Planning Terms & Definitions

Buildable Lands

In July 2002, county and city planners worked on an analysis of the county's inventory of buildable land as required by the Growth Management Act. This research examined vacant and redevelopable land within Urban Growth Areas (UGAs) and tracked the rate of development. Throughout the late 1990's, the county experienced significant rates of growth and development. The Buildable Lands Project recorded the outcome of this growth and estimated the amount of remaining vacant and redevelopable land of each UGA.

Municipal Urban Growth Areas

Municipal Urban Growth Areas (MUGAs) are the areas outside of the city's established limits that are areas of expected future annexation. Starting in 2001, the nine SW UGA cities began negotiations to establish municipal urban growth areas, or MUGAs, for each city. When the cities and the county adopt the negotiated MUGA boundaries, the MUGAs will serve as the template for future land use planning in Southwest Snohomish County.

Urban Growth Areas

The Growth Management Act requires that urban growth areas (UGAs) be designated. 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. Future urban growth is to be located first in areas already characterized by urban development where existing public facility and service capacity is available, and second in areas where public or private facilities or services are planned or could be provided in an efficient manner.

The county's GMA Comprehensive Plan established 13 UGAs. Eleven UGAs contain a city and its expected area of future expansion. The largest of the county's UGAs (the Southwest UGA) differs as it includes nine cities in close proximity. The Maltby UGA does not contain an incorporated city.

Frequently Used Acronyms

The definitions below are for acronyms frequently used in planning discussions.
Acronym Definition 
BAS  Best Available Science 
BMP  Best Management Practice
BRB  Boundary Review Board 
CAB  Community Advisory Board of Snohomish County 
CAR  Critical Areas Regulations 
CFP  Capital Facilities Plan  
CIP  Capital Improvement Program
DEIS  Draft Environmental Impact Statement 
DFW Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife
DNR  Washington State Department of Natural Resources 
DPW  Department of Public Works 
EASC Economic Alliance - Snohomish County
ECAF  Executive Council Approval Form 
EIS  Environmental Impact Statement 
EPA  Federal Environmental Protection Agency 
ESA  Endangered Species Act 
GIS  Geographic Information System 
GMA  Growth Management Act 
GMACP  Growth Management Act Comprehensive Plan 
GPP  General Policy Plan 
GMHB  Growth Management Hearings Board 
ILA  Interlocal Agreement 
ILR  Integrated Land Record 
LOS  Level of Service 
MAZ  Macro Analysis Zone 
MOU  Memorandum of Understanding 
NRCS Natural Resource Conservation Service (formerly Soil Conservation Service)
OAHP  Washington State Office of Archaeolog
OCD  Washington State Department of Commerce
OFM  Washington State Office of Financial Management 
PRD  Planned Residential Development 
PAC Snohomish County Tomorrow’s Planning Advisory Committee 
PSRC  Puget Sound Regional Council 
PUD  Public Utility District No. 1 of Snohomish County 
RCW  Revised Code of Washington 
SAZ  Sub Analysis Zone 
SCC  Snohomish County Code 
SCT  Snohomish County Tomorrow 
SEIS  Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement 
SEPA  State Environmental Policy Act 
SMP  Shoreline Management Program
SWM  Surface Water Management 
UGA  Urban Growth Area 
WAC  Washington Administrative Code 
WSDOT  Washington State Department of Transportation