2021 Buildable Lands Report Project
Welcome to the project page for the 2021 Buildable Lands Report (BLR) for Snohomish County. This report is required of Snohomish County by the state Growth Management Act (GMA) and is due by June 30, 2021. On this page, you will find information on our progress towards preparing and completing the 2021 BLR. We will be providing updates periodically, so sign up to get alerts here.
The Snohomish County Council adopted the 2021 Buildable Lands Report for Snohomish County on September 8, 2021. It can be viewed at this link.
(August 30, 2021) Snohomish County Council to hold a public hearing on the 2021 Buildable Lands Report that was recommended by the Snohomish County Tomorrow Steering Committee.
Public Hearings - September 1, 2021, 10:30 a.m.
Motion 21-273, adopting the Buildable Lands Procedures Report that has been accepted and recommended by the Snohomish County Tomorrow Steering Committee for use in the development of the Buildable Lands Report for Snohomish County (ECAF 2021-0585). Click here to view Hearing Packet.
Motion 21-272, adopting the 2021 Buildable Lands Report for Snohomish County and authorizing the County Council Chair and Vice-Chair to sign transmittal letter to the Washington State Department of Commerce (ECAF 2021-0584). Click here to view Hearing Packet.
Draft Materials and Results Under Review for the 2021 Buildable Lands Report
You will find draft materials that are being prepared and assembled for the 2021 Buildable Lands Report in this section. As work on the 2021 BLR progresses, the materials on this page will be updated with new and revised information.
Below are links to the updated draft maps at the jurisdiction-level that are the basis for the final draft report results under review by the SCT Steering Committee on July 28, 2021:
- Land status map (showing vacant, partially-used, redevelopable, pending and constant parcels)
- Zoning/Future Land Use designation map
- Critical areas and buffers/major easements map (showing unbuildable area)
- Additional housing unit capacity by parcel map
- Additional employment capacity by parcel map
The above information is available for each of the following jurisdictions and their unincorporated UGA/MUGA, which you can access by clicking the + arrow next to the jurisdictions listed below.
If you have any trouble with the menus above, you can find all the documents referenced here sorted alphabetically in this document library or by contacting the Project Manager. If you would like to access the earlier draft documents published on this page, you can view them sorted alphabetically in this document library. We regret any inconvenience.
Public Comments Received from Toyer Strategic Advisors
Responses to Toyer Strategic Advisors (these responses are incorporated into the Draft Buildable Lands Report recommended by the SCT PAC on June 10, 2021):
- PDS staff reviewed all the comments provided and have either addressed or incorporated the suggested changes that were made. Our responses to each suggested revision are indicated in the right-hand column labeled “RESPONSE” in the 1st PDF document available via link below.
- Note that a large number of the suggested revisions were the result of the different definition for pending development than is used in the BLR. The 2nd PDF file below describes the current definition of pending development that is used for the 2021 BLR (and past BLRs), and how it differs from the approach advocated by Toyer Strategic Advisors.
- The remaining suggested edits were reviewed by PDS staff and a number of edits were made to the critical areas data and land status classifications in response to comments. You will see those noted under the “RESPONSE” column.
- When the suggested revision was located within a city, PDS staff worked with city staff to gain their input on whether the suggested revision should be made to the BLR data. In those cases, the notations under the “RESPONSE” column reflects city input.
Remaining Schedule for Finalizing the 2021 Buildable Lands Report
- SCT Planning Advisory Committee
- SCT Steering Committee
SCT recommended report forwarded to County Council (public hearing & adoption)
The purpose of the BLR is to review the urban densities that are being achieved within both the city and county portions of the Urban Growth Area (UGA) and, based on the densities achieved, determine whether the UGA has an adequate supply of suitable residential, commercial and industrial land to accommodate the population and employment growth projected to occur during the remaining portion of the 20-year GMA planning horizon. If not, jurisdictions are required to take corrective actions (reasonable measures) that do not include adjustment of UGA boundaries.
According to the Snohomish County Countywide Planning Policies, the BLR is prepared by cities and the county using the Snohomish County Tomorrow (SCT) collaborative process. For the BLR, the county has the lead role in preparing the report, with the cities providing key data input and review responsibilities. SCT has published three BLRs on behalf of the county and its cities; one each in 2002, 2007, and 2012. See below for links to these previous BLRs.
In the 2017 session, the state legislature passed E2SSB 5254, which enacted a number of changes to state requirements for buildable lands methods and procedures. Subsequently, the Washington State Department of Commerce published updated Buildable Lands Program Guidelines in December 2018. County staff have been working with the cities, consultant staff, and stakeholder representatives on developing recommendations for implementing these changes in the 2021 BLR.
Documents Related to Review and Updating of Buildable Lands Methods and Procedures
- Procedures Report (PDF) / Methods and Procedures Technical Supplement Approved by SCT Steering Committee on June 24, 2020
- Reasonable Measures Program Report (PDF) / Reasonable Measures Program Technical Supplement Approved by SCT Steering Committee on June 24, 2020
- 2012 Buildable Lands Report (BLR) Validation Study (PDF)*
SCT Steering Committee meetings (May 27, 2020 discussion & June 24, 2020 approval of PAC Recommendation):
- PAC Recommendation: Transmittal of Technical Supplement Documents (BLR Methods & Reasonable Measures) from PAC to Steering Committee
Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting (April 9, 2020):
PAC Buildable Lands Subcommittee meeting #4 (February 11, 2020):
- Snohomish County Method Alternatives and Evaluation Criteria technical memorandum
- Meeting Summary
PAC Buildable Lands Subcommittee meeting #3 (January 7, 2020):
PAC Buildable Lands Subcommittee meeting #2 (November 12, 2019):
PAC Buildable Lands Subcommittee meeting #1 (September 17, 2019):
Stakeholder Workshop (November 25, 2019):
Stakeholder Follow-Up meeting (March 6, 2020 - CANCELED):
- Follow-up Presentation (for canceled March 6, 2020 meeting)
- Reasonable Measures Matrix Recommended Updates
Related Reports & Studies
- 2012 Buildable Lands Report (PDF)
- 2012 Buildable Lands Report Supplemental Map Book (PDF)
- 2012 Buildable Lands Report GIS Methodology (PDF)
- Employment Density Study (PDF)
- 2002 Buildable Lands Report (BLR) Validation Study (PDF)
- 2007 Buildable Lands Report (PDF)
- 2002 Buildable Lands Report (PDF)
For additional information on the 2021 BLR or previous reports, please contact Stephen Toy or the Planning and Development Services Division at 425-388-3311.