, transit, utility and public service facilities.
3.C.6The urban village at the county Cathcart site will be developed with principles of sustainability that conserve resources, use materials that consider occupant health, and provide opportunities for physical activity, such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Built Green, to serve as a vibrant community focal point for the surrounding neighborhoods in the northeast areas of the Southwest UGA. Neighborhood-serving businesses and service providers – including public services such as library and postal service - will be especially encouraged to locate at the village.
3.C.7The Urban Village at Point Wells is singularly unique due to its location, geography, access points and historical uses. The site is a relatively isolated area of unincorporated Snohomish County, bounded by Puget Sound to the west and a steep bluff to the east. It is bisected by a rail line running north/south and is accessible only by a two-lane road from the south that passes through a low-density residential community and across the Snohomish/King County line to Point Wells. In addition, the re-designation of Point Wells from its longstanding industrial status to that of Urban Village poses unique challenges to its re-development. Due to its uniqueness, Point Wells requires a land use policy that applies to it alone. The Urban Village at Point Wells will be developed to provide a location for high intensity residential development oriented to the amenities of Puget Sound with a mix of uses to serve the development and the surrounding neighborhoods. It will provide neighborhood-serving businesses and service providers. The urban village will provide public access to Puget Sound available to the larger regional population and provide for ecological restoration appropriate to the site. Uses proposed must be supported by adequate transportation facilities including local bus service or customized transit. Public services and infrastructure required to support Urban Village development at Point Wells shall be incorporated in the Capital Facilities Plans of the County; or if provided by entities other than the County, the property owner must successfully negotiate binding agreements with other entities to provide such services, utilities or infrastructure prior to the County approving a development permit that necessitates the provision of services, utilities or infrastructure. Urban Village development projects at Point Wells may be planned and programmed in phases. The intensity of development shall be consistent with the level of service standards adopted by the entity identified as providing the service, utility or infrastructure.
Objective LU 3.DIdentify and plan a network of transit emphasis corridors to link significant concentrations of population and employment, which may be in new and redeveloped neighborhoods, centers, or existing neighborhoods, commercial development, and employment areas.
3.D.1The county shall work with affected cities, transit service providers, and other stakeholders to pursue integrated land use and transportation planning along identified transit emphasis corridors, consistent with policy direction concerning these corridors in the Transportation chapter.
3.D.2The county shall work to create pedestrian, bicycle, and public transportation linkages between new and redeveloped areas within the corridors and adjacent neighborhoods to reduce the dependence on the automobile and promote improved human health through increased physical activity.
3.D.3The county shall work to link new and existing neighborhoods within and near identified transit emphasis corridors creating a sense of community and shall include sidewalks and paths, where practicable, for safe passage to schools and other places of activity in the community.
Objective LU 3.EPlan for Manufacturing and Industrial Centers within the unincorporated UGA.
3.E.1Manufacturing and Industrial Centers shall allow a mix of nonresidential uses that support the center and its employees.
3.E.2The Manufacturing and Industrial Centers shall be sized to allow a minimum of 20,000 jobs. Development regulations should allow an employment density of at least 20 employees per employment acre for new growth.
3.E.3The Manufacturing and Industrial Centers shall be shown on the Future Land Use Map as an overlay.
3.E.4Within Manufacturing and Industrial Centers large retail or non-related office uses shall be discouraged.
3.E.5Manufacturing and Industrial Centers shall be supported by adequate public facilities and service, including good access to the regional transportation system.
3.E.6The county shall designate the Paine Field-Boeing area as a Manufacturing/Industrial Center in coordination with the City of Everett.
3.E.7Land uses and zoning of Paine Field will continue to be governed by the Snohomish County Airport Paine Field Master Plan and Snohomish County Zoning Code consistent with federal aviation policies and grant obligations.
Objective LU 3.FSupport city efforts to preserve enhance or develop urban or small town centers and main streets.
3.F.1Coordinate land use planning efforts with towns and cities and encourage development within the unincorporated area that enhances the vitality of a city’s center or main street.
Objective LU 3.GInvestigate and develop techniques to ensure the long-term success of center development.
3.G.1The county shall recognize the importance of centers in setting high priorities for development and installation of capital improvements within urban centers, and shall encourage similar recognition by other service providers.
3.G.2The county shall coordinate the design and development of centers and their connecting transit emphasis corridors in unincorporated areas with developers, transit planning agencies, and service providers, and other stakeholders to achieve compatibility of land use, transportation, and capital facility objectives within centers. (See Urban Design Section)
3.G.3The county shall develop and implement techniques within designated centers that allow the phasing of development and ensure the centers’ long-term development potential.
3.G.4The county shall investigate innovative methods that will facilitate center development such as land assembly, master planning, and urban redevelopment.
3.G.5Centers should be located and designed to be connected to bicycle and pedestrian trails.
3.G.6The county shall explore the suitability of incentives used by other jurisdictions to encourage mixed-use development for use in appropriate locations within unincorporated UGAs, such as along transit emphasis corridors connecting urban centers, in urban villages, and in other concentrations of employment and population.
3.G.7The county shall codify suitable incentives for mixed-use development.
3.G.8REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
3.G.9Snohomish County shall support city annexation of areas designated Urban Center, Transit Pedestrian Village, or Urban Village after the annexing city and the county adopt an interlocal agreement consistent with the annexation principles developed by Snohomish County Tomorrow. The interlocal agreement shall address the smooth transition of services from the county to the city and shall ensure that the city comprehensive plan and development regulations provide capacity for at least the same overall density and intensity of development provided by the county comprehensive plan and development regulations. If the area to be annexed includes an area designated as a receiving area under the county’s Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program, then the interlocal agreement shall also ensure that the area remains a TDR receiving area or that other areas of the city are designated TDR receiving areas so that the city development regulations provide equivalent or greater capacity for receiving TDR certificates and equivalent or greater incentives for the use of TDR certificates.
3.G.10The county shall pursue lease, purchase and/or development agreements with all development partners at the county Cathcart site to support that county objectives for the site, generally, and the urban village in particular, are achieved.
3.G.11The county shall explore potential incentives for small to medium-sized businesses that commit to employing local residents to locate at the county Cathcart site as a means to reduce commute trips and strengthen the local economy.
Objective LU 3.HEncourage transit-supportive land uses that are compatible with adjacent neighborhoods to locate and intensify within designated centers and along transit emphasis corridors.
3.H.1The county shall encourage mixed-use and/or higher density residential development in appropriate locations along transit emphasis corridors. Corridor planning can help identify those locations where higher densities and mixed uses can best support transit and non-motorized access.
3.H.2Projects within or near designated centers or along transit emphasis corridors shall provide pedestrian and bicycle connections to transit facilities and/or the center to encourage pedestrian activity, support transit use and decrease auto trips.
3.H.3In advance of market activities that may limit future potential public benefits, the county should pursue zoning and other strategies around transit oriented development (TOD) sites to guide sustainable and equitable development patterns that incorporate affordable housing production.
To enhance the character and quality of development within UGAs, the county has developed comprehensive design guidelines. The intent of these guidelines is to ensure that urban residential, commercial, industrial, and mixed use developments relate to and are compatible with their surroundings, and provide a safe and desirable environment for residents, shoppers, and workers. Documents found in Appendix I serve as the basis for the policies of this chapter.
GOAL LU 4In cooperation with the cities and towns, create urban developments which provide a safe, healthy, active, and desirable environment for residents, shoppers and workers.
Objective LU 4.AImprove the quality of residential, commercial, and industrial development through comprehensive design standards and a design review process.
4.A.1The county shall work with architects, builders, and others to ensure that the design review process, innovative and flexible design standards, and development regulations for site planning and the design of buildings are consistent with the urban design policies of the GPP.
4.A.2The county shall ensure that design standards for residential, commercial, and industrial development meet the following criteria:
Subsection (a)Residential developments should support family households and children by providing adequate and accessible open space and recreation, and encouraging opportunities for day care, preschool and after school care services within close proximity.
Subsection (b)Where increased density housing is proposed, the height, scale, design and architectural character should be compatible with the character of buildings in the surrounding area.
Subsection (c)New buildings oriented onto the street, maintain or create streetscape and pedestrian qualities and reduce the visual impact of parking lots, garages and storage areas.
Subsection (d)Where high rise buildings are developed, street level uses are limited to commercial activities, entertainment services, public services, and other related public-generating activities.
Subsection (e)The appearance of existing areas should be improved by:
1.encouraging well maintained landscaping on streets and in parking areas;
2.reducing the visual clutter of utility poles, overhead power-lines, and suspended traffic signals;
3.encouraging improvements to entrances, facades, and lighting; and
4.grouping together signs and ensuring they are scaled and designed in a manner appropriate to the street frontage.
Subsection (f)Developments should provide adequate setbacks, buffers and visual screens to make them compatible with abutting residential and other land uses.
Subsection (g)Urban design is sensitive to the preservation of existing cultural resources.
Subsection (h)Consideration of design guidelines should include consideration of costs and impacts on affordable housing.
Objective LU 4.BImprove the quality of mixed use areas (Urban Centers and Urban Villages) through comprehensive design standards and a design review process.
4.B.1The county shall work with neighboring cities, architects, builders, and others to ensure that the design review process, innovative and flexible design standards, development regulations, and incentives for the development of Urban Centers and Urban Villages, are consistent with the urban design policies of the GPP. Where appropriate, the design review process may include an administrative design review panel composed of qualified design professionals to review and make recommendations on design standards, development regulations, and incentives.
4.B.2The county shall ensure that design standards for urban centers and villages achieve the following objectives:
Subsection (a)Centers that are visible and accessible to pedestrians from the streets and clearly defined through lighting, landscaping, street furniture, landmarks, changes in land use, and/or open space.
Subsection (b)The design of new buildings that result in the creation of quality pedestrian spaces and that are compatible with planned architectural scale, massing, building orientation, height, articulation, and materials.
Subsection (c)Open spaces that are incorporated into the design of centers and situated in a manner that complements other land uses.
Subsection (d)Where increased density housing is proposed, the height, scale, design, and architectural character of the proposed units is compatible with the character of buildings in the surrounding area and may require taller buildings to be located in the core of the Village or Center, or at an edge adjacent to non-residential uses, with heights stepping down towards existing lower density housing.
Subsection (e)High quality developments and a mix of housing and commercial uses that allows for the use of creative and innovative design and fosters joint development strategies.
Subsection (f)Building setbacks that create public spaces with visual interest.
Subsection (g)Off-street parking that is within structures or underground, where feasible. Where underground parking or structures are not feasible, off-street surface parking within a center should be located at the sides or the rear of buildings and well landscaped to reduce the visual impact of large parking areas. Surface parking in front of a building (between the building and the street) should be avoided, whenever possible.
Subsection (h)Shared parking among various land uses and provision of bicycle parking.
Subsection (i)Centers that are connected with nearby residential, parks, schools and employment areas by well landscaped and barrier free pedestrian, bicycle, and transit linkages (see also transportation element).
Subsection (j)Well designed urban centers and urban villages that are sensitive to natural and cultural resources so as to preserve them.
Subsection (k)Emphasis shall be placed on the public realm, which may include parks, plazas, play area and trails, such that they create a sense of place within centers.
Subsection (l)Consideration of design guidelines should include consideration of costs and impacts on affordable housing.
Subsection (m)Centers that support healthy, active lifestyles among residents, shoppers and workers by providing opportunities for regular physical activity.
4.B.3The county recognizes the importance of the implementation of specific design guidelines for mixed use areas in urban centers and urban villages to the cities in whose MUGA they are constructed. The development regulations which implement the urban centers and urban village mixed use areas shall include mechanisms for city participation in the review of urban center development permit applications.
If cities with urban centers situated within their respective MUGAs develop recommendations to provide design guidance to property owners, surrounding neighborhoods and development interests for those urban centers situated within their MUGAs, the county may consider and incorporate some or all of the cities’ recommendations in the county’s development regulations for Urban Centers and Urban Villages.
4.B.4The county shall encourage high-quality architectural and landscape design that features northwest materials and forms for all new development at the county Cathcart site. This will be accomplished through a) the creation of building and site design standards and/or guidelines addressing both residential and commercial development, and b) their enforcement through design review processes specified within the lease and purchase agreements with all development partners at the site. Principles of sustainability and "green" building as set forth in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification will be included within these standards/guidelines.
This section of the Land Use chapter incorporates policies contained in subarea plans adopted by the county prior to the enactment of GMA or in urban growth area plans adopted by the county following the adoption of the initial 1995 GMA comprehensive plan. These plans were repealed by the county with the adoption of either the 1995 plan or 2005 Ten Year Update. It also identifies the potential for future small area/neighborhood plans and provides a way to integrate these plans into the overall GPP.
Land Use Goals 1-4 address overall development patterns, location, type, and design. Large areas and single development sites are guided by those principles.
In the past, smaller areas of the county have needed and future areas may need planning studies and attention, in a way that is not addressed through Goals LU 1-4. These small areas are cohesive because of a variety of factors such as early history, topography, shared facilities such as schools, roads and crossroads, types of land uses, natural features, and human interactions. For example, there are a number of discreet neighborhoods within the larger Southwest unincorporated UGA.
Policies which enhance specific neighborhood structures and address specific needs are retained in this section of the Land Use Chapter. This includes the Maltby area, the Cathcart area and the Tulalip Reservation.
The southeast portion of the Tulalip Reservation, a federally designated reservation of a federally recognized Indian tribe, at the Marine Drive NE and I-5 interchange has traditionally been the main entry onto the reservation to access businesses, residential areas and tribal government offices. This particular area of the reservation contains a small viable commercial community with a pattern of urban development that is served by urban infrastructure including sanitary sewer and is outside of an urban growth area. This unique commercial community is a jurisdictional patchwork of lands held in trust by the federal government for tribal members and the tribe, fee-simple lands under tribal member ownership and not subject to county jurisdiction and fee-simple lands under non-tribal ownership which are subject to county jurisdiction. Land use policies are contained in the Neighborhood Structures section, including the recommendation of a Reservation Commercial designation that apply only to this unique commercial area of the reservation. Neither a UGA designation nor a designation as a Limited Area of More Intense Rural Development (LAMIRD) is appropriate for this area. A UGA designation implies annexation to a city. The subject lands within the Reservation Commercial designation are integrally associated with Tribal lands and not city areas. Because the area is urban in nature and served by urban services, it is not appropriate for a LAMIRD designation. Applying the Reservation Commercial designation is more appropriate because it fits the character of the existing land uses and is compatible with adjoining parcels that are held in trust by the United States government for the benefit of the Tulalip Tribes.
Finally, this section gives overall policy guidance for potential neighborhood plans, which may be needed in the future. These plans would be integrated into the GPP through inclusion in the Small Area and Neighborhood Structure section and would not be stand-alone documents.
The county’s challenge will be to further define and enhance existing neighborhood areas and create new neighborhoods in the unincorporated UGAs. Specifically, the county’s approach to neighborhood development will:
•ensure an adequate distribution and variety of land uses necessary to establish neighborhood identity and functionality including a mix of residential densities, focal points, centers and villages, and nearby employment areas;
•coordinate more detailed land use, transportation, parks, open space, and capital facilities plans to ensure the creation of viable neighborhood areas;
•encourage that natural features, open spaces, environmentally sensitive areas, and landscaped boulevards are integrated into neighborhoods to enhance their identity; and
•encourage new neighborhoods with distinctive geographic, historic or cultural features to be connected to existing neighborhoods with similar distinctive features.
GOAL LU 5Encourage land use patterns that create connected, identifiable neighborhoods and communities in UGAs through a consolidated system of past and future neighborhood plans.
Objective LU 5.ARevitalize or create identifiable, pedestrian-oriented neighborhood areas with focal points, mixed-use centers, and employment areas that are linked with each other.
5.A.1REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
5.A.2REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
5.A.3REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
5.A.4REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
5.A.5For planning and zoning proposed within Urban Growth Areas, more detailed planning processes may be developed for identified neighborhoods with the following characteristics:
Subsection (a)areas encompassing 200 to 500 acres and a population of 4,000 to 8,000 people;
Subsection (b)varied densities and character;
Subsection (c)a mix of housing types and architecturally compatible styles yielding an average of at least 6 dwelling units per acre; and
Subsection (d)focal points such as parks, meeting halls, churches, libraries, fire stations, schools and other uses within one quarter mile of neighborhood residents.
5.A.6For planning and zoning proposed within Urban Growth Areas more detailed planning processes may be developed for identified Neighborhood Commercial Centers with the following characteristics:
Subsection (a)a variety of small scale commercial uses, public buildings, and mixed use development within one half mile or a fifteen minute walking distance for the majority of neighborhood residents;
Subsection (b)approximately 3 acres in size;
Subsection (c)served by public transportation; and
Subsection (d)compatible with adjacent uses.
5.A.7For planning and zoning purposes within Urban Growth Areas, more detailed planning processes may be developed for identified Commercial Centers with the following characteristics:
Subsection (a)approximately 20 to 25 acres in size;
Subsection (b)serving several neighborhoods within a radius of approximately two miles;
Subsection (c)providing for public open space;
Subsection (d)accommodate mixed use commercial and multi-family residential; and
Subsection (e)served by public transportation, including connections between neighborhoods and major urban centers.
5.A.8Natural features, open space and critical areas shall be preserved to enhance neighborhood identity.
5.A.9Infrastructure improvements shall be coordinated and shall be provided, where financially feasible, to support the creation of neighborhoods, focal points, and Neighborhood and Community Commercial Centers.
