Security Devices


On March 28, 2018, the Snohomish County Council approved Ordinance No. 18-018 (PDF). The ordinance becomes effective on April 9, 2018. Snohomish County Planning and Development Services (PDS) will revise a related rule and establish a standard easement document to implement the changes.


PDS drafted code amendments to modify provisions related to security devices in Title 30 of the Snohomish County Code (SCC). A security device is an instrument that helps ensure installation of public and private improvements as part of new development.

Several sections of the security devices chapter and one section in the concurrency and road impact mitigation chapter are modified by the ordinance. The purpose of the changes is to provide additional flexibility in timing of certain improvements and establishing a new easement requirement to ensure that the County can effectively carry out work not completed under a security device, in the event that it is necessary for the County to do so.

Project Scope

This project was an outgrowth of stakeholder interest in modifying and updating the County’s security device provisions for new development. The scope of the project included review of the following topics:

  • Delayed installation. County code allows delayed construction of public improvements and landscaping in subdivisions and multifamily and commercial developments. County code also allows delayed construction of hot asphalt mix paving for public roads (referred to as “final lift”) in subdivisions. PDS is evaluating expansion of these provisions to include private improvements and private roads.
  • Emergency work. County code provides for instances when emergency work should be conducted under a security device. Currently, the PDS Director is responsible for declaring an emergency and authorizing work. However, the Department of Public Works (DPW) often has an interest in installation and maintenance of improvements. PDS is evaluating changes that would provide a defined role for DPW in administering these provisions as well.
  • Construction easement. In the event that an applicant fails to perform the duties outlined under a security device, such as installation of improvements, the County may draw upon the security device to complete the work. However, the ability of the County to enter upon the property to complete the work is unclear under current code. PDS is evaluating the addition of a construction easement requirement.

Additionally, the project addresses housekeeping issues, such as erroneous citations and general readability.

Project Contact 

Stephen Fesler, Senior Planner
Email Stephen Fesler

Project Schedule

  • Fall 2017: Stakeholder Outreach and Draft Code Language
  • November 2017: Planning Commission Briefing
  • December 2017: Planning Commission Hearing
  • Early 2018: County Council Legislative Action

Project Documents