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.

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. 

Please click here for the Updated Draft 2021 Buildable Lands Report prepared for Snohomish County Tomorrow Steering Committee review and potential action on July 28, 2021.

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

Letter to SCT Planning Advisory Committee

Letter to SCT Community Advisory Board (CAB)

Letter to SCT Steering Committee, County Officials and County Council Members

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.

Response Matrix

Pending Development Example

Remaining Schedule for Finalizing the 2021 Buildable Lands Report

  • SCT Planning Advisory Committee
    • April 8 & May 13:  Review of draft report results (Presentation - PDF)

    • June 10:  Final draft report recommendation

  • SCT Steering Committee
    • April 28:  Briefing on draft report results (Presentation - PDF)

    • June 23: Continued discussion of final draft report

    • July 28: Potential action on final draft report

  • 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

SCT Steering Committee meetings (May 27, 2020 discussion & June 24, 2020 approval of PAC Recommendation):

Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting (April 9, 2020):

PAC Buildable Lands Subcommittee meeting #4 (February 11, 2020):

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):

Related Reports & Studies

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.