5.A.10Large-scale, auto-oriented commercial uses and employment areas shall be located on the periphery of centers or else, where feasible, linked to centers by pedestrian and bicycle paths and public transit.
5.A.11Cultural and historical resources shall be preserved to enhance neighborhood identity.
5.A.12Urban and site design features will be employed at the county Cathcart site to encourage and promote access to the urban village via transit, bicycle and walking, as well as the automobile, and to enhance the village’s function as a neighborhood gathering place.
Objective LU 5.BRecognize unique land use issues within specific Urban Growth Areas as identified in previously adopted sub-area plans and/or studies.
5.B.1New development on property within the Snohomish UGA and designated Urban Industrial and zoned General Commercial (GC) shall be approved with site development plan according to the standards and procedures for the Planned Community Business (PCB) zone. The site development plan shall delineate limited access points to properties and demonstrate compatibility with existing adjacent commercial and residential uses through such measures as landscaping, natural buffers, berms, fencing, sign and lighting control.
5.B.2Industrial development within the Mill Creek UGA that involves construction of new building, expansion of existing buildings, or a change of use that is clearly visible from adjacent residential property shall provide adequate screening and buffering along the common property lines. Adequate screening and buffering shall generally mean any one or combination of dense plantings, decorative walls or solid fences, and landscaped berms that serve to visually screen and acoustically shield the residential property from the industrial uses.
5.B.3REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
5.B.4REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
5.B.5REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
5.B.6The county shall develop an action program for the county’s Cathcart site to guide the development of a mix of public and private uses. Consideration will be given to the following objectives:
•provide a model for environmentally-sensitive development practices in Snohomish County;
•create a mix of uses that complements and strengthens the predominantly single-family residential neighborhood that surrounds the site;
•create a model "urban village," following the policy direction of GPP Objective LU 3.C by providing a neighborhood focal point with a mix of community services, retail opportunities, and expanded residential choices;
•provide opportunities for local employment that can help reduce commuter traffic in the local area;
•through partnerships with local transit agencies, develop new transit facilities and enhanced transit services for the area; and
•protect natural areas of the site to preserve wildlife habitat and to enhance open space opportunities for local residents;
•assess the need for a year-round farmers market and ball fields for kids (either public or private) during development planning, and provide opportunities to address identified unmet needs; and
•undertake an affordable housing demonstration project.
The county shall keep area residents and the general public informed of progress made in implementing the action program. In creating this program the county will address on-site and off-site circulation for all forms of motorized and non-motorized travel modes, land use, public services and utilities, design and development standards, and other factors related to the development of the site.
5.B.6aREPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
5.B.7Within the Maltby UGA, only industrial uses shall be allowed in areas that are designated on the Future Land Use Map for industrial use and are served or can be served by a railway spur line.
5.B.8Within the Maltby UGA, the Urban Industrial plan designation shall be implemented through the Light Industrial or Industrial Park zones. Areas zoned Light Industrial are those areas located (1) under the Bonneville power line transmission easement and between Broadway and the eastern boundary of the SR-522 right-of-way, (2) between 206th St. SE, Broadway, 207th St. SE, and 88th Dr. SE or their extensions; (3) north of 212th St. SE in which the Light Industrial zone existed as of December 12, 1996; and (4) south of 212th St. SE and designated Urban Industrial by the Future Land Use Map. The Urban Commercial plan designations within the Maltby UGA shall be implemented through the Planned Community Business zone.
5.B.9Within the Maltby UGA, the parcel located at the terminus of 219th St. SE and west of 85th Avenue SE shall be designated as Urban Industrial and zoned to the Light Industrial zone. Transportation impacts of development within this Urban Industrial designation and Light Industrial zone, shall be mitigated consistent with GPP transportation policies, SCC Title 30.66B, and the mitigation measures identified in Addendum No. 16 to the County’s GMA Comprehensive Plan/General Policy Plan.
5.B.10Within the Maltby UGA, any future development of urban industrial land which abuts the UGA boundary shall provide the following undeveloped buffer: visual screening comprised of dense plantings, decorative walls, landscaped berming and/or other buffering techniques to make urban development compatible with adjacent rural residential uses.
5.B.11REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
5.B.12REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
5.B.13REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-070.
Objective LU 5.CRecognize the unique development characteristics of certain commercial lands located on fee-simple lands under County jurisdiction within the Tulalip Reservation.
5.C.1Develop a Reservation Commercial (RC) designation and apply this designation to certain fee-simple lands under county jurisdiction located on the Tulalip Reservation in an area characterized by a unique patchwork of lands under tribal and county jurisdiction, containing urban commercial land uses, supported by urban infrastructure including sanitary sewer and public water, and bordered on the west and north by Quilceda Creek, on the south by Ebey Slough and on the east by Interstate-5. Due to its unique characteristics, this area is not appropriate for designation as a UGA or LAMIRD. The Reservation Commercial designation shall only apply to lands described in this policy within the Tulalip Reservation.
5.C.2Vacant or under-utilized properties designated Reservation Commercial shall be zoned General Commercial. All new development on any property designated Reservation Commercial shall be approved with an official site plan according to the requirements of Chapter 30.31B SCC.
5.C.3New development on property designated Reservation Commercial and adjacent to Quilceda Creek and associated wetlands is subject to a minimum 150 foot wide buffer of undisturbed native vegetation as measured from the ordinary high water mark or wetland edge.
Rural lands are those areas outside of urban growth areas (UGAs), excluding agricultural and forest lands, which are discussed in separate subsections. Mineral resource lands, also discussed in a separate subsection, overlap with a small portion of rural lands. In Snohomish County, rural areas are traditionally used for hobby farms, tree nurseries, greenhousing, agricultural crops, livestock, mineral extraction and processing, timber production, and low-density residential development. The low intensity use of rural land also provides fish and wildlife habitat, open space, and other environmental benefits.
The Growth Management Act requires the county to include a rural element in its comprehensive plan. The county’s rural element consists of the rural land use policies in this subsection of the Land Use chapter as well as other rural-related policies addressing utilities, transportation, housing, open space, parks and recreation, economic development, and natural resources, each discussed in separate sections of the county’s comprehensive plan.
•The utilities element discourages urban development patterns in the rural area by restricting public sewer systems outside designated UGAs. The utilities element also addresses potable water supply issues in rural areas.
•The transportation element establishes rural standards and rural levels of service to support low density/low intensity development in rural areas consistent with the rural land use policies.
•The capital facilities plan lists facilities that are "necessary to support rural development" and corresponding minimum levels of service for each facility.
•The housing section promotes provision of a broad range of housing types in urban and rural areas to ensure all segments of the population have the opportunity to obtain safe, sanitary and affordable housing.
•The open space section in the Land Use chapter provides a policy framework linking open space preservation and development of low intensity recreational and residential opportunities in rural areas.
•Policies in the economic development and natural resource sections in the GPP provide a foundation supporting rural and resource-based economic activities in the rural areas.
The countywide planning policies for Rural Land Use and Resource Lands (agricultural, forest, and mineral lands) provide the policy framework for preparing the rural element of the county comprehensive plan. The rural land use policies provide for limited growth in rural areas, strive to be sensitive to existing land uses and development patterns, preserve rural character and lifestyle, and protect the environment and natural resource lands.
Rural land use policies describe and accommodate a wide array of land uses and a variety of residential densities that are compatible with the character of rural areas; support rural and natural resource-based industries; provide economic opportunities for rural residents; promote low intensity recreational uses consistent with rural surroundings; and preserve the rural lifestyle and traditional rural activities which contribute to the county’s overall quality of life.
A major portion of the county’s rural planning work was completed as part of the GPP amendments that were adopted and became effective on December 12, 1996, in response to Growth Management Hearings Board decisions. The amendments modified and refined the rural residential plan provisions of the GPP. On December 16, 1998 the county adopted additional plan refinements concerning rural commercial and rural industrial land uses as directed by the GPP, the countywide planning policies, and amendments to the GMA passed by the state legislature in 1997.
The rural policies were reviewed in 2005 as part of the 10-year update cycle. Rural policies and the resulting rural development patterns were evaluated to ensure that patterns of urban development were not occurring in the rural area; that rural character has been preserved; and that the rural element provides a balanced approach for satisfying the goals of the GMA. Based on this evaluation, policies were updated to strengthen the county’s commitment to preservation of rural lifestyle and to reflect completed planning efforts and evolution of the rural planning work program.
GOAL LU 6Protect and enhance the character, quality, and identity of rural areas.
Objective LU 6.AReduce the rate of growth that results in sprawl in rural and resource areas.
6.A.1To help ensure that the rural population target is not exceeded, rural growth trends shall be monitored using the process and criteria established under Objective PE 2.B. If rural growth trends indicate that the rural population target may be exceeded, the county shall evaluate whether incentive programs or adjustments to planned densities or land uses are necessary to bring rural growth trends back into alignment with the adopted target.
6.A.2Establish rural infrastructure standards that are consistent with appropriate rural development patterns and densities.
6.A.3The Warm Beach Health Care Center/Senior Community may be expanded into an area that includes parcels with the following tax account numbers: 183104-1-002, 2-007, 2-008, 2-009, 2-018, and 2-022. Densities within the expansion area may exceed the density allowed by the GPP Future Land Use Map and/or the zoning classification for these parcels but may not exceed 2 dwelling units per acre, provided that a planned residential development (PRD) consistent with this density allowance is approved for the site prior to the issuance of building permits. The official site plan required by the PRD shall meet applicable requirements of the zoning code. The following additional requirements shall be met:
Subsection (a)no new lots are created;
Subsection (b)housing shall be limited to rental housing units for senior citizens;
Subsection (c)senior housing does not unduly disrupt or alter the visual character of rural uses in the immediate vicinity;
Subsection (d)impacts concerning traffic, sewage disposal, water supply, and nearby wells are mitigated consistent with county code and policies; and
Subsection (e)the development will not lead to more non-rural development.
Objective LU 6.BEncourage land use activities and development intensities that protect the character of rural areas, avoid interference with resource land uses, minimize impacts upon critical areas, and allow for future expansion of UGAs. (See the resource sections of the land use element for protection of resource lands and the natural environment element for protection of critical areas.)
6.B.1Use of a clustering subdivision technique should be encouraged by the County in rural residential areas to 1) preserve the rural character of Snohomish County; 2) avoid interference with resource land uses; 3) minimize impacts upon critical areas; 4) allow for future expansion of the UGAs, where appropriate, and 5) support the provision of more affordable housing in rural areas. The primary benefit of clustering is the preservation of open space. Modest density incentives should be provided in a manner which encourages use of the technique and maximum preservation of open space and maintenance of rural character. The open space tracts in rural cluster subdivisions shall be preserved in perpetuity, except for those located now or in the future within the Rural/Urban Transition Area. In the Rural/Urban Transition area, open space tracts shall be preserved until such time as the subdivision is included within a UGA, so that it may be used for future urban development. Rural cluster subdivision regulations implementing this policy shall include performance standards to ensure that:
Subsection 1.The number, location and configuration of lots will constitute compact rural development rather than urban growth. Performance standards shall include the following:
(a)Preservation of a substantial percentage of total site area in open space to be held in single ownership and in a separate tract or tracts;
(b)Provision of a density incentive which is tied to the preservation of open space;
(c)Connection of open space tracts with open space tracts on adjacent properties;
(d)Density at no greater than the underlying zoning density together with a modest density bonus as an incentive for use of the clustering technique;
(e)Allowance of open space uses consistent with the character of the rural area;
(f)Division of the development into physically separated clusters with a limitation on the maximum number of lots per cluster;
(g)Physical separation between clusters consisting of a buffer of wind resistant vegetation;
(h)Design that configures residential lots to the greatest extent possible to maintain rural character by:
(i)maximizing visibility of open space tract and minimizing visibility of clusters from adjoining collector roads, arterial roads, or state and federal highways through the placement of lots in the interior of the site and through vegetative buffers; and
(ii)placing buildings and lots in a manner which does not intrude on the visual character of the rural landscape, in particular, avoiding placement of houses or buildings on forested ridgelines or other prominent physical features;
(i)Submittal of a planting and clearing plan to ensure that any planting or clearing proposed will not interfere with the rural character of the site;
(j)Submittal of a site plan to ensure that siting of lots and built areas will not interfere with the rural character of the site and is consistent with the performance standards of the ordinance. The site plan must include:
(i)location of clusters, roads and open space;
(ii)within clusters, location and placement of buildings, useable building areas, driveways, and drainage systems; and
(iii)location of critical areas and all buffers;
Subsection 2.The development minimizes adverse impacts to large-scale natural resource lands, such as forest lands, agricultural lands and critical areas. Performance standards shall include the following:
(a)Minimization of alterations to topography, critical areas, and drainage systems; and
(b)Adequate separation between rural buildings and clusters and designated natural resource lands;
Subsection 3.The development does not thwart the long-term flexibility to expand the UGA. In the Rural/Urban Transition area, open space tracts shall be preserved until such time as the subdivision is included within a UGA, so that the tract may be reserved for future urban development. When an open space tract is added to a UGA and adequate services can be provided, the County may allow redevelopment of the open space tract into additional lots to provide appropriate urban level density.
Subsection 4.The development has made adequate provision for impacts to transportation systems. Performance standards shall include:
(a)controls for access to the rural cluster subdivision from public roads;
(b)requirements to meet rural concurrency standards; and
(c)requirement that the development be located within a rural fire district.
6.B.2The retention of small forest, farming, horse farm and other livestock based farm operations and hobby farms shall be encouraged in rural areas.
6.B.3Resource-based industries that help sustain rural communities, require only rural levels of service, support the conservation of natural resource lands, and complement rural character shall be promoted in rural areas.
6.B.4Resource-dependent tourism and recreation-oriented uses such as commercial horse stables, guide services, golf courses, and group camps should be allowed on a conditional use basis in rural areas provided they do not adversely impact adjoining rural uses.
6.B.5Nonresource-dependent tourism-related uses such as motels and restaurants serving rural and resource areas should be located within commercial zones.
6.B.6Development standards in rural areas shall be consistent with the cultural resources policies in the plan so as to preserve them.
6.B.7Except for athletic facilities located near urban growth areas, campgrounds, parks, recreational facilities, and trails shall consist of low intensity and density uses and be sited and designed to avoid adverse impacts on residents and the environment.
6.B.8Monitor the rate and pattern of development created by rural cluster subdivisions and report to the county council annually to ensure that a pattern of urban development is not established in rural areas.
6.B.9Planned rural development must be consistent with state law regarding available water resources and instream flow rules.
Objective LU 6.CIdentify and designate as Rural Resource Transition rural lands with natural resource values between designated resource and rural lands.
6.C.1Designate as Low Density Rural Residential those areas which are currently zoned Forestry requiring 20 acre minimum lot sizes in new subdivisions but are not included in the Forestry designations of the General Policy Plan.
6.C.2The county shall consider the establishment of a Rural Resource Transition designation which would serve as a transition area between rural residential and natural resource lands.
6.C.3The Rural Resource Transition designation should initially incorporate the Low Density Rural Residential and Rural Residential-10 (Resource Transition) designations of the General Policy Plan and may include other lands which provide an appropriate transition between rural and resource lands.
6.C.4The county should work with willing landowners to designate lands as Rural Resource Transition which have productive soils, are surrounded by very low intensity land uses, and have parcel sizes of 10 acres or greater.
6.C.5Through subsequent implementation measures, rural cluster subdivision of Low Density Rural Residential and Rural Resource Transition lands shall be encouraged on tracts 40 acres or larger.
6.C.6Designate as Rural Residential-10 (Resource Transition) those areas outside of the Tulalip Reservation which were formerly included in Forestry designations on pre-GMA subarea plans but not zoned Forestry. These areas shall not be subdivided into lots less than 10 acres except through the use of cluster subdivision or housing demonstration program using PRD provisions at a maximum density of 1 dwelling unit per 5 acres.
6.C.7Designate as Rural Residential-10 (Resource Transition) those fee-simple lands on the Tulalip Reservation which are adjacent or in close proximity to lands designated for forestry or agricultural use by the GPP or the Tulalip Tribes’ comprehensive plan and lands adjacent to the estuary of Quilceda Creek. The Rural Residential-10 (Resource Transition) designation will serve as a density transition between 5-acre rural residential uses and natural resource lands on the Reservation. The Rural Residential-10 (Resource Transition) areas on the Tulalip Reservation shall not be subdivided into lots less than 10 acres except through the use of the rural cluster subdivision technique.
Objective LU 6.DDesignate as Rural Residential-10 those areas outside the Marysville-Arlington Urban Growth Areas east of I-5 to maintain large parcel patterns for small farm and low density rural uses.
6.D.1Provide that the portion of the Rural Residential-10 area bounded on the south by 108th and on the north by the diagonal railroad line be maintained in rural status and specialty agriculture through cluster provisions and a specialty agriculture priority.
Objective LU 6.EWithin rural residential areas, recognize existing businesses that are an integral part of the rural character and provide for community facilities and small-scale commercial developments that support the immediate rural population with necessary goods and services.
6.E.1Within the rural residential designations of the Future Land Use Map, limited commercial uses shall be permitted within a Rural Business zone that provide opportunities for retail sales and services to the surrounding rural population.
6.E.2The county shall develop Rural Business zoning and development standards that allow community facilities for the surrounding rural population and facilitate small-scale retail and service uses at appropriate locations within rural residential areas and minimize impacts to residential areas, resource lands, and critical areas.
