Code Development Projects

Purpose of Code Projects

To simplify development codes and streamline permitting processes in accordance with existing policies. Business processes will ensure that code accomplishes its intended purpose, can be effectively administered, and are consistent with the Snohomish County Comprehensive Plan. Code development projects also include code interpretations pursuant to Snohomish County Code (SCC) Chapter 30.83 and the development of rules pursuant to the rule making procedures of Chapter 30.82 SCC.

Active Code Development Projects

There are several code projects underway that address a variety of issues from recreational uses in forest lands to building codes. We seek your input on our code projects and invite you to contact the staff identified below if you have specific questions on a particular project.

Remanded Code Development Projects

County Council will at times return (remand) a project back to the Planning Commission for further study and discussion. 

Public Meetings for Planning Commission and County Council

Public feedback is critical to the success of code development project. Follow the links below to learn about future and past public meetings held by the Planning Commission and County Council:

Recently Adopted Code Projects

Project Title   Staff Contact

Commercial and Industrial Standards Part I

​This project updated regulations pertaining to commercial and industrial development to promote more compact development.

Project status: On March 8, 2017, the County Council adopted Amended Ordinance No. 16-013 relating to Commercial-Industrial Development. The effective date for the ordinance is May 7, 2017. Amended Ordinance No. 16-013 makes numerous changes to the Use Matrices, Reference Notes, Parking Code and Definitions. There are also new regulations for the handling of non-woodwaste construction debris.

Planning Commission: Briefing 5/26/15, Hearing 10/27/15

Council Review: Briefing 3/15/16, Hearing continued to 3/8/17 from 11/30/16, 10/12/16, 9/20/16, 8/31/16 and 5/18/16

​Ordinance 16-013, relating to growth management; revising regulations for commercial and industrial development; amending Chapters 30.22, 30.26, 30.28, 30.31A, and 30.91B-30.91W of the Snohomish County Code.
  David Killingstad

Active Code Projects

Project Title   Staff Contact

Final Plat Approval

This project would revise the final plat approval process for subdivisions. The purpose of the project is to consider procedural changes that could streamline final approval of long plats in response to Senate Bill 5674

Project status: The project has commenced, please check back fro updates.
  Stephen Fesler

Marijuana Retail

On June 22, 2016, the Snohomish County Council adopted Emergency Ordinance No. 16-051 prohibiting new marijuana retail businesses in order to allow time for development of permanent regulations. The County Council has adopted code amendments relating to retail marijuana businesses, which include separation requirements between businesses and the establishment of a conditional use permitting process.

Project status: On February 15, 2017, the County Council adopted Ordinance No. 17-006 which creates permanent regulations for marijuana retail uses related to separation requirements and subjecting such uses to the conditional use permitting process. The regulations will go into effect on March 13, 2017. Emergency Ordinance No. 16-051 and its related moratorium extension ordinance will be repealed.

Planning Commission: Briefing 8/25/16, Hearing 9/27/16

Council Review: Briefing 8/3/16, Update 10/19/16
  Troy Holbrook and David Killingstad

Pedestrