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Not as part of this study. There is currently a proposed minor expansion adjacent to the UGA (Urban Growth Area) for the North Creek High School that is being considered under the County’s “docket” process. Under the docket, groups or citizens can propose amendments to the County’s Growth Management Comprehensive Plan.
Under existing policy, before any UGA expansion, it needs to be demonstrated that the land capacity of the UGA is insufficient to accommodate the projected future population and employment needs. Also, there needs to have been consideration of alternatives to UGA expansions to accommodate the deficiency of land capacity in the existing UGA. This includes, for example, a review of opportunities for increasing densities within the existing UGA through “up-zoning”.
This study will not be generating this level of detailed analysis. If a UGA expansion is warranted in the future, more rigorous analysis and modeling of alternatives with environmental review under the Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) will need to be completed. This is the process that the County undertakes with amendments (through updates) to the County’s Growth Management Act (GMA) Comprehensive Plan. Minor adjustments to the Urban Growth Area boundary do occur from time-to-time. More major adjustments are less common.
While there is clearly substantial growth occurring in the unincorporated parts of the Bothell and Mill Creek MUGAs (Municipal Urban Growth Areas), there currently is no area identified in the County where the UGA should be expanded to first, if an expansion is warranted. This study may be used to help inform future discussion on UGA sizing, but will not be providing priority areas nor the level of analysis required for a UGA expansion. We are studying this area because there has been recent interest in expansions of the UGA here, and, given the areas proximity to the job markets in King County, we expect that there will be continued interest, particularly for construction of single family homes.
The proposed study area has many natural and human-made features that constrain growth. This includes Little Bear Creek and its buffers, and a sole-source aquifer. Parts of the study area are existing parks, open space and rights-of-way. For this reason, it is prudent to look at a reasonably large area for the purposes of this high-level study of opportunities and challenges with continuation of existing and changed land use patterns adjacent to the eastern portion of the SWUGA boundary.
No, not at this time. The County is still required to plan for growth in accordance with the Growth Management Act (GMA), and continues to adhere to the adopted Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) Regional Growth Strategy, VISON 2040, and the position that the Snohomish County Tomorrow (SCT) has recently taken on the scoping for PSRC’s VISION 2050.
In recognizing that there is likely to be continued interest in the alignment of the UGA boundary in this area of high growth, the SWUGA Boundary Planning Study is only collecting data and information that will help inform future decisions, and not making recommendations on revisions to the growth strategies.
At this time, there is no plan to do other studies like this for the other UGAs.
The MAAG is a recently-formed “ad hoc” advisory group intended to provide advice to the county on development and planning issues facing the Maltby area. As the scope of the SWUGA Boundary Planning Study is refined, one of the areas that will need to be considered is how the two initiatives can complement each other.
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