6.E.3In order to maintain the character of surrounding rural residential areas, development regulations for the Rural Business zone shall restrict development in terms of building size, height, and setback; the size, location, and type of uses; and the areas of impervious surfaces. Churches shall not be subject to restrictions on building size or areas of impervious surfaces provided by LU Objective 6.E and its associated policies.
6.E.4Development in the Rural Business zone shall be limited to development that can be supported by services typically delivered at rural levels of service. These services may include domestic water, septic systems, and transportation facilities.
6.E.5Existing small-scale commercial uses within rural residential zones may be zoned Rural Business whether or not they meet the locational criteria listed in Policy LU 6.E.7 only if they are uses allowed within the Rural Business zone. If existing uses do not meet the locational criteria, no future expansion of the zone shall be allowed. This policy is not intended to preclude legal non-conforming uses from expanding consistent with Snohomish County Code provisions.
6.E.6REPEALED BY ORDINANCE NO. 18-062.
6.E.7New Rural Business zones may only be approved in Rural Residential plan designations if they meet the following locational criteria:
Subsection (a)A minimum of six hundred residential dwelling units should be located within a two and one-half mile radius of the proposed site.
Subsection (b)The site is located along a county road or state highway with at least one hundred feet of street frontage or at an intersection of two public roads.
Subsection (c)No new areas designated or zoned for commercial uses should be located closer than two and one-half miles in the rural area.
Subsection (d)The total area zoned for Rural Business at any given location should not include more than five acres of net usable area. Net usable area should be the total site area less critical areas and their required buffers, roads, detention/retention areas, and biofiltration swales. Parcels within a Rural Business location should have common boundaries unless separated by public rights-of-way.
Subsection (e)The size and configuration of the area to be zoned should be capable of accommodating setbacks, buffers, critical area protection, and other site planning and design techniques that permit small-scale, rural commercial development characteristics.
6.E.8Sites within a Rural Business zone should be developed according to development regulations which incorporate the following criteria:
Subsection (a)Existing native vegetation should be retained within required buffers. Screening of parking areas, outdoor storage and mechanical equipment should be provided.
Subsection (b)Site disruption such as excessive grading, filling, or clearing of vegetation should be minimized through landscaping and buffer requirements.
Subsection (c)Total permitted impervious surfaces of buildings, parking and other support areas such as storage, trash containers, etc., should not exceed fifty percent of the net usable site area, except for churches.
Subsection (d)Stormwater management facilities should be designed and landscaped to integrate them into the overall site design and the landscaped buffers on the site.
Subsection (e)All structures should be set back fifty feet from residentially zoned properties. Structures should be set back one hundred feet from designated agricultural and forest lands.
Subsection (f)Sites should retain all existing trees in all required buffers along side and rear property lines. Sites should retain all existing evergreen trees in all required buffers along property frontage excluding areas for access drives and sign locations, unless tree removal is required to meet Department of Public Works Engineering Design and Development Standards or because of public health and safety concerns.
Subsection (g)Billboards should be prohibited within the Rural Business zone. Signage requirements should be similar to the signage provisions of the Neighborhood Business zone.
Subsection (h)Adequate water supplies should be demonstrated for commercial use and fire protection including fire flow.
Subsection (i)Refuse collection, fuel loading and storage areas, and large truck parking areas should be located at least one hundred feet from residential areas and screened by fence or landscaping.
Objective LU 6.FProvide areas for small-scale, freeway interchange commercial uses that support both local rural populations and the traveling public with necessary goods and services.
6.F.1Within rural lands outside of urban growth areas (UGAs), and located along Interstate 5 at freeway interchanges, permit limited commercial uses that provide opportunities for retail sales and services to rural populations and the needs of the traveling public.
6.F.2The Rural Freeway Service designation shall apply to areas that are located at the Interstate 5 interchanges north and west of, and outside of, the Arlington/Marysville UGA.
6.F.3REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
6.F.4Rural Freeway Service zoning and development, site, and locational criteria shall be adopted that facilitate small-scale retail and service uses at appropriate locations that minimize impacts to rural residential areas, resource lands, and critical areas.
6.F.5In order to maintain the rural character of the area, Rural Freeway Service development standards shall restrict the building size, height, and setback, the areas of impervious surfaces, and the size, location, and type of uses.
6.F.6Rural Freeway Service development shall be limited to development that can be supported by services typically delivered at rural levels of service. These services may include domestic water, septic systems, and transportation facilities.
6.F.7New Rural Freeway Service designations on the Future Land Use map may be approved only in rural areas and if the area meets the following locational criteria:
Subsection (a)Sites should be located near an Interstate 5 interchange and shall abut a frontage or access road.
Subsection (b)Total land area designated for Rural Freeway Service at any given interchange shall not include more than ten net usable acres. Net usable area shall be the total site area less critical areas and their required buffers, roads, detention/retention areas, and biofiltration swales.
Subsection (c)Site conditions such as topography, soils, existing vegetation, critical areas, vehicular traffic sight lines and capacity for water, fire protection and septic systems shall be adequate to support Rural Freeway Service development without adverse impacts to adjacent sites or the natural environment.
Subsection (d)The size and configuration of the area to be designated must be capable of accommodating setbacks, buffers and other site planning and design techniques that permit small-scale, rural commercial development characteristics.
6.F.8Sites within a Rural Freeway Service designation shall be developed according to development regulations which incorporate the following criteria:
Subsection (a)Existing native vegetation should be retained within required buffers. Screening of parking areas, outdoor storage and mechanical equipment shall be provided.
Subsection (b)Site disruption such as excessive grading, filling, or clearing of vegetation shall be minimized through landscaping and buffer requirements.
Subsection (c)Total permitted impervious surfaces of buildings, parking and other support areas such as storage, trash containers, etc., shall not exceed sixty percent of the net usable site area.
Subsection (d)Storm water detention facilities, such as ponds and grassy swales, shall be designed and landscaped to integrate them into the overall site design and the landscaped buffers on the site.
Subsection (e)All applicable State Highway regulations related to access shall be met.
Subsection (f)All structures shall be set back fifty feet from rural residential zoned properties and from designated farmland. Structures shall be set back one hundred feet from designated forest land.
Subsection (g)Type B landscaping (as defined by the county’s landscaping code), which may include native vegetation with an average width of twenty-five feet but not less than ten feet, shall be required along all frontage and access roads abutting the property and between other Rural Freeway Service or Rural Business zoned properties. Type A landscaping (as defined by the county’s landscaping code), which may include native vegetation with a width of fifty feet, shall be provided along property lines adjacent to rural residential zoned areas.
Subsection (h)Sites shall retain all existing trees of three inch caliper and larger in all required buffers along side and rear property lines. Sites shall retain all existing evergreen trees of three inch caliper and larger in all required buffers along property frontage, excluding areas for access drives and sign locations, unless tree removal is required to meet Department of Public Works Engineering Design and Development Standards or because of public health and safety concerns.
Subsection (i)Billboards shall be prohibited within the Rural Freeway Service zone. Signage requirements shall be similar to the signage provisions of the Freeway Service zone.
Subsection (j)Adequate water supplies shall be demonstrated for commercial use and fire protection including fire flow.
Subsection (k)Refuse collection, fuel loading and storage areas, and large truck parking areas shall be located at least one hundred feet from residential areas and screened by fence or landscaping.
Objective LU 6.GProvide for small-scale industrial uses in the rural areas of the county that are primarily dependent on the natural resources derived from the rural and resource areas.
6.G.1Within rural lands outside of urban growth areas (UGAs), permit limited rural industrial land uses in areas previously designated or zoned for rural industrial uses and permit limited rural industrial uses in areas which have not been previously designated or zoned for rural industrial uses but contain uses or existing structures previously devoted to rural industry. Provide opportunities for small-scale industrial development that relates to other rural uses and natural resource production, processing and distribution of goods.
6.G.2Recognize the existing rural industrial designations and zones in the county that contribute to the economic diversity of the unincorporated areas of the county and provide employment opportunities to nearby rural populations.
6.G.3REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
6.G.4Rural industrial areas should be developed in a manner which supports the rural character of the county and protects sensitive natural features of the environment. The scale and character of rural industrial development shall be smaller and less intense than urban industrial development.
6.G.5Rural Industrial development shall be limited to development that can be supported by services typically delivered at rural levels of service. These services may include water, septic systems, and transportation facilities.
6.G.6Expansions of Rural Industrial designations on the Future Land Use map may be approved only if they meet the following locational criteria:
Subsection (a)Site conditions such as topography, soils, existing vegetation, critical areas, and capacity for water, fire protection and septic systems shall be adequate to support intensive resource-based industrial production without significant adverse environmental impacts.
Subsection (b)Designation size and configuration shall allow for setbacks, buffers, and other site planning and design techniques that permit small-scale, rural commercial development characteristics.
Subsection (c)Total land area designated for Rural Industrial at any given location shall not include more than twenty net usable acres. Net usable area shall be the total site area less critical areas and their required buffers, roads, detention/retention areas, and biofiltration swales.
Subsection (d)Rural industrial development shall not require the construction of long access roads or other transportation improvements such as bridges and roads.
6.G.7Sites within a Rural Industrial designation shall be developed according to development regulations which incorporate the following criteria:
Subsection (a)Existing native vegetation should be retained within required buffers. Screening of parking areas, outdoor storage and mechanical equipment shall be provided.
Subsection (b)Site disruption such as excessive grading, filling, or clearing of vegetation shall be minimized through landscaping and buffer requirements.
Subsection (c)Total permitted impervious surfaces of buildings, parking and other support areas such as storage, trash containers, etc., shall not exceed sixty percent of the net usable site area.
Subsection (d)Stormwater management facilities shall be designed and landscaped to integrate them into the overall site design and the landscape buffers on site.
Subsection (e)All structures shall be set back one hundred feet from rural residential zoned properties, designated farmland, and designated forest land.
Subsection (f)Type B landscaping (as defined by the county’s landscaping code), which may include native vegetation with an average width of twenty-five feet but not less than ten feet shall be required along all frontage and access roads abutting the property and between other Rural Freeway Service or Rural Business zoned properties. Type A landscaping (as defined by the county’s landscaping code), which may include native vegetation with a width of one hundred feet shall be required along property lines abutting rural residential areas.
Subsection (g)Sites shall retain all existing trees of three inch caliper and larger in all required buffers along side and rear property lines. Sites shall retain all existing evergreen trees of three inch caliper and larger in all required buffers along property frontage excluding areas for access drives and sign locations unless tree removal is required to meet Department of Public Works Engineering Design and Development Standards or because of public health and safety concerns.
Subsection (h)Billboards shall be prohibited within the Rural Industrial zone. Signage requirements shall be similar to the signage provisions of the Neighborhood Business zone.
Subsection (i)Adequate water supplies shall be demonstrated for commercial use and fire protection including fire flow.
Subsection (j)Refuse collection, fuel loading and storage areas, and large truck parking areas shall be located at least one hundred feet from residential areas and screened by fence or landscaping.
Subsection (k)Disruption to adjacent rural residential areas by noise, dust, odors, operating hours, vehicular movement and traffic, or adverse visual alteration of the natural landscape by industrial activities shall be minimized.
Objective LU 6.HWithin the rural Clearview area and along State Route 9, establish two limited areas of more intense rural development within logical outer boundaries that are based on commercial uses in existence as of July 1, 1990, and which permits limited infill, development or redevelopment within existing areas.
6.H.1Recognize the existing commercial and residential settlement pattern in the area of southeast Snohomish County along State Route 9 between 184th and 172nd Streets SE and at 164th Street SE as limited areas of more intense rural development (LAMIRD) that provide retail goods and services to the immediate population and a larger surrounding service area and allow limited infill adjacent to existing commercial development.
6.H.2Areas with an existing commercial designation or zoning within LAMIRD boundaries shall be designated Clearview Rural Commercial (CRC).
6.H.3Areas designated Rural Residential within LAMIRD boundaries shall retain the existing Rural Residential designation.
6.H.4Rural residents should have access to a mix of small scale retail sales, personal services and job opportunities within the CRC designation.
6.H.5Prevent strip development by minimizing and containing infill and redevelopment within the logical outer boundaries of two distinct commercial nodes in the Clearview area.
6.H.6The boundaries of the Clearview LAMIRDs are shown on the Future Land Use map. The boundaries are based on those found in the Cathcart-Maltby-Clearview area plan, generally follow parcel lines, and include parcels which meet the following criteria:
Subsection (a)The area does not contain extensive critical areas, and
Subsection (b)The area is developed with a commercial use which was in existence on or before July 1, 1990; or
Subsection (c)The area is zoned Neighborhood Business or Community Business and is a cohesive part of the existing commercial settlement pattern; or
Subsection (d)The remaining area constitutes infill, as it is located between and adjacent to two larger areas meeting criteria b) or c) above, or is along the boundary edge and its exclusion would create an irregular boundary.
6.H.7Implement the CRC designation through zoning and development standards which reduce impacts of new infill development or redevelopment to adjacent rural residential areas and rural character:
Subsection (a)Require a twenty-five foot wide sight-obscuring landscape buffer adjacent to the LAMIRD boundaries. The buffer should be designated to preserve native vegetation and existing trees of three-inch caliper or larger; and
Subsection (b)New uses shall be limited primarily to those uses similar to and compatible with uses that existed on July 1, 1990, and which serve the local rural population.
6.H.8Development within the CRC designation shall be limited to development that can be supported by services typically delivered at rural levels of service. These services may include water, septic systems, and transportation facilities.
Objective LU 6.IDevelop voluntary and incentive-based programs to promote and preserve agricultural activities in rural areas.
6.I.1Allow owners of qualifying rural land to opt into the TDR program and have their land redesignated as resource land consistent with adopted policies for TDR.
6.I.2Provide informational materials to the public that will help preserve and promote agricultural activities in the rural area. Public education efforts or materials should include:
Subsection (a)Voluntary site planning measures for improving the compatibility between new rural development and agricultural activities;
Subsection (b)A central information distribution site to help local farmers make the public aware of when, where and how to purchase local farm products;
Subsection (c)Support for local efforts to disseminate information about new farming methods, markets and products that can add value to agricultural businesses; and
Subsection (d)The criteria for qualifying for, and the process for enrolling in, property tax reduction programs available for agricultural lands.
6.I.3All rural areas where changes in zoning increase the maximum allowable number of residential lots or units shall be designated as TDR receiving areas and all development approvals in those areas shall be consistent with adopted TDR policies in this chapter.
Geological forces, glacial action and great river systems have created soils of fertility and depth within Snohomish County. These soils, a mild climate and an abundance of water brought early farming pioneers and settlers. Along with forestry and mining, agriculture dominated the earlier history of Snohomish County. From the early 1800’s through to the 1980’s, Snohomish County farms produced milk, eggs, chickens, hogs, beef, berries, vegetables such as corn, peas, pumpkins and other row crops, hay and nursery stock among other crops.
Since agriculture had a place of prominence in the economy of the county, the county prepared an agriculture plan in 1982. When the Growth Management Act came into effect in the early 1990’s, the county was positioned to amalgamate the GMA requirements into its framework of agricultural planning.
The Growth Management Act (GMA) states that cities and counties should "assure conservation of agricultural land of long-term commercial significance."
The Act also requires local government to assure that land uses adjacent to designated resource lands not interfere with the continued resource use. These statements provide a clear directive to conserve agricultural lands for the future of the state.
The GMA required the county to prepare and adopt an interim agricultural conservation plan and development regulations. The interim agricultural conservation planning process began in 1990 and has relied heavily on the farmland-use inventory, documented farmland loss, and issues discussion completed for the 1982 Agricultural Preservation Plan.
The GMA interim plan mapped and characterized farmlands included in the 1982 plan, as well as other identified areas fulfilling state and local criteria for designation as agricultural lands of long-term commercial significance. Three types of agricultural land were classified and designated:
•Riverway Commercial Farmland,
•Upland Commercial Farmland, and
•Local Commercial Farmland.
Protective measures were adopted for each of the three farmland classifications together with supplemental policies for land use and zoning, adjacent land uses, innovative land use techniques, road and utility restrictions, water management, and industry enhancements. Where appropriate, future policy needs were identified along with a strategy to ensure their timely consideration.
Formal public participation for GMA agricultural planning was initiated in August 1991. The Citizen Agriculture Committee consisted of eleven farm-related positions and an equal number of non-farm related positions.
The committee generally met every two weeks from August until it completed a recommendation in early February 1992. During that same period, five public meetings were held in five locations throughout the county. The 1993 Interim Agricultural Conservation Plan provided the basis for the agricultural land designations in the General Policy.
Agriculture in Snohomish County has been undergoing significant changes over the last two decades. It has shifted from dairy farms that have traditionally been a cornerstone of agriculture in Snohomish County to smaller diversified crop farms; agri-tourism and pumpkin patches.
There has been an overall decline in agriculture in the county due to shifts in the global economy, changing markets, increased conversion of agricultural lands to non-agricultural uses and environmental regulations - all played a part in the overall decline of dairying in particular and agriculture in general in the county.
To respond to the challenges facing Snohomish County farmers, the Agricultural Advisory Board, county staff, the county council and the Executive’s office together with local farmers began to take steps to increase the economic viability of agriculture in Snohomish County. Some of these early actions were:
•Participation in a regional agriculture product marketing campaign - Puget Sound Fresh;
•Regional agricultural summits;
•Transfer of Development Rights Program;
•Purchase of Development Rights program; and
•Farmers’ markets and farm stands as a new outlet for farm products.
