Countywide Planning Policies

What are the Countywide Planning Policies (CPPs)?

The Countywide Planning Policies (CPPs) apply to all cities and towns within Snohomish County, as well as the county itself. The CPPs provide the framework for each jurisdiction’s comprehensive plans and associated policies intended to comply with the Multicounty Planning Policies (MPPs) in VISION 2050 developed by the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC). The Growth Management Act (GMA) requires coordination and consistency between comprehensive plans for all jurisdictions in the same county. 

There is a broad range of categories within the CPPs, including chapters on Housing, Economic Development and Employment, Transportation, Natural Environment, and Public Services and Facilities.

A graphical representation of the planning framework in Washington State. Image courtesy of PSRC

Planning for the Future: Regional and Local Plans

The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) is a regional planning agency with four membership counties which include: Snohomish, King, Kitsap, and Pierce Counties. PSRC is responsible for developing and approving a regional plan every ten years. In October 2020, the PSRC General Assembly approved VISION 2050, the updated regional plan. Some highlights of VISION 2050 include updated policies with more focus on Climate Change, environmental justice, and social justice.   

VISION 2050 has multicounty planning policies (MPPs), which address a variety of topics, including the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) that outlines a preferred pattern of urban growth across the region. The 2021 update of the Countywide Planning Policies for Snohomish County is consistent with and reflects the changes to the MPPs.   

PSRC also develops and adopts other regional plans that have an impact on countywide and local planning in Snohomish County. The Regional Centers Framework, which outlines standards for the identification of regional, countywide, and local centers, was updated in 2018. Centers are locations where future population and employment growth will be concentrated. Other documents include the regional economic strategy and the Regional Open Space Conservation Plan.