In 2004, staff was dedicated solely to agriculture as a liaison to encourage agriculture overall and individual farms. Staff works directly with farmers as well as other agencies and groups within the county, region and state to increase the economic viability of farming. The Focus on Farming website was developed to bring together information pertinent to the agricultural community and to provide a multitude of resources that were previously not available or hard to locate.
The Executive’s Citizen Cabinet which met in late 2004, formally recommended in its Citizens Cabinet Final Report that the county should increase support for agriculture. In early 2005, the Agriculture Action Plan, which was generated from the Focus on Farming Conference held in the fall of 2004, was also released. Together, these two documents will work to increase the viability of agriculture, clearly showing the county’s emphasis on preserving and conserving both the land and the farming livelihood. Some of the measures and topics outlined are:
•Implement the Transfer of Development Rights and Purchase of Development Rights Programs;
•Improve information access and communications with farmers;
•Provide clear definition and clarity as to what agriculture is;
•Conduct regulation reforms to increase efficiency and clarity on agricultural issues;
•Increase agricultural economic development efforts;
•Strengthen public outreach and education efforts on the importance of agriculture and its contributions;
•Recognize agriculture’s cultural heritage and historic importance;
•Acknowledge that growth impacts agriculture and work to define measures for assistance and mitigation;
•Educate the next generation of farmers;
•Create the Agriculture Action Plan Advisory Group; and
•Emphasize the importance of the Agriculture Advisory Board.
In 2010, the county co-sponsored and launched, along with funding partners including state agencies and the Tulalip and Stillaguamish Tribes, the Sustainable Lands Strategy Initiative. Founding members of the SLS Executive Committee included representatives from Futurewise, Forterra (formerly Cascade Land Conservancy), the Tulalip Tribes, Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, Snohomish County Agricultural Advisory Board, Snohomish Conservation District and an independent farm operator. The goal of the initiative is to accommodate both habitat restoration for threatened and endangered species and protection of agricultural resource lands, in a manner that would generate net gains for the agricultural, tribal cultural and ecological productivity and health in Snohomish County. Through this initiative, the general guidelines and principles upon which to base future actions to preserve farmlands and restore fish and wildlife have been developed.
Snohomish County agriculture gives life and diversity to our local, regional and international economies, and provides open space as well as fish and wildlife habitat. It also contributes to a level of food security for the region and provides access to affordable and nutritious food and fiber for animal and human use.
Collectively, these measures, programs and other endeavors have helped bring about a new level of cooperation between the agriculture community, county staff, council and executive. These policies are based on these growing efforts and work to preserve farmland and increase the viability of agriculture, while at the same time striving to protect the farmer, the essential key to sustaining agriculture in Snohomish County for the next generation.
In 2005 the state legislature amended the GMA to authorize the limited redesignation of Commercial Farmland to Recreational Land to permit the continued use of grass playing fields and supporting facilities in existence as of July 1, 2004. The amendment to the GMA specifies the criteria for redesignation and establishes a limited timeframe for the registration of pre-existing playing fields and supporting facilities and redesignation to Recreational Land.
GOAL LU 7Conserve agriculture and agricultural land through a variety of planning techniques, regulations, incentive and acquisition methods.
Objective LU 7.AClassify and designate agricultural land of long-term commercial significance.
7.A.1The county shall classify and designate farmlands in three classes: Riverway Commercial Farmland, Upland Commercial Farmland, and Local Commercial Farmland as shown on the Future Land Use map and shown in greater detail on a set of assessor’s maps which will be part of the implementation ordinances.
7.A.2Landowners may request in writing a review of the farmland designations as part of the county’s annual GMA comprehensive plan amendment process.
7.A.3The county shall designate farmland as required by the GMA, and consider the guidance provided for designating agricultural lands of long-term commercial significance adopted by the State. In addition, farmland designations and expansions of such designations on contiguous lands should be made considering all of the following criteria:
Subsection (a)The land is prime farmland as defined by the U.S. Soil Conservation Service (SCS) or consists of other Class III soils in the SCS capability classification;
Subsection (b)The land is shown to be devoted to agriculture by:
1.the adopted future land use map;
2.a current zoning classification of Agriculture-10 acre; and
3.was identified in the 1982 agriculture land inventory, the 1990 aerial photo interpretation, or the 1991 field identification of land devoted to agriculture;
Subsection (c)The land is located outside a UGA;
Subsection (d)The land is located outside a sewer service boundary; and
Subsection (e)The land consists of a parcel of 10 acres or greater in areas designated as Upland Commercial Farmland or Local Commercial Farmland.
7.A.4If requested by a landowner, the county shall consider adding farm lands to the commercial farmland designation if they meet the one of the following criteria:
Subsection (a)the lands are adjacent to designated farmland and are a minimum of 10 acres;
Subsection (b)the lands are not adjacent to designated farmland and they are a minimum of forty (40) acres; or
Subsection (c)the redesignation request is part of an application to opt into the Transfer of Development Rights program and the lands are a minimum of five acres.
Objective LU 7.BConserve designated farmland and limit the intrusion of non-agricultural uses into designated areas.
7.B.1Areas designated Local Commercial Farmland and not zoned Agriculture-10 shall not be divided into lots of less than 10 acres except when used exclusively for agricultural purposes.
7.B.2Conversion of Riverway Commercial and Upland Commercial Farmland to ultra-light fields, churches, or new government facilities shall not be allowed.
7.B.3The county development regulations shall require residential dwellings, with the exceptions of existing dwellings and when rebuilding on the previous dwelling site, be set back from the property line abutting designated farmland as follows:
Subsection (a)dwellings within or adjacent to designated farmland shall be setback 50 feet;
Subsection (b)if the size, shape, and/or physical site constraints of an existing legal lot do not allow for the required setback, the new dwelling shall maintain the maximum setback possible within the physical constraints of the lot as determined by the department; or
Subsection (c)the owner of the land proposed for residential development and the owner of the adjacent designated farmland each legally record and file signed covenants running with the land and a document establishing an alternative setback for one or both of the properties which meets the intent of this policy.
7.B.4The county should work to find alternatives to the planning or construction of public or private infrastructure improvements such as electrical substations, sewer lines and treatment facilities and services on designated farmland. If located on or adjacent to designated farmland the county shall ensure that impacts on commercial agriculture are minimized.
7.B.5Recreational uses that do not preclude future agriculture use shall be allowed consistent with the Growth Management Act, as now exists or hereafter amended, through implementing development regulations, which incorporate conditions ensuring compatibility with surrounding agricultural uses and limiting loss of prime agricultural soils.
7.B.6In cases where a sewer line has been installed through farmland, residences shall be prohibited from connecting to the sewer line, unless a public health emergency is declared.
7.B.7The county shall coordinate the use of agricultural resource lands with the preservation of ecological functions and values by incorporating incentives into reach scale plans.
Objective LU 7.CEnhance and encourage the agricultural industry through development and adoption of supporting programs and code amendments.
7.C.1The Agricultural Advisory Board shall provide advice on and recommendations for goals, policies, programs, incentives and regulations related to agriculture and agricultural conservation.
7.C.2The county shall work with the cities to develop interlocal agreements that apply standards that include Right to Farm noticing and setback requirements to developments which occur in cities and are adjacent to designated farmlands.
7.C.3The county shall promote the expansion of agricultural enterprises, such as agri-tourism, specialty and niche agriculture, and especially greenhouses and hydroponic farming on Local and Upland Commercial Farmland and Rural Residential areas.
7.C.4The county shall ensure that permitted uses in designated agricultural lands adjacent to airports are compatible with airport operations and requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration.
7.C.5The county shall continue to educate the public on the importance of, and many benefits associated with, the long-term commercial viability of Snohomish County’s local agricultural economy.
7.C.6The county shall support the use of innovative agricultural technologies, procedures and practices that protect existing land, soil and water resources.
7.C.7The county shall support programs and partnerships that recognize and promote public awareness of the economic, historic and cultural importance of local agriculture.
7.C.8The county shall expand opportunities for the agriculture community to participate in economic development, code development and public policy initiatives related to agriculture and agricultural practices.
7.C.9The county shall consider grade separations, frontage roads, or other methods to safely move vehicles and livestock when new or improved roads are proposed in designated farmland or on roads that receive substantial farm vehicle traffic.
7.C.10The county shall support and participate in programs that promote and market locally grown and processed products.
7.C.11The county shall participate in the development of a farm product processing facility (USDA certified) to be located within the county.
7.C.12The county should assist with establishing a permanent public farmers market in Snohomish County to promote the county’s agriculture industry and improve consumer access to local food.
7.C.13The county should promote and encourage the use of Snohomish County agricultural products in local institutions and venues.
Objective LU 7.DInitiate and continue studies which may result in improved conservation of agricultural lands.
7.D.1The county shall continue to study the effectiveness of the Transfer of Development Rights program for conservation of agricultural land in the county.
7.D.2Incentives for agricultural industry enhancement such as improved permit processing for designated farmlands and value assessment of farm residences in designated farmland areas at farm rates shall be investigated.
7.D.3The impacts of siting public facilities such as schools, fire stations, and community centers adjacent to designated farmland should be studied and, if necessary, plan and code amendments should be initiated.
7.D.4The county shall investigate improvements to development regulations that will reduce the stormwater run-off and water quality impacts of upstream developments on designated farmland.
7.D.5The county shall investigate ways to simplify the permit process for routine maintenance and repair of dikes/levees and drainage systems on designated farmland.
7.D.6The county shall investigate funding mechanisms such as grants to help fund the maintenance and repair of agricultural drainage systems.
7.D.7The county shall conduct a traffic study to identify and assess where traffic interferes with farming.
7.D.8The county shall study methods to decrease and mitigate the negative effects of residential development adjacent to or on designated agricultural land.
7.D.9The county shall investigate programs that have the potential to convert farmland for habitat restoration, mitigation or flood storage and their resulting long-term effects on agriculture. This investigation shall provide the basis for a subsequent analysis of the effects of such programs on farmland and shall be followed with appropriate policies and regulations to protect designated commercial farmlands.
7.D.10The county may scope and conduct an analysis of designated farmlands and lands that could be utilized for agriculture. This analysis shall provide the basis for subsequent analysis of the land’s future use, and designation.
Objective LU 7.EREPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
7.E.1REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
7.E.2REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
7.E.3REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
7.E.4REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
7.E.5REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
7.E.6REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 14-129.
The county recognizes the economic, ecological and historical value of forest lands in the county. Forest lands make up over 18% of the county’s total area. Productive forest lands in Snohomish County are expected to contribute an estimated $1.9 billion to the economy between 2005 and 2026 (given current timber values for the first half of 2005). A goal of the GMA is to conserve productive forest land and discourage incompatible uses. For Snohomish County, this goal helps to protect a valuable resource.
To comply with specific provisions in the GMA to designate and conserve forest lands for long term commercial production of timber, the county prepared an inventory of productive forest land considering the guidelines issued by the state (WAC 365-190). In 1992 the county adopted the Interim Forest Land Conservation Plan which designated two classifications of productive forest land: Interim Commercial Forest and Interim Forest Reserve land. The interim plan was intended to conserve designated forest land through policies and regulations until the county adopted its first GMA comprehensive plan. In 1993, the county adopted the Rural Cluster Subdivision and the Right to Practice Forestry ordinances which implemented key provisions of the interim plan.
The interim plan was revised and designation criteria were refined with adoption of the GPP in 1995. The interim designations were replaced by Commercial Forest and Local Forest designations.
The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) was appointed by the county in 1991 to advise planning staff and make recommendations to the planning commission. The FAC assisted in developing the criteria for classifying Commercial Forest lands, identifying Commercial Forest lands on the County’s GMA Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use map, and formulating the forest land policies in this General Policy Plan.
Lands designated Local Forest on the Tulalip Indian Reservation were reviewed as a result of a cooperative planning effort by the county and the Tulalip Tribes in 1999. Local Forest lands that met the refined criteria, pursuant to the cooperative plan, for long-term commercial timber production have been retained in that designation. Designated Local Forest lands are fee-simple non-tribally owned lands falling under county jurisdiction. However, they are adjacent to tribally owned forest lands and together enhance resource protection and management for both jurisdictions. These lands are an integral part of the Tulalip Tribes’ designated forest lands devoted to protection and sustainability of natural resources within the interior of the Tulalip Reservation.
GOAL LU 8Identify and designate, conserve and promote sustainable use of valuable forest resource land in the county.
Objective LU 8.AClassify and designate Commercial Forest and Local Forest lands that are primarily devoted to growing trees and that can be economically and practically managed for long term commercial timber production.
8.A.1Commercial Forest and Local Forest lands shall be classified and designated as shown on the Future Land Use map attached to this plan and in greater detail on a set of county assessor’s maps which are incorporated into this plan by reference.
8.A.2Commercial Forest and Local Forest lands were evaluated considering the factors listed in RCW 36.70.A.030(8) and are designated pursuant to the Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A.040) because they meet all of the following applicable criteria:
Subsection (a)Parcel Size (Commercial Forest and Local Forest): (a) A minimum of 40 acres or 1/16th of a section; or (b) parcels less than 40 acres which are zoned Forestry when at least 40 acres are contiguously owned and the land is in a deferred forest or exempt tax status.
Subsection (b)Peninsula Width (Commercial Forest only): Peninsulas shall be more than one quarter mile wide.
Subsection (c)Island Size (Commercial Forest only): Islands shall be a minimum of 2,000 acres, except that islands shall be a minimum of 40 acres if permanently protected from residential development through the Transfer of Development Rights program.
Subsection (e)Primary Use (Commercial Forest and Local Forest): Land shall be primarily devoted to growing trees for long-term commercial timber production; any FPA permit issued within seven years prior to the date of review of these criteria on a site shall have been issued for commercial forest.
Subsection (f)History of Development Permits (Commercial Forest and Local Forest): The land shall not be subject to any vested development applications containing residential lots or densities higher than one unit per 40 acres for Commercial Forest lands and one unit per 20 acres for Local Forest Lands.
Subsection (g)Forest Land Cover (Commercial Forest and Local Forest): The land should consist of large forested areas, unless logged within seven years under an FPA permit that did not indicate change of use, and may not contain densely built residential or agricultural areas.
Subsection (h)Forest Land Grades (Commercial Forest and Local Forest): The land should consist primarily of Forest Land Grades one through three as mapped by the Department of Natural Resources.
Subsection (i)Exceptions: The only exceptions to these criteria are isolated and uncommon inholdings (parcels surrounded by commercial forest land on all sides).
8.A.3Private and state owned lands within the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest that meet the criteria defined in Policy 8.A.2 shall be designated as Commercial Forest.
8.A.4Landowner requests for changes to the Commercial Forest land designation of their property shall be reviewed for their suitability as Commercial Forest land in accordance with the criteria contained in GPP policy 8.A.2 as part of the county’s annual GMA comprehensive plan amendment process.
Objective LU 8.BConserve designated Commercial Forest lands through the adoption of development regulations.
8.B.1The county shall not approve subdivision of land designated Commercial Forest beyond the 1/du/80 acres, except for subdivision to allow installation of communication and utility facilities provided all of the following requirements are met:
Subsection (a)the facility cannot suitably be located on undesignated land;
Subsection (b)the installation cannot be accomplished without subdivision;
Subsection (c)the facility is located on the lowest feasible grade of commercial forest land; and
Subsection (d)the facility removes as little land as possible from timber production.
8.B.2New structures proposed to be located on parcels adjacent to designated Commercial Forest lands shall establish and maintain a minimum 100 foot setback, which shall be a resource protection area, from the property boundaries of adjacent Commercial Forest lands except as follows:
Subsection (a)if the size, shape, and/or physical site constraints of an existing legal lot do not allow a setback of 100 feet, the new structure shall maintain the maximum setback possible; or
Subsection (b)if the owner of the land on which the new structure is proposed and the owner of the adjacent designated Commercial Forest land each legally record and file signed covenants running with the land, and a document establishing an alternative setback for one or both of the properties.
8.B.3The builders of new dwellings proposed to be located on designated Commercial Forest lands or on parcels adjacent to designated Commercial Forest lands shall provide adequate access for fire vehicles.
8.B.4The builders of new dwellings proposed to be located on designated Commercial Forest lands or on parcels adjacent to designated Commercial Forest lands, if located within 200 feet of the property boundary of adjacent designated Commercial Forest land, shall be required to survey the property boundaries that abut designated Commercial Forest lands, locate the property boundaries on the ground, and submit a record of survey with a building permit application.
8.B.5Subdivisions, short subdivisions, and rural cluster subdivisions of parcels adjacent to designated Commercial Forest land shall establish a resource protection area of a minimum 100 foot width along designated Commercial Forest land boundaries.
8.B.6Tax incentives should be provided to encourage designated Commercial Forest landowners and owners of land adjacent to designated Commercial Forest land to establish a permanent resource protection area or buffer 200 to 500 feet in width between timber management uses on designated Commercial Forest land and residential uses on adjacent land.
8.B.7New structures proposed to be located on designated Commercial Forest lands shall establish and maintain a minimum 500 foot setback, which shall be a resource protection area, from the property boundaries of adjacent Commercial Forest lands.
Objective LU 8.CEstablish regulations and incentives that encourage multiple use of forest lands for a variety of natural resource and land use activities that are especially suited to commercial forest land because of physical and topographical characteristics, remoteness from populated areas, availability of water supplies, and the quality of the forest environment.
8.C.1Commercial forestry, tree farms, non-commercial mineral extraction, low intensity recreation, compatible ancillary uses, and other activities relying on forest land should be the primary uses of designated Commercial Forest land.
8.C.2Residential development should be strongly discouraged within designated Commercial Forest lands. However, nothing in this policy shall be construed to prevent the owner of designated Commercial Forest land from living on his/her land, provided that applicable building requirements are met.
8.C.3Commercial mineral extraction including sand, gravel, and quarry rock shall be allowed on designated Commercial Forest lands through the conditional use permit process where the commercial forest and mineral lands designations coincide.
8.C.4Incentives should be established to encourage landowners to continue commercial forest management of designated Commercial Forest lands.
8.C.5The establishment or expansion of special purpose districts and local improvement districts resulting in the imposition of assessments, rates, or charges on designated commercial forest land should be discouraged when the services do not benefit forest management activities.
Objective LU 8.DEnsure that adjacent land uses do not interfere with commercial forest management activities.
8.D.1Rural cluster subdivisions shall be utilized for the division of rural land adjacent to designated Commercial Forest lands, except that rural cluster subdivisions shall not be utilized on lands designated Rural Residential-RD and located outside a Rural/Urban Transition Area. Home sites within the rural cluster subdivision shall be sited away from adjacent designated Commercial Forest land property boundaries.
8.D.2Designated Commercial Forest land and land adjacent to designated Commercial Forest land that was previously subdivided but not yet developed for residential use should be considered for replat as a rural cluster subdivision.
8.D.3New dwellings on all designated commercial forest lands and lands adjacent to designated Commercial Forest lands shall meet fire protection standards.
8.D.4Land uses on or adjacent to designated Commercial Forest land shall be sited and designed to minimize trespassing, dumping of garbage, forest fire hazards, and complaints against forest management activities.
Objective LU 8.EEstablish a Forest Transition Area (FTA) that creates a protected long-term Commercial Forest land boundary that will not be impacted by adjacent land use conflicts.
8.E.1An FTA one quarter mile in width shall be designated on Commercial Forest lands adjacent to non-resource lands, except that it shall not be designated on land that is permanently protected from residential development through the Transfer of Development Rights program. The FTA consists of Commercial Forest lands and is shown as an overlay to Commercial Forest lands on the County’s GMA Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use map.
8.E.2The FTA may be partially developed if adjacent land use conflicts restrict normal forest practices as indicated by at least one of the following:
Subsection (a)If any of the following uses are located within 500 feet of the commercial forest land boundary:
i)residences, campgrounds or other structures valued at more than $1,000;
ii)other areas or activities with frequent public use; or
iii)conflicting uses or improvements which are either susceptible to damage from, or are incompatible with, forest practices typical of the area (including, but not limited to, ornamental or fruit trees, berry bushes, beehives, livestock or poultry enclosure, etc.).
Subsection (b)If legal action or action by a public agency or court restricts normal forest practices due to potential conflicts along the boundary.
Subsection (c)Proof of existence of an active surface water intake which is currently used as source for potable water within one quarter mile downstream.
8.E.3If adjacent land use conflicts restrict normal forest practices, as defined in the GPP, the Commercial Forest landowner shall have the option of developing one sixteenth section of the FTA or a one quarter mile wide segment of the FTA that borders the adjacent land use conflict, whichever is greater. That portion of the FTA eligible for development may be developed at a density of one dwelling per 20 acres through a standard plat or 1 dwelling per 10 acres using a cluster subdivision process.
8.E.4When FTA lands are platted, a deed restriction shall be required that prevents all proposed and future development and other conflicting non-forestry uses in the FTA from being located closer than 500 feet to adjacent non-transition Commercial Forest lands and 200 feet from adjacent undeveloped FTA lands. This 500-foot or 200-foot restricted zone shall be managed and maintained as Commercial Forest land. The deed restriction shall apply only as long as the FTA borders other Commercial Forest lands.
8.E.5The Right to Practice Forestry notice shall apply to properties within the FTA.
8.E.6When FTA lands are divided using a cluster subdivision process, the lands not proposed for use as residential lots, roads, utilities, open space or other uses associated with the residential development, and not within the 500-foot or 200-foot restricted zone, which must be managed as Commercial Forest land as defined by Policy 8.E.4 above, shall be identified as a Resource Management Area which may be managed for timber production in accordance with the Washington Forest Practices Rules and Regulations.
Snohomish County has a wealth of mineral resources including sand, gravel and bedrock with additional deposits of precious metals located primarily in the mountainous region within the national forest lands. It is the intent of the county to preserve these resource areas for future access to the minerals. However, it is also the intent of the county to identify adjacent incompatible uses and to balance the resource land needs with those of the surrounding land owners and the environment.
The mineral resource lands subelement is intended to:
•identify and designate mineral resource lands;
•ensure that these lands continue to be available for mining;
•minimize the impacts of mining on the environment, communities, and other land uses; and
•ensure that mining sites are left in a condition compatible with subsequent uses.
The foundation of the mineral resource lands subelement is the goals and requirements of the GMA (RCW 36.70A), the minimum guidelines for classifying resource lands (WAC 365-190) and the direction provided in the 1995 General Policy Plan for detailed mineral lands planning.
The Growth Management Act requires counties to identify and conserve natural resource lands (RCW 36.70A.060). This includes designating mineral resource lands that are not already characterized by urban growth and that have long-term significance for the extraction of minerals (RCW 36.70A.170). Conservation in this context is intended to maintain such lands for potential mineral extraction. Counties must also protect these lands by ensuring that the use of adjacent lands does not interfere with mineral extraction. (RCW 36.70A.060(1)).
Policies in the 1995 Snohomish County General Policy Plan directed the county to identify and designate an adequate supply of mineral resource deposits to meet the 20-year projected demand in Snohomish County. In 1997, Snohomish County initiated the mineral resource lands planning project to fulfill this directive. A Mineral Lands Task Force was established in 1998 to provide input to the county during the planning process.
A geologic inventory was completed in 1999 and identification and classification of mineral resource lands was completed in 2000 after analysis of alternative designation approaches. Associated policy and regulatory measures were then developed and evaluated in a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement issued November 21, 2001, an Addendum issued July 5, 2002, and a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement issued August 6, 2003. Five public workshops were conducted between January and July, 2002.
Public hearings were held by the planning commission in November 2002 and the county council in July and August 2003. Public input prompted further review and analysis to address land use compatibility, traffic impacts and groundwater concerns. In 2004, representatives from the mineral resource industry participated in analysis of the supply and demand for minerals expected through 2025 and forecasts of the resulting heavy truck traffic.
Mineral resource land designation and the associated policies in this subelement are based on:
•a geologic inventory supplemented by parcel specific resource data;
•a hierarchical classification of resources based on resource quality and quantity;
•designation criteria consistent with WAC 365-190-170 addressing resource value, land use compatibility and environmental concerns; and
•policies to minimize potential land use, environmental and transportation conflicts while recognizing the economic necessity of the mineral resource industry.
The mineral resource land designation represents a reduction in area from the overall resource inventory, which identified 177,000 acres of potentially viable mineral resource deposits. Areas were excluded from consideration based on jurisdictional and legal issues, environmental constraints and land use compatibility. Of the 177,000 acres identified in the inventory, 131,000 acres are designated as an overlay (Mineral Resource Overlay or MRO) on the Future Land Use Map (FLUM). This represents all of the mineral resource deposits in the county which meet the criteria for volume, quality and extractability; are under county jurisdiction and are not slated for more intensive urban development; and are located in predominantly undeveloped, low density rural (10-20 acre lot size) or forest areas where land use incompatibility issues have been addressed at a countywide level. Mineral resources are also designated in limited 5-acre rural areas at the request of landowners where it was determined that the individual sites met all of the designation criteria established in the policies.
The volume of mineral resources designated on the FLU map will meet demand well beyond the 20-year planning horizon. The designation and the associated policies balance the goals of the GMA to protect the resource lands, provide for a variety of rural land uses and support economic opportunities in rural areas. Designation of mineral resources in predominantly undeveloped rural areas allows rural land owners the opportunity to extract minerals from their property, provides policy direction for development patterns which can be compatible with mineral resource uses and reduces transportation costs by designating some resource supply closer to urban market areas.
Mineral resource land designation is an overlay with forest resource or rural designations underneath. Where mineral resources are designated in forest areas, mineral resource uses are allowed with appropriate permits. Where mineral resources are designated in rural areas, mineral resource uses will be preferred and other uses which would preclude future mineral extraction will be limited or required to utilize innovative site design techniques to preserve the resource deposits for future use.
Designation means that mineral resources are present, planning level environmental review has been completed and designated sites are eligible to apply for the permits needed for extraction and/or processing of minerals. Designation does not mean that all designated lands will become active mines or quarries. Every proposal for extraction or processing must complete additional environmental review at the project level and obtain the required permits.
GOAL LU 9Conserve mineral resource lands for mineral extraction, minimize the detrimental effects of mineral extraction on the environment and other land uses, and plan for the eventual post-extractive use of mine sites.
Objective LU 9.AIdentify and designate mineral resource lands that are not already characterized by urban growth and that have long term significance for the extraction of minerals.
9.A.1The county shall use the "Prospect Identification and Preliminary Classification" inventory report and maps completed December 1998, and as subsequently revised and updated based on further site-specific geologic data, to identify sand, gravel and bedrock resources potentially eligible for designation as mineral resource land. Determination of eligibility for designation considers the following criteria:
•physical properties of the resource including quality and type;
•depth of the resource;
•depth of the overburden; and
•life of the resource.
9.A.2The county shall exclude selected mineral resources identified on the inventory from potential designation because of legal, environmental or policy conflicts. Lands which shall be excluded are those:
•located within incorporated city, Urban Growth Area, or National Forest boundaries;
•identified as Tulalip Tribal Trust Lands;
•developed at densities greater than or equal to 0.15 lot per acre (average lot size of 6.67 acres) in neighborhoods with 5 or more homes;
•containing hard-to-replace public facilities (cemeteries, schools/colleges, hospitals, libraries, parks and trails);
•designated Riverway Commercial Farmland, Upland Commercial Farmland, or Local Commercial Farmland by the Snohomish County comprehensive plan;
•designated as a shoreline environment by the Snohomish County Shoreline Management Master Program;
•located within a 300-foot Chinook Salmon/Bull Trout corridor;
•located within a 100-year floodplain;
•isolated islands less than 10 acres, except as provided in 9.A.3; and/or
•land with 5-acre or smaller underlying land use designation and/or zoning, except in cases in which the landowner requests mineral resource designation and the site otherwise meets the criteria in 9.A.1 and 9.A.2.
9.A.3The county shall consider proposals for mineral resource designations or extraction on islands less than 10 acres under the following conditions:
•the resource is needed for emergency purposes;
•the resource is of an exceptional quality needed to satisfy requirements of a specific project;
•the resource, including precious metals, is part of an official mining claim within the boundaries of the National Forest; or
9.A.4Mineral resource lands are classified and designated in the comprehensive plan as shown on the Mineral Resource Lands Map (Map 2) and in greater detail in the county’s Geographic Information System (GIS) coverage. The mineral resource land designation is an "overlay," referred to as the Mineral Resource Overlay (MRO), to the Future Land Use Map designation of the comprehensive plan.
9.A.5When interpreting the Mineral Resource Lands Map at the project level, any parcel shown on the map to contain any amount of designated mineral resource shall be considered to be designated for the purpose of eligibility to submit permit applications.
9.A.6Designation as mineral resource land signifies that the use of mineral lands has been anticipated and evaluated at an area-wide level in terms of potential environmental impacts. The environmental documents associated with the mineral lands subelement may be used, as permitted by the SEPA rules, when making threshold determinations and/or preparing environmental documents.
9.A.7Designation as mineral resource land indicates eligibility for permitting by the county as a mineral excavation site and that, at the comprehensive plan level, such land is potentially appropriate for mineral excavation.
9.A.8Designation as mineral resource land does not substitute for any permit or approval required for mineral extraction and should not create a presumption of approval for any required permits.
9.A.9Certain undesignated lands are eligible for permitting by the county under the following conditions:
•expansion of existing legally established mineral operations onto adjacent undesignated land where a portion of the existing site has been designated or zoned Mineral Conservation;
•private actions within National Forest boundaries for extraction of mineral resources, including precious metals, where the proponent’s rights to the minerals have been acknowledged by the Bureau of Land Management; or
•mining activities allowed and subject to standards of the Shoreline Management Program as an integral part of certain projects, including, but not limited to:
◦Ecological restoration or enhancement
◦Flood hazard management
◦To alleviate an emergency situation
◦For use in forest practices
◦Removal of mineral resources deposited above the ordinary high water mark by flood events onto designated agricultural lands under the county’s comprehensive plan for the purpose of maintaining or restoring land for agricultural activities; or
9.A.10Presence or absence of a mineral resource land designation does not change the current conditional use or legal non-conforming use status of existing mining sites.
9.A.11Retention of conditional use or non-conforming use status for existing mine sites shall not exclude county monitoring, review or certification under updated policies and rules developed after the effective date of the Growth Management Act.
9.A.12Landowner requests for changes in the mineral resource land designations shall be subject to the county’s GMA comprehensive plan amendment process. Such requests should be reviewed for consistency with LU Policies 9.A.1, 9.A.2 and 9.A.3.
9.A.13The county shall remove, by amendment of the comprehensive plan, the mineral resource land designation of any mineral site certified as restored by the Washington Department of Natural Resources. If the mineral site lies within one mile of a tribal reservation or Urban Growth Area boundary, the county shall consult with the affected tribe or city regarding the comprehensive plan amendment.
9.A.14The county may consider removing the mineral resource designation, by amendment to the comprehensive plan, from sites where substantial evidence of unique circumstances determines that mineral excavation is not an appropriate use for the site.
9.A.16The county shall investigate the economic viability requirements of the mineral industry and review and amend, as appropriate, the mineral lands designation criteria in Policy LU 9.A.2.
Objective LU 9.BProtect designated mineral resource lands from development that would prevent future excavation on those lands.
9.B.1The county shall establish and retain a rural residential or commercial forest comprehensive plan designation and implementing zoning for mineral resource land.
9.B.2The county shall prohibit residential subdivision where the MRO coincides with a 5-acre rural residential designation. Where the MRO covers only a portion of a rural 5-acre designated parcel, the parcel may be subdivided provided that:
Subsection a.minimum lot size requirements can be met according to underlying zoning;
Subsection b.rural cluster subdivision is used; and
Subsection c.the portion of the property having the MRO overlay shall be preserved for future mineral resource use by adequate buffers, setbacks and open space.
9.B.3Any subdivision of mineral resource land outside of 5-acre rural designations (e.g. 1 du/10 acres, 1 du/20 acres, or local forest) shall utilize site planning and design opportunities, including rural cluster subdivisions, to retain the maximum amount of land for potential mineral resource use. Open space provisions will preserve the option for future mineral resource extraction.
9.B.4The county will maintain mineral resource maps and/or GIS data and provide this resource information to landowners who wish to investigate resource potential on their lands.
Objective LU 9.CEnsure that the use of lands adjacent to designated mineral resource lands does not interfere with the use of these lands for the extraction of minerals.
9.C.1A mineral lands notice ordinance shall require that all plats, short plats, development permits, and building permits issued for development activities on or within two thousand feet of lands designated as mineral resource contain a notice that the subject property is within or near designated mineral resource lands on which a variety of commercial activities may occur that are not compatible with residential development for certain periods of limited duration. The notice shall also inform that an application might be made for mining-related activities, including mining, extraction, washing, crushing, stockpiling, blasting, transporting, and recycling of minerals.
9.C.2The county shall maintain five-acre or larger minimum lot size comprehensive plan designations of rural lands adjacent to designated mineral resource lands.
9.C.3The county shall require the use of rural cluster subdivision for subdivision of rural residential lands (e.g. 1 du/5 acres, 1 du/10 acres, or 1 du/20 acres) adjacent to designated mineral resource lands. Residential lots within the development shall be located as far as possible from designated resource lands.
9.C.4The county shall consider open space, forestry, rural industry, agriculture or recreational uses as preferred land uses on parcels adjacent to designated mineral resource lands in future amendments to the comprehensive plan.
Objective LU 9.DEnsure that the impacts of mineral extraction, processing and transporting are adequately addressed and mitigated in the permit review process.
9.D.1The county shall adequately address and mitigate on-site and off-site impacts of mineral operations and transporting in the permit review process. Impact assessment shall include, at a minimum:
•Evaluation of impacts to the natural environment and critical areas both on- and off–site with particular attention to geologic hazards, impacts to groundwater used for potable supply, and fish habitat;
•Evaluation of impacts to adjacent properties including use compatibility, health, safety and welfare; and
•Evaluation of traffic impacts including safety, congestion, road characteristics and conditions, and non-vehicular users along roads impacted by large trucks generated by mineral operations taking into consideration the size, weight and performance characteristics of the large trucks.
9.D.2As part of the permit review process for mineral extraction and processing uses, the county shall consider the impact analysis completed for this plan’s environmental documents, which identifies areas with moderate to high land use, watershed and/or transportation impacts, when requesting information for permit applications, making threshold determinations or preparing site-specific environmental documents.
9.D.3The county will evaluate transportation and hauling impacts as part of an individual site specific permit application.
9.D.4The county shall coordinate with the mineral industry and stakeholder groups to develop a mineral lands strategy addressing education and outreach; data collection and tracking; and economic development.
9.D.5Protection of groundwater resources is of primary importance thus the county shall require hydrogeologic site evaluations, mitigation plans and/or groundwater monitoring programs when conditions merit. The county shall also require contingency plans for alternate potable water supply in the event of groundwater contamination or aquifer breach directly resulting from mineral operations.
9.D.6Application of the criteria in policy 9.A.2 results in elimination of Shorelines of the State from mineral resource designation. Therefore, proposals including mineral operations within Shorelines of the State shall not be eligible for permits from the county.
Objective LU 9.EEnsure that jurisdictions potentially affected by mineral extraction activities are consulted when mineral permit applications are submitted to the county.
9.E.1Request-for-review comments on mining proposals shall be solicited from all nearby and affected cities, Indian Tribes and state and federal landowners.
9.E.2The county shall consider interlocal agreements with jurisdictions already impacted by established mines, including, but not limited to: Gold Bar, Sultan, Monroe and Granite Falls.
9.E.3The county shall coordinate with affected jurisdictions when reviewing new applications for mineral operations.
Objective LU 9.FEnsure that mining site approval does not preclude or inhibit the planned post-extractive use of the mine site or the planned future use of adjacent lands.
9.F.1Post-extractive uses should be identified, at the time of permitting, for mineral resource lands that are consistent with adjacent and nearby comprehensive plan designations. Where adjacent or nearby lands are designated mineral resource land, the post-extractive use of the permitted site should be compatible with future mineral extraction activities on the adjacent or nearby lands.
9.F.2The county shall utilize available opportunities to ensure that mine site excavation and reclamation are consistent with county, city and tribal land use plans and the state Surface Mine Reclamation Act (RCW 78.44).
9.F.3The county shall pursue innovative reclamation plans in concert with private landowners for the final conversion of exhausted mineral resource lands into desirable uses (park land, open space, forest land, community lakes, etc.). Such reclamation plans will be considered as favorable mitigations of the mining activity during the county’s SEPA review process.
Open space is defined as any parcel or area of land that remains essentially unimproved and which may be devoted to or used for public or private use or enjoyment, or the protection of environmentally sensitive areas. Open space includes a wide variety of lands with many types of uses that can support an open space function as a partial or supplemental use. Examples include publicly owned lands and parks useful for either active or passive recreation, schools, water bodies, utility corridors, fish and wildlife conservation areas and other types of critical areas, trails, resource lands, cemeteries, and scenic or open space easements on private land.
The GMA establishes the following planning goal (9) concerning open space and resource lands: Retain open space, enhance recreational opportunities, conserve fish and wildlife habitat, increase access to natural resource lands and water, and develop parks and recreation facilities.
The GMA also requires the county to identify open space corridors within and between urban growth areas. The open space corridors are to include lands useful for recreation, wildlife habitat, trails, and connection of critical areas. In urban areas, open space provides relief from intense urban land uses. Open space needs must be balanced with other land uses in urban planning.
The Open Space Corridors and Wildlife Areas Map (Map 4 in the map portfolio and described in the Open Space Corridors and Wildlife Areas map section of this plan) depicts a countywide open space network.
Multi-county policies have been adopted by the Puget Sound Regional Council which place emphasis on funding countywide networks of permanent urban and rural open space. Other multi-county policies require planning for open space areas and corridors of regional significance.
The multi-county policies also call for regulatory and acquisition programs to protect scenic resources of unique or outstanding value.
Other documents which may also provide guidance in determining open space corridors are WRIA plans, Critical Areas maps, and the Parks and Recreation Plan. The latter document provides implementation measures to meet GMA goal 9.
It is important to note that not all open space areas are mapped – i.e., small forest lots, cemeteries, archeological sites, small critical areas or land preserved as buffer in a development agreement.
GOAL LU 10Identify and protect open space, natural and scenic resources and shoreline areas.
Objective LU 10.AIdentify and preserve an integrated open space network.
10.A.1The county shall consider the following features for inclusion in an open space system:
Subsection (a)natural or scenic resource areas;
Subsection (b)water supply protection areas (public watersheds) and natural drainage easements;
Subsection (c)urban and rural landscaped areas, such as public or private golf courses, public or private school yards, cemeteries, active parks and arboretums;
Subsection (d)public and private low intensity park and recreation sites such as wildlife preserves, nature reservations, sanctuaries, or hiking, equestrian and biking trails;
Subsection (e)land reserved as open space or buffer as part of development;
Subsection (f)cultural, archaeological, geologic, and historic sites;
Subsection (g)major multi-functional river corridors (Snoqualmie, Snohomish, Skykomish and Stillaguamish valleys) and other water bodies including Puget Sound, major lakes, and major tributaries;
Subsection (h)linear open space such as utility and trail corridors;
Subsection (i)land designated open space under the Open Space General Criteria established according to SCC 4.28.040 for tax assessment purposes;
Subsection (j)lands that link existing open space and recreation areas; and
Subsection (k)lands that form open space corridors within and between urban growth areas.
Objective LU 10.BDevelop plans and techniques to preserve open space and scenic resources.
10.B.1The county shall use a variety of land development techniques to preserve and maintain open space corridors that define urban growth boundaries and provide separation between communities, and between urban and rural areas where feasible.
10.B.2The county shall consider various land acquisition techniques in the development of cooperative management plans and implementation strategies for open space areas of inter-jurisdictional significance.
10.B.3The county shall pursue joint ventures with cities, school districts, and private land developers to exploit joint use opportunities for open space and recreation.
10.B.4The county shall work with cities to create an integrated system of passive and active parks, open spaces, and trails in areas which are accessible to all residents of the county and cities, and provide for a variety of recreational activities, and contribute to neighborhood or community identity.
10.B.5The county shall work cooperatively with public and private groups to identify, protect, and enhance open space areas and corridors of regional significance, such as the Stevens Pass Greenway.
10.B.6The county shall integrate open space planning and the protection of scenic resources with innovative programs, such as purchase or transfer of development rights, cluster development, open space tax assessment, and acquisition of easements.
10.B.7The county shall consider development of code and site design standards that encourage the preservation of natural and scenic resources.
10.B.8The county shall consider creating a county parks and open space zone that could be applied to county-owned parks and open space properties that are to be conserved in perpetuity.
10.B.9The county shall establish conservation easements for county-owned parks and open space properties that are to be conserved in perpetuity.
10.B.10The county shall preserve environmentally sensitive areas of the county Cathcart site in accordance with the adopted "Critical Areas Regulations." The county will also enhance, as appropriate, and promote sensitive areas as site amenities to potential developer-partners, residents and business tenants at the Cathcart site.
Objective LU 10.CPreserve and enhance public access and recreational opportunities through the Shoreline Master Program. See Shoreline Master Program for Goals and Policies related to areas of Snohomish County subject to the Shoreline Management Act.
Snohomish County is blessed with rich historical, archeological and arts resources. These valuable resources mark the collective culture of the people in the county. Located within the county are several historic districts, hundreds of historic and archeological sites, outstanding privately and publicly owned works of art, and an active arts community consisting of several symphonies, choral and dance groups, theatres, art schools and arts councils. Numerous cultural festivals occur throughout the county during the year. In addition, Snohomish County has cultural landscapes, landmarks and areas of special locational character, which are worthy of study and preservation. In order to address all these resources, Snohomish County has grouped historical, archeological and arts resources under the collective label of "cultural resources."
A number of benefits result from cultural resource preservation and enhancement:
•Cultural resources contribute materially to the aesthetics of a community, fostering a sense of place and identity for all ages.
•They are important components of the civic pride found in stable, successful communities.
•Economic dividends come from cultural tourism and downtown revitalization done under historic preservation and artistic guidelines. The economic development element of this plan refers to the benefits, which can come from these programs.
•Strong cultural resources programs meet the legal obligation of the federal laws such as the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and the state procedures for protection of archaeological resources.
The county values all these resources, and considers them worthy of preservation, enhancement and encouragement.
One of the thirteen goals of the GMA which states: "identify and encourage preservation of lands, sites and structures, that have historical and archeological significance," provides the framework for implementing the county’s values for historic and archeological resources. Pursuant to that goal, and goals and policies on this same topic in the 1995 General Policy Plan (GPP), Snohomish County adopted Title 33 of the Snohomish County Code on April 3, 2002. Title 33 outlines the procedures by which the county will identify, evaluate and protect archaeological and historic resources. Specifically, through the ordinance the county created the Historic Preservation Commission and outlined its powers and duties. The county also adopted rules to ensure the protection of archeological resources.
In September 2003, Snohomish County received Certified Local Government status. This certification recognizes the county’s professionally staffed historic preservation program. The certification also makes the state’s tax incentive program available for properties that meet certain criteria for rehabilitation and are on the Local Register of Historic Places. The first property was placed upon the register in October 2003.
This program also works in conjunction with the federal, state and county regulations, which require the county to cooperate with the tribal governments in the county to protect their archeological and cultural sites from disturbance.
In addition, the county has elected to identify and preserve works of art and to encourage the work of arts councils and per-forming arts, dance and theater groups, including their festivals and special events. While this effort is not addressed specifically in the Growth Management Act, it is consistent with the overall goals of the act of preserving neighborhoods and the quality of life in the county. On July 24, 2004, the Snohomish County Council adopted Ordinance No. 04-063, which creates the Snohomish County Arts Commission, and the accompanying code chapter outlines their duties and powers. The Commission was recreated to build upon the precedent set by the first Arts Commission in the county in the early 1990s.
This section of the GPP reinforces the value of cultural resources, adds new policies to the 1995 plan and updates others, based on the progress made since 1995. The cultural resources are addressed through the goals, objectives and policies below.
GOAL LU 11Identify and encourage the preservation and enhancement of cultural resources in Snohomish County, including archaeological, historic and arts resources.
Objective LU 11.AIdentify and document archaeological and historic resources throughout Snohomish County.
11.A.1The Snohomish County historic resource inventory shall be used in conjunction with the State’s list of registered archaeological sites as the county’s vehicles for identifying and documenting historic and archaeological resources.
11.A.2The county’s historic resource inventory and its copies of the State’s list of registered archaeological sites shall be updated on a continuing basis to ensure the inventories’ usefulness as historic preservation and land use tools.
11.A.3The county’s resource inventories shall be coordinated with similar programs maintained by municipalities and indigenous people within the county to ensure the comprehensiveness of the inventories.
11.A.4Consistent with its resources and based on the standards of the resources inventories, the county shall provide technical assistance to local groups whose work can be incorporated into the county’s inventories.
11.A.5The county shall encourage the protection and use of cultural resources which have the potential to further economic development initiatives.
11.A.6Since lands designated Reservation Commercial are located in a culturally significant area, development applications on any property in this designation shall include an archeological assessment in order to avoid impacting any archeological resource.
Objective LU 11.BPreserve, protect, and enhance archaeological, cultural, and historic resources.
11.B.1The county shall maintain its certified local government status under the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act by carrying out the requirements of its historic preservation ordinance.
11.B.2The county shall meet its historic and archaeological resource management obligations under federal, state, and local regulations in an efficient and effective manner.
11.B.3Commensurate with its resources, the county shall provide technical assistance on historic and archaeological resource matters.
11.B.4The county shall promote preservation of identified archaeological and historic resources.
11.B.5On projects under its authority, the county shall consistently seek to mitigate unavoidable negative impacts to historic and archaeological resources and to discourage demolition of culturally significant structures and sites.
11.B.6The county shall develop incentives to promote preservation and adaptive reuse of historic resources.
11.B.7The county shall continue coordinated long-range planning to identify the best strategies for preserving and enhancing historic and archaeological resources.
11.B.8The county shall participate in an ongoing community cultural planning process with representatives of arts, heritage, and tourism organizations.
11.B.9The county should work with Indian tribes to protect cultural resources in support of enduring tribal traditions.
Objective LU 11.CEnsure that Snohomish County’s policies encourage the social, economic and quality of life benefits of the arts.
11.C.1The county shall encourage the identification, documentation, protection and enhancement of arts resources which have the potential to further economic development initiatives.
11.C.2The county should seek to integrate the arts and aesthetic values with government action through the guidance of the General Policy Plan and other appropriate documents.
11.C.3The county shall cooperate with arts and tourism organizations to promote inclusion of the arts in community planning and development as well as cultural tourism efforts.
11.C.4The county shall cooperate with the Snohomish County Arts Commission in their discussions and research regarding the potential for cultural tourism, economic development, and acquisition of public art through the commission’s arts program.
11.C.5Commensurate with its resources, the county shall provide technical assistance on arts resource matters.
11.C.6On projects under its authority, the county shall consistently seek to mitigate unavoidable negative impacts to arts resources and to discourage demolition of works of art.
11.C.7The county shall undertake, through its arts commission, coordinated long-range planning to identify the best strategies for preserving and enhancing arts resources.
11.C.8The county shall participate in an ongoing community cultural planning process with representatives of arts, heritage, and tourism organizations.
Objective LU 11.DRecognize the value of promoting cultural tourism as an economic development tool and as a stimulus to cultural resource preservation and enhancement.
11.D.1The county shall ensure that cultural tourism projects remain eligible for funding assistance through its hotel/motel tax fund program.
11.D.2The county shall continue to cooperate with cultural groups and the organized representatives of the tourism industry to promote cultural tourism.
11.D.3Commensurate with its resources, and in addition to the official Local Register of Historic Places program, the county shall provide honorary recognition programs, such as Centennial Farms and Landmark designations, in order to stimulate efforts to preserve cultural resources.
Aviation is important to the economic health of Snohomish County and the quality of life of its citizens, businesses and visitors. One of the major challenges is to balance aviation needs with the needs of local communities. The Growth Management Act requires that every county discourage within its jurisdiction the siting of incompatible land uses adjacent to public use airports. The GMA also identifies airports as essential public facilities and requires jurisdictions to adopt a process for siting such facilities. Public use airports such as Arlington Municipal Airport and Harvey Field are transportation facilities key to the County’s economic vitality. Paine Field is one of the most important public facilities in the region, state and nation, providing crucial support to the local aerospace industry. Both Paine Field and Harvey Field are FAA designated reliever airfields for SEATAC International Airport.
Protection of these facilities is of importance to both the economic viability and the quality of life in Snohomish County. With the population and development increases experienced in Snohomish County, airports are coming under increasing pressure from encroaching development. State law requires every city and county having a general aviation airport in its jurisdiction to discourage the siting of land uses that are incompatible with the airport.
Public use airports in Snohomish County vary in size, runway capacity, complexity of airspace, and sophistication of airport improvements. One example is Paine Field, the only airport in the County with a permanent air traffic control tower. Aircraft approach slopes vary by airport. Additionally, Snohomish County’s public use airports vary in location from urban to rural. The scope and extent of what amounts to an incompatible land use adjacent to an airport varies from airport to airport depending upon the size and scope of airport activities. Both the FAA and the Washington State Department of Transportation, Aviation Division, have identified criteria for evaluating land use compatibility adjacent to public use airports. In the course of planning and conducting operations, public use airports have evaluated specific land use compatibility issues for areas adjacent to the respective airports. One area is called the Airport Influence Area (AIA), which is defined as the property within the environs of the airport where land uses are either influenced by, or will influence, the operation of the airport in a positive or negative manner. An additional area adjacent to an airport to be addressed is that where height restrictions on new construction should be required to prevent potential conflicts with air operations. To ensure compatibility with airport operations, proof of an airspace analysis should be required for any structure to be constructed adjacent to a general use airport in accordance with 14 CFR Part 77. The configuration and extent of these areas differ depending on the size and configuration of the airport and its airfields.
Paine Field is owned and operated by Snohomish County, and additional policies regarding this facility are set forth in the Capital Facilities Chapter of the GPP.
The following goals and policies are intended to guide the development of regulations that will protect each of the County’s public use airports and the adjacent properties from conflicts that can arise between incompatible uses. Also included are policies that encourage actions that support the economic health of airports.
GOAL LU 12Protect public use airports in the county from nearby incompatible land uses and developments.
Objective LU 12.ADiscourage incompatible uses in the vicinity of public use airports.
12.A.1The county shall work with the owners and managers of public use airports to identify and designate criteria identifying incompatible land uses in the vicinity of public use airports and how they should be discouraged through the adoption of zoning and development regulations.
12.A.2The county shall work with the owners and managers of public use airports to identify areas where incompatible uses should be discouraged.
12.A.3When adopting amendments to the comprehensive plan the county shall consider the compatibility of the amendments with public airport uses.
Objective LU 12.BNotify surrounding properties of proximity to public use airports.
12.B.1The county shall develop a process to notify property owners within Airport Influence Areas that their property is located adjacent to a public use airport and may experience impacts from airport operations.
Objective LU 12.CDiscourage development in areas adjacent to public use airports that may negatively impact airport operations.
12.C.1The county shall discourage the siting of uses that attract birds, create visual hazards, discharge any particulate matter in the air that could alter atmospheric conditions, emit transmissions that would interfere with aviation communications and/or instrument landing systems, or otherwise obstruct or conflict with aircraft patterns within airport influence areas.
12.C.2The county shall consult with stakeholders to develop regulations that require proof of an airspace analysis pursuant to Federal Aviation Administration regulations before issuing permits for projects that are developed adjacent to public use airports.
GOAL LU 13Recognize and support county public use airports as essential public facilities and significant economic resources.
Objective LU 13.ASupport actions that make public use airports economically viable.
13.A.1The county shall encourage economic development opportunities and aviation-related uses adjacent to airports in urban growth areas.
13.A.2The county shall promote the efficient, region-wide mobility of goods and services consistent with the economic development element of the Snohomish County GMA Comprehensive Plan and the regional transportation strategy developed by the Puget Sound Regional Council.
The GMA states that cities and counties should assure the conservation of agricultural and forestry lands of long-term commercial significance. The Act further specifies that, in assuring conservation, these jurisdictions should provide for innovative land use management techniques, such as the transfer of development rights. Both the Countywide Planning Policies and General Policy Plan encourage the use of innovative land use techniques for the protection of important resource lands and sensitive areas.
Snohomish County has established complementary Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) and Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) programs which provide resource landowners the opportunity to realize the development value of their lands, while retaining the right to use the land in ways that won’t impair its natural resource functions. The central objective of both programs is the conservation of important natural resource lands, while keeping such lands in private ownership and in resource production.
TDR and PDR programs have much in common: 1) permanent protection of important natural resource lands through the use of conservation easements, 2) voluntary participation by landowners, 3) separation and sale of the right to develop land from other property rights, 4) continued land ownership by the resource manager, 5) continued use of the land for resource production, and 6) the ability to fulfill other community goals, such as economic development and open space retention.
The programs differ in how they provide funding for the compensation of landowners. PDR programs are quite straightforward - public monies are used to purchase and extinguish development rights. TDR programs, on the other hand, use market forces to fund the conservation effort by allowing landowners within designated "sending areas" to sell the development rights from their land, which requires recording a protective conservation easement that restricts non-agricultural development. Developers who purchase those rights from sending area landowners can use them to obtain development incentives within designated "receiving areas." Thus, TDR programs have the ability to lessen public expenditure while achieving the same resource conservation benefits as PDR.
TDR and PDR programs in Snohomish County, while complementary, each have unique historical and operational characteristics, which are more fully described below.
Snohomish County has long considered the need for a TDR program to help protect important natural resource lands. The January 1981 Agricultural Preservation Plan contained an analysis of TDR and advocated its use to protect important agricultural lands. The May 1993 Evaluation of the Feasibility of a TDR Program assessed, from both a regulatory and market perspective, if a TDR program could protect farm and forest resources in Snohomish County. Further analysis was included in the November 1997 Feasibility Assessment of TDR and/or PDR Programs to Conserve Resource Lands in Snohomish County, Washington.
A focused effort to develop a TDR pilot program followed the passage of Resolution 02-007, adopted by the county council in March 2002. Funds were reserved for the pilot program and two feasibility studies were completed later in 2002: TDR Pilot Program Feasibility Study, Preliminary Conclusions and TDR Pilot Program Feasibility Study.
In November 2002 the county council passed Motion No. 02-473 authorizing the county executive to establish a TDR pilot program. A policy framework for the TDR program, including general parameters and a pilot "sending area" (see definition in Appendix E) designation, was then established in September 2003 with adoption of Ordinance No. 03-100.
The adoption of Amended Ordinance No. 04-123 in December 2004 completed the initial phase of TDR by: 1) creating a new TDR code (Chapter 30.35A SCC); 2) delineating a pilot program sending area land on the zoning map; 3) establishing the methodology for determining the number of rights that can be transferred from a sending site; 4) providing for the certification of development rights and issuance of TDR certificates; 5) requiring a conservation easement; 6) authorizing the conveyance of certified development rights; 7) authorizing the county to purchase, hold and sell certified development rights; and 8) creating a TDR advisory committee to advise the county on the purchase of development rights. Additionally, a TDR population reserve was established in Appendix D of the General Policy Plan to support the expansion of urban growth areas in connection with the creation of future TDR receiving areas.
The 2005 amendments to the GMA Comprehensive Plan: General Policy Plan and its implementing regulations extend beyond the first phase of the TDR program by: 1) creating an initial, pilot TDR receiving area using a comprehensive plan land use designation and an implementing overlay zone within portions of the expanded urban growth area (UGA) for the City of Arlington; and 2) establishing a policy framework and regulatory requirements for use of TDR certificates as a condition to development approval within TDR receiving areas.
Ordinance No. 08-051 was adopted in June 2008 to provide greater flexibility in the TDR program. It allowed TDR sending areas to be designated by interlocal agreement, development agreement, or code amendment in addition to designations by comprehensive plan amendment. Ordinance No. 09-059 was adopted in June 2009. It added Chapter 30.35B to the development code, implementing the new flexibility in the policies and allowing the county council to designate sending areas by motion. This made it easier to designate sending and receiving areas so TDR can be used outside the pilot area when opportunities arise.
In 2010, the county council hired the Cascade Land Conservancy (now known as Forterra) to analyze and recommend options for enhancing the county’s TDR and PDR programs. Council also initiated comprehensive plan amendments to implement the Forterra recommendations. Based on those recommendations, the county created a countywide TDR program.
The county program is designed to work with the regional TDR program authorized under state law. The regional program authorizes a form of tax increment financing as an incentive for cities that provide receiving areas for regional TDR credits.
In 2015, the City of Arlington and the county mutually agreed to terminate the TDR pilot program as the city desired to participate in the countywide and regional TDR programs.
As with TDR, Snohomish County has long considered the need for a PDR program to help protect important natural resource lands, particularly farmlands. The TDR studies mentioned above often included a comparative analysis of PDR. PDR was typically found to be less complex and with more certain results. However, PDR was also found to require substantial public funding to address county-level conservation needs.
In December 2004 the county council passed Motion No. 04-461 relating to the establishment of a PDR program. The motion authorized the County Executive to implement a PDR program for designated agricultural lands outside of TDR sending areas. A limited amount of county and Federal grant funds were reserved for initial acquisitions.
The 2005 amendments to the GMA Comprehensive Plan: General Policy Plan establish a policy basis for a PDR program in Snohomish County.
GOAL LU 14Conserve important natural resource lands through Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) and Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) programs.
Objective LU 14.ADevelop and implement a countywide TDR program based on free market principles for the purpose of permanently conserving specified natural resource lands.
14.A.1Establish a countywide TDR program that promotes the transfer of residential development potential from designated resource lands to areas designated for urban and rural development.
14.A.2All land designated on the Future Land Use Map as Local Commercial Farmland, Upland Commercial Farmland, Riverway Commercial Farmland, Commercial Forest, Local Forest, and Commercial Forest – Forest Transition Area is designated as a sending area from which development rights in the form of TDR credits can be transferred under the countywide TDR program.
14.A.3To allow rural landowners to opt into the countywide TDR program and expand the permanently protected base of designated natural resource lands, land in other land use designations shall be designated as a sending area for the countywide TDR program if it meets all of the following conditions:
Subsection a.it is a minimum of five contiguous acres if proposed for redesignation to farmland or a minimum of 40 contiguous acres if proposed for redesignation to forest land;
Subsection b.the zoning of the land at the time of the TDR application has a minimum lot area of at least 200,000 square feet;
Subsection c.the land is enrolled in the open space tax program as Open Space Farm and Agriculture or Open Space Timber at the time of the TDR application;
Subsection d.the land is in active commercial agriculture or forest use; and
Subsection e.the land is redesignated to a farmland or forest land use designation and rezoned to a corresponding resource zone before or at the time of issuance of TDR credits.
14.A.4The county may designate additional sending areas for the countywide TDR program by interlocal agreement, development agreement, or code amendment.
14.A.5An application for TDR credits must propose a conservation easement eliminating the potential for subdivision and construction of new dwelling units on a parcel or parcels including at least five contiguous acres of land.
14.A.6The number of TDR credits that can be issued in exchange for a conservation easement shall be:
Subsection a.the number of legal, existing unimproved lots larger than 5,000 square feet but too small to get a credit based on the Future Land Use Map calculation in LU 14.A.6.b; plus
Subsection b.credits for additional land, not including lots counted in LU 14.A.6.a, based on the Future Land Use Map designations in effect at the time of the TDR application, minus any existing dwelling units on that additional land, with the total rounded down to a whole number. No fractional credits shall be issued. The calculation of credits for the additional land based on the Future Land Use Map designations shall be as follows:
i.one credit for every 80 acres designated as Commercial Forest, Local Forest, and Commercial Forest – Forest Transition Area;
ii.one credit for every 20 acres designated Low Density Rural Residential;
iii.one credit for every ten acres designated as Local Commercial Farmland, Upland Commercial Farmland, Riverway Commercial Farmland, Rural Residential-10, and Rural Residential-10 (Resource Transition); and
iv.one credit for every 200,000 square feet designated Rural Residential-5, Rural Residential, and Rural Residential RD;
Subsection c.provided that no credits shall be issued for any portion of a sending site already in a conservation easement or similar encumbrance.
14.A.7Receiving areas shall include:
Subsection a.all cities, consistent with the regional program and interlocal agreements;
Subsection b.all county-designated urban centers;
Subsection c.all rural areas where changes in zoning after the effective date of the countywide TDR program increase the maximum allowable number of residential lots or units; and
Subsection d.all areas where legislative changes to the comprehensive plan or development regulations after the effective date of the countywide TDR program increase the maximum allowable number of multi-family residential units or provide other incentives for the use of TDR. Property designated or zoned for single family residential development and townhouse unit lot subdivisions are exempt from TDR requirements.
14.A.8Without TDR credits, the maximum number of multi-family units that may be permitted in receiving areas other than urban centers shall be limited to the number that could have been permitted under the comprehensive plan and development regulations in effect as of November 10, 2012.
14.A.9The maximum number of multi-family units in receiving areas other than urban centers may be increased up to the maximum allowed by the current or proposed comprehensive plan and development regulations including bonuses, if TDR credits are used.
14.A.10Within urban centers, the maximum floor to area ratio that may be permitted without TDR credits is limited to the allowable amount with bonus, but not including super bonus, in effect as of November 10, 2012. The maximum floor to area ratio may be increased to the amount allowed by the super bonus level if TDR credits are used.
14.A.11The additional amount of development allowed in unincorporated Snohomish County receiving areas for each TDR credit from farmland is as follows:
Subsection a.10,000 square feet of floor area in an urban center;
Subsection b.eight units in a multifamily development with a density of 12 or more units per acre;
Subsection c.five units in a single family residential development inside the Urban Growth Area, including cottage housing and planned residential developments.
14.A.12The additional amount of development allowed in unincorporated Snohomish County receiving areas for each TDR credit from land use designations other than farmland, including from land that is being redesignated as farmland, is as follows:
Subsection a.5,000 square feet of floor area in an urban center;
Subsection b.four units in a multifamily development with a density of 12 or more units per acre; or
Subsection c.two units in a single family residential development inside the Urban Growth Area, including cottage housing and planned residential developments.
14.A.13Snohomish County shall support city annexation of a TDR receiving area only when an adopted interlocal agreement provides that the area shall remain a TDR receiving area or that other areas of the city shall be designated as TDR receiving areas so that the city will provide equivalent or greater capacity for receiving TDR credits as provided by the county for that area.
14.A.14Create a citizens policy advisory committee to identify and recommend additional incentives for TDR, possibly including but not limited to a public benefit rating system, an in-lieu fee program as an alternative to purchasing TDR credits on the open market, and form-based zoning. The advisory committee recommendations shall include a timeline for consideration of additional incentives.
Objective LU 14.BEstablish an administrative system that facilitates the transfer of TDR credits.
14.B.1Form an expedited administrative process to create, transfer and extinguish TDR credits.
14.B.2TDR credits will be created and issued in exchange for recorded conservation easements prohibiting additional dwelling units and prohibiting subdivision on the sending parcels. When the sending site is opting into the program from a land use designation other than farmland or forest land, redesignation to a farm or forest land use designation and rezoning to an appropriate resource zone are also required.
14.B.3TDR credits shall indicate the land use designation of the land for which they were issued.
14.B.4TDR credits may be sold or otherwise transferred by a deed of transfer that must be reviewed and approved by the county and then recorded with the county.
14.B.5TDR credits shall be extinguished upon approval of the development activity or land use decision for which TDR credits are required, or following exhaustion of all administrative and judicial appeals if the approval is appealed.
14.B.6Conduct outreach to farmers and developers about TDR opportunities, encourage participation in the TDR program, and facilitate contact between potential buyers and sellers of TDR credits, to the extent that resources are available for these efforts.
14.B.7Monitor the creation and extinguishment of TDR credits.
14.B.8Allow for the possible establishment of private TDR banks and brokerages.
14.B.9Create a county TDR/PDR bank that can buy, hold, and resell TDR credits. The purchase and sale of TDR credits shall be subject to a competitive process, pursuant to chapter 30.35A SCC, which ensures that the county receives fair market value for the sale of TDR credits and that decisions concerning potential purchases are based on the goals of this chapter. The focus of the program shall be on selling TDR credits for multifamily development.
14.B.10Pursue funding to capitalize, promote, and administer the county TDR/PDR bank. Administration may be done by the county or through a contract.
Objective LU 14.CEncourage cities in Snohomish County to create receiving areas and participate in any regional TDR program.
14.C.1Encourage cities to participate in any regional TDR program.
14.C.2Encourage cities to permit additional residential density and commercial and industrial development through the use of TDR credits.
14.C.3Encourage cities to create additional receiving area incentives based on city and developer interests.
Objective LU 14.DREPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 17-050.
14.D.1REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 17-050.
14.D.2REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 17-050.
14.D.3REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 17-050.
14.D.4REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 17-050.
14.D.5REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 17-050.
14.D.6REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 17-050.
Objective LU 14.EDevelop and implement a Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) program utilizing available funding sources for the purpose of permanently preserving natural resource lands.
14.E.1A PDR program may, at the option of the county, be used for the purpose of permanently preserving natural resource lands.
14.E.2The PDR program shall be coordinated with, and be designed to complement, the TDR program.
14.E.3Agricultural and forest lands as defined in RCW 36.70A.170 shall be eligible for conservation through the PDR program. Other lands having high natural resource, environmental or open space values may also be determined eligible for conservation.
14.E.4An application process, application forms and review criteria shall be developed and utilized to consider landowner proposals to sell developments rights.
14.E.5A public outreach and education process, focusing on sending area landowners, shall be implemented to inform potential program participants and to encourage participation in the PDR program.
14.E.6Sources of funding for any PDR program shall be identified. The use of county Conservation Futures fund monies, grant, and local bond revenues should be considered. Where appropriate, applications for grant monies should be prepared and submitted.
14.E.7The effectiveness of the PDR program shall be evaluated and adjustments made to the program as determined appropriate:
Subsection a.indicators or measures of program success shall be developed;
Subsection b.the level of development rights sales shall be monitored; and
Subsection c.based on an assessment of the measures of program success, changes to the PDR program shall be considered and implemented, when appropriate.
Interpreting the Future Land Use Map
The Future Land Use Map (FLUM) provides generalized urban and rural residential, commercial, and industrial land use designations.
The map includes urban growth area (UGA) boundaries and specific designations of urban, rural, and resource land uses.
The appropriate implementing zoning classifications for the FLUM designations are identified in the following subsections.
The county completed areawide rezones in rural areas to make the zoning map consistent with the rural plan designations and their density and lot size requirements. Within urban residential plan designations, the county will continue to adopt zoning to ensure consistency with future land use map designations. Property owners may individually request rezones to higher urban residential densities consistent with the GPP policies and the GPP Future Land Use Map. Within UGAs, implementing zoning may be further limited in the designations described below.
Forestry and Recreation (F & R) is not identified as an implementing zone within the applicable General Policy Plan designations. Property owners may request this zoning classification, and their requests will be considered as provided for under existing policies and regulations.
Mineral Conservation (MC) zone is not identified as an implementing zone for any FLUM designations. Properties already zoned MC may develop as provided for under applicable GPP policies and Title 30 SCC.
Urban Residential Designations
These designations encompass residential lands within the unincorporated UGA and are intended to provide for urban housing opportunities. The density ranges are defined by zoning classifications that implement the FLUM. The allowable density for a development will be determined by the provisions of Title 30 SCC, except that the minimum density in UGAs may not be less than four dwelling units per net acre except as specified in Policy LU 2.A.1.
Urban Low Density Residential (ULDR: 3 dwelling units per acre).
This designation allows detached housing developments on larger lot sizes. This designation is applied only in the Darrington and Gold Bar Urban Growth Areas due to the absence of sanitary sewers. Implementing zones: R-20,000 and R-12,500.
Urban Low Density Residential (ULDR).
This designation allows mostly detached housing developments on larger lot sizes. Implementing zones: MHP, R-7,200, PRD-7,200, R-8,400, PRD-8,400, R-9,600, PRD-9,600 and WFB. Except within the Lake Stevens UGA, areas containing critical areas that are large in scope, with a high rank order value, and are complex in structure and function, the implementing zoning shall be R-9,600.
Urban Medium Density Residential (UMDR).
This designation allows a combination of detached homes on small lots, townhouses, and apartments in medium density, multi-family residential developments. Implementing zones: MHP, LDMR, PRD-LDMR, Townhouse, R-7,200, PRD-7,200 and WFB.
Urban High Density Residential (UHDR).
This designation allows high density residential land uses such as townhouses and apartments generally near other high intensity land uses. Implementing zones: MHP, MR, PRD-MR, LDMR, and PRD-LDMR.
Supplemental Designations of ULDR Areas (Map 6)
REPEALED BY ORDINANCE NO. 16-065.
Commercial and Industrial Designations
The Urban Commercial (UC) and Urban Industrial (UI) designations of the GPP provide for a wide range of implementing zones and, in some cases, provide specific locational criteria or recommendations as to how the zones should be applied within the designation.
Urban Commercial (UC).
This designation identifies commercial designations within the UGA which allow a wide range of commercial as well as residential uses. Implementing zones: Neighborhood Business, Planned Community Business, Community Business, General Commercial, and Business Park. In the Southwest County UGA, no rezones to General Commercial shall be approved outside of the State Route 99 corridor.
Urban Industrial (UI).
This designation identifies industrial and manufacturing areas in UGAs. Implementing zones: Business Park, Light Industrial, Heavy Industrial and Industrial Park. In the Lake Stevens UGA, the implementing zoning is limited to Business Park and Heavy Industrial and in the Snohomish UGA, the implementing zoning is limited to Business Park and Industrial Park.
The Future Land Use Map identifies the specific locations for Urban Centers, Transit Pedestrian Villages, Urban Villages and Manufacturing and Industrial Centers.
Additional Centers may be designated in the future through amendments to the comprehensive plan.
This designation identifies a higher density area that contains a mix of residential and non-residential uses, and whose location and development are coordinated with the regional high capacity transportation system. The implementing zone is Urban Center.
Transit Pedestrian Village.
This designation identifies a compact, walkable area around an existing or planned high capacity transit station. The county shall prepare and adopt a conceptual or master plan showing how the area could enhance and support the high capacity transit station. The implementing zone is Urban Center.
This designation identifies a mixed-use area with higher density residential development located within neighborhoods. Urban Villages are smaller than Urban Centers. The implementing zones are Neighborhood Business and Planned Community Business.
Manufacturing/Industrial Center (MIC).
This overlay identifies the unincorporated portion of major regionally-designated employment areas. MICs are intended to include intensive, concentrated manufacturing and industrial land uses which are not easily mixed with other uses. Notwithstanding the Vision 2040 guidelines for MIC designations, land uses and zoning of Paine Field continue to be governed by the Snohomish County Airport Paine Field Master Plan and Title 30 SCC consistent with federal aviation policies and grant obligations.
Public/Institutional Use (P/IU).
The Public/Institutional Use designation can be applied to existing or planned public and privately owned and/or operated properties including churches, schools, parks, government buildings, utility plants and other government operations or properties within UGAs or adjacent to UGAs. The P/IU designation can be applied to existing areas within a UGA, as well as areas being added to a UGA concurrent with a re-designation to P/IU. When applying the P/IU designation, the following requirements apply:
Subsection (1) Use of P/IU designation for existing areas within a UGA.
The P/IU designation is appropriate for existing or planned government owned and/or operated properties, including schools, parks, government buildings, utility plants, and other government operations or properties as requested. There are no specific implementing zones for this designation since zoning will vary from site to site. However, only zones that allow schools, parks, government buildings, utility plants or other government operations either outright or conditionally may implement this designation. Implementing zoning should be consistent with surrounding zones. When a school district surpluses property that was in the UGA before it was designated P/IU and notifies the county that the school district no longer needs the land for school district purposes, the designation should be changed to a designation corresponding to the underlying zone as a technical correction in the next comprehensive plan update cycle.
Subsection (2) Use of P/IU designation in conjunction with a UGA expansion.
All residential, commercial, or industrial UGA expansions are subject to the requirements of LU 1.A.10. Institutional UGA expansions are allowed subject to the requirements of LU 1.A.10, provided that the land added to a UGA is designated P/IU concurrent with or prior to the UGA expansion. Subsequent re-designations of land added to a UGA under the P/IU designation are subject to the applicable requirements of LU 1.A.10 for residential, commercial, or industrial UGA expansions. Where land added to a UGA is designated P/IU, the implementing zone will be R-7,200, R-8,400, or R-9,600. When applied to land designated P/IU concurrent with or prior to a UGA expansion, these implementing zones shall allow only churches, schools, parks, government buildings, utility plants and other government operations or properties unless the land is re-designated to urban commercial, residential, or industrial in compliance with the UGA expansion requirements of LU 1.A.10.
Urban Horticulture (UH).
This designation is intended for low density, low impact, non-residential land uses adjacent to agricultural areas that do not require extensive structures or development. Examples of UH uses include agricultural operations, sales of farm products, and sales of landscape materials. Implementing zoning for areas designated UH is Agriculture-10 acre.
There may be sites within the UGA where more than one land use designation is appropriate to permit a greater range of potential implementing zones. In particular, some sites meeting the criteria enumerated in Policy LU 2.C.1 may be appropriately developed or redeveloped for a land use permitted in the implementing zones for either designation. In these situations, the county may utilize overlapping land use designations for particular sites or areas on the Future Land Use Map. On sites having overlapping land use designations, a change of zoning from an implementing zone in one designation to an implementing zone in the other designation may requested through a rezone application without the need for a comprehensive plan amendment.
Reservation Commercial (RC).
This designation identifies a unique commercial designation that is limited only to fee-simple lands under county jurisdiction that are located within the exterior boundaries of the Tulalip Reservation in an area bordered on the west and north by Quilceda Creek, on the south by Ebey Slough and on the east by Interstate-5. This area of the reservation is served by urban infrastructure including public sewer and water and contains existing urban development under county and Tulalip Tribes jurisdiction. The implementing zone for new development on vacant or under-utilized property designated Reservation Commercial is General Commercial, subject to approval of an official site plan according to the requirements of Chapter 30.31B SCC.
Local Forest (LF).
This designation includes productive fee simple forest lands which are an integral part of the Tulalip Tribes’ designated forest lands and are intended to contribute to the preservation of a large contiguous area of land within the interior of the Tulalip Reservation for management of sustainable natural resources. Local Forest lands and adjacent tribal forest lands collectively provide timber production, surface and ground water resources, fisheries and wildlife habitat, and recreation opportunities. The Local Forest designation provides landowners a means of residing on their property while providing protection from rural residential activities that could conflict with forest practice operations. The implementing zone for the Local Forest designation is the Forestry (F) zone (one dwelling unit per 20 or more acres). The rural cluster subdivision technique may be used in the Forestry zone.
Rural Residential Designations
These designations encompass residential land outside of UGAs and are intended to provide rural housing opportunities while preserving the rural character of these lands. Land in the six rural residential designations may be served by public water supplies but development may not be connected to sanitary sewers except for necessary public facilities or when public health emergencies exist.
Low Density Rural Residential (LDRR: 1 dwelling unit per 20 acres).
This designation includes lands that have been zoned Forestry but are not designated as Commercial Forest Land in the GPP. This designation is intended to be a partial basis for a future Rural Resource Transition designation which could provide for transition areas between rural residential lands and natural resource lands of long-term commercial significance. Future GPP amendments will determine the feasibility of such a designation as well as its extent and future minimum lot size requirements. The existing Forestry zone will continue to remain in place until any GPP amendments and implementing regulations for this designation are adopted.
Rural Residential-10 (Resource Transition) (RR-10-RT: 1 dwelling unit per 10 or more acres).
This designation includes lands which were included in Forestry designations on pre-GMA subarea plans but not zoned Forestry and includes: (1) lands on the Tulalip Reservation adjacent to or in close proximity to lands designated for forestry or agriculture use by the GPP and the Tulalip Tribes’ Comprehensive Plan, and (2) lands adjacent to the estuary of Quilceda Creek. The implementing zone is the RRT-10 zone.
Existing zones within this designation, except where located on the Tulalip Reservation, may remain, but zoning regulations shall limit the minimum lot size in new subdivisions within this designation to 10 acres with an option for using the rural cluster subdivision technique. On the Tulalip Reservation only, lands designated RR-10-RT are zoned RRT-10. The RRT-10 zone requires a minimum lot size of 10 acres for each house in a new subdivision. The rural cluster subdivision technique may be used in the RRT-10 zone.
Rural Residential-10 (RR-10: 1 dwelling unit per 10 or more acres).
This designation includes lands which have been previously designated agriculture in pre-GMA subarea comprehensive plans or zoned Agriculture-10 Acre. The existing Agricultural-10 Acre zone will continue to remain in place until the GPP is amended in the future and implementing regulations for this designation are adopted.
This category provides for an alternative rural lot size and possible set of uses which can accommodate a wider variety of rural uses and lots, be used where hazardous and critical areas require lower density and be applied as a transition category between resource lands/critical areas and rural residential/urban areas.
Rural Residential-5 (RR-5: 1 dwelling unit per 5 or more acres).
This designation includes lands that were designated Rural on pre-GMA subarea comprehensive plans and zoned Rural 5. As the result of a joint planning effort between the county and the Tulalip Tribes, the RR-5 designation also applies to certain lands on the Tulalip Reservation that were previously designated Rural Residential. The implementing zone in this designation will continue to be the R-5 zone.
Rural Residential (RR: Base density of 1 dwelling unit per 5 or more acres).
This designation includes lands which were designated as Rural or Residential Estates on pre-GMA subarea comprehensive plans. The implementing zones within this designation are the Rural-5 Acre zone and other zones with a minimum lot size requirement larger than 5 acres.
Rural Residential RD (RR-RD: 1 dwelling unit per 5 or more acres).
This designation applies only to the rural residential areas that were designated as Rural Diversification in the pre-GMA Darrington Area Comprehensive Plan. This designation will continue to allow a mix of rural residential housing and small home-based, rural industrial/commercial uses. The implementing zone is the Rural Diversification zone.
Clearview Rural Commercial (CRC).
This designation generally allows for neighborhood, community, and rural commercial uses including, but not limited to, small grocery stores, restaurants, service stations, hardware stores, art galleries, antique stores, and nurseries to serve the needs of the rural population. The implementing zone within the Clearview Rural Commercial designation consistent with LU 6.H.6 and LU 6.H.7 is the Clearview Rural Commercial zone.
Rural Freeway Service (RFS).
This designation includes land that has previously been designated or zoned as Rural Commercial land at the rural Interstate 5 interchanges in north Snohomish County. The designation and implementing zones require rural development standards that make rural freeway service development compatible with adjacent rural residential uses.
Rural Industrial (RI).
This designation includes existing industrial zones and industrial plan designations on subarea comprehensive plan maps in rural areas. These designations allow rural industries which need locations close to the natural resources in rural areas. They are located in areas where urban services, particularly sanitary sewers, will not be provided. The designation is implemented through GPP policies and Title 30 SCC to ensure industrial development is compatible with surrounding rural residential land uses.
The designations listed below include land primarily devoted to the commercial production of horticultural, viticultural, floricultural, dairy, apiary, vegetable, fruit, or animal products. These designations were based on the Interim Agricultural Conservation Plan.
Local Commercial Farmland (LCF).
This designation includes farmland areas outside of the floodplain or shoreline areas which are generally characterized by a mixture of prime farmland and other soils as defined by the Soils Conservation Service.
Upland Commercial Farmland (UCF).
This designation includes farmland areas on the Tulalip Reservation and outside of the floodplain or shoreline area and is generally characterized by having nearly continuous prime farmland soils and more than fifty percent of the land area in parcels of ten acres or larger. New subdivisions in this designation may not create lots smaller than ten acres. The UCF designation also provides protection for the drainage basin of the West Fork of Quilceda Creek within the Tulalip Reservation. The Agricultural-10 Acre (A-10) zone is the implementing zone for the UCF designation.
Riverway Commercial Farmland (RCF).
This designation includes farmland areas generally characterized by being in a river valley, floodplain or shoreline area, having continuous prime farmland soils, and having approximately fifty percent or more of the land area in parcels of forty acres and larger. The Agricultural-10 Acre zone is the implementing zone.
Recreational Land (RL).
This designation applies only to lands designated Recreational Land in accordance with RCW 36.70A.170(1). The designation is implemented through Title 30 SCC and ensures the recreational use does not affect surrounding agricultural lands of long term commercial significance designated under 36.70A.170(1). The implementing zone is the Agricultural-10 Acre (A-10) zone.
Forest Land Designations
The designations listed below include state and private forest lands. These designations are based on the Interim Forest Land Conservation Plan and the Forest Advisory Committee Findings and Conclusions on the Designation of Commercial Forest Lands, January 5, 1995. The text of these documents is incorporated into this document by reference. Designated Commercial Forest lands within the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and other selected forest lands will be further evaluated for their ability to meet the criteria described in Policy 8.A.2 and the County’s GMA Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use map will be amended as necessary.
Commercial Forest (CF).
This designation includes primarily large forest land tracts that may not be subdivided for residential development. This designation also includes smaller forest land tracts that are permanently protected from residential development through the Transfer of Development Rights program. These lands may be segregated only into tracts of eighty acres or larger. The Forestry zone is the implementing zone for this designation.
Forest Transition Area (CF-FTA).
This designation is an overlay to the Commercial Forest (CF) designation. The FTA consists of a one quarter mile wide band of Commercial Forest land on the edge of the Commercial Forest Land designation bordering non-resource lands but it does not apply to forest lands that are permanently protected from residential development through the Transfer of Development Rights program. The use of FTA lands is the same as Commercial Forest lands, unless adjacent land uses prevent normal forest practices, in which case limited low density development options also apply.
Mineral Resource Overlay (M) (Map 2)
This designation is an overlay to the Future Land Use Map. Designated Mineral Resource Lands include those lands identified through a comprehensive inventory and assessment process as not being characterized by urban growth and as having long-term significance for the extraction of minerals. The designation includes bedrock, sand/gravel and precious metals mineral resources. The implementing zone in this designation is dependent on the underlying zone.
Municipal Urban Growth Areas (Map 3)
This map identifies municipal urban growth areas (MUGAs) within the Southwest UGA. A MUGA contains all the land within a city’s current incorporated limits, plus adjacent, unincorporated territory which the city and county have identified as potentially appropriate for annexation at some time in the future. The map is also reflected in the countywide planning policies (CPP) Appendix B which is adopted through Snohomish County Tomorrow. The MUGA will be used by Snohomish County in planning for future population and employment growth.
Open Space Corridors and Wildlife Areas Map (Map 4)
The countywide Open Space Corridors and Wildlife Areas map geographically depicts various types of largely "open" land in Snohomish County that, taken in the aggregate, can serve as greenbelts to help structure land development patterns. This map is incorporated herein by this reference. Many of the land categories listed under Policy LU 10.A.1 have been included in this map.
The purpose of the map is to provide a geographical framework to guide present and future implementation strategies for preserving open space and wildlife habitat and developing open space and wildlife corridors within and between urban growth areas.
The map is a long-range planning tool that does not, by itself, create any regulatory impact. Certain underlying designations, such as forestry and agricultural land designations, may have regulatory implications. This map, however, is not intended to be used in the review of development applications, nor does it imply or anticipate public ownership of, or public access to, these lands.
The several categories of lands depicted on the map include both public and privately owned parcels. In some cases (i.e., utility corridors) the lands may not be held in fee simple ownership by the primary user. Not all lands appearing on this map – either public or private – will become a part of a permanent open space system. Similarly, lands not presently shown on this map may later become permanent open space as the result of future public action or acquisition.
Except for clearly defined trail corridors already identified for county acquisition, parcel-specific public land acquisitions planned by Snohomish County (or other public agencies) are not identified on the map. This approach avoids the possibility of jeopardizing such acquisitions by calling them out in advance, thereby potentially inflating their asking price and narrowing options.
Although certain types of parks and other categories of open space lands within city limits have been depicted on the map, the plans of the respective cities should be considered the primary source of open space information within their municipal boundaries.
The scope and scale of this countywide map necessitate a size threshold for excluding categories and parcels that might otherwise be shown. Consequently, small scale neighborhood parks, subdivision detention or recreation sites, and the like have not been included on this map.
Finally, the accuracy and completeness of this map is dependent on data from many sources, some of which may be dated and/or incomplete. It is the intent of Snohomish County to regularly review and refine this data to reflect changes in ownership and underlying use, and to produce continual improvement in the accuracy and completeness of this map. This regular review shall occur as needed pursuant to the requirements of the Growth Management Act.
Lands Useful for Public Purpose (Map 5)
A countywide map depicting "lands useful for public purpose" is included (Map 5 in the map portfolio) to show various types of public land that presently accommodate public facilities. This map is incorporated herein by this reference. It is a long-range planning tool that will be regularly updated as future land acquisitions occur.
The purpose of the "Lands Useful for Public Purpose" map is the identification of site locations for existing and potential future public facilities. The primary focus is on the identification of public lands in the unincorporated areas – which consist primarily of county and state properties, but also include some city and federal properties. Map 5 also includes the Public/Institutional Use data set from the Future Land Use Map (Map 1). This data set includes both publicly and privately held properties. Inclusion of private institutions on Map 5 does not imply that these properties are "useful for public purpose" and in no way imparts any right of public access to private property.
Public roads, however, are not highlighted on this map, but are identified on the maps included with the Transportation Element. Similarly, public land used for resource management, wildlife refuge, or other open space uses are not included on this map, but are shown on the Open Space Map.
Except for clearly defined trail corridors already identified for county acquisition, parcel-specific public land acquisitions planned by Snohomish County (or other public agencies) are not identified on the map. The reason for this is to avoid the possibility of jeopardizing such acquisitions by calling them out in advance, thereby inflating their asking price and narrowing siting options. As new sites for public facilities are added through conventional acquisition or by use of the common siting process, they will be added to this map.
Although certain types of parks and other public lands within city limits have been depicted on the map, the plans of the respective cities should be considered the primary source of information within their municipal boundaries.
The scope and scale of this countywide map necessitate a size threshold for excluding categories and parcels that might otherwise be shown. Consequently, small neighborhood parks, subdivision scale stormwater detention or recreation sites, and the like have not been included on this map. It is the intent of Snohomish County to regularly review and refine the source data to produce continual improvement in the accuracy of this map. This regular review shall occur as needed pursuant to the requirements of the Growth Management Act.
Rural/Urban Transition Area (RUTA).
This designation is intended to reserve a potential supply of land for future addition into the UGA. Developments utilizing rural cluster subdivision will have the option of redeveloping required open space tracts upon inclusion within an urban growth area.
REPEALED BY AMENDED ORDINANCE NO. 17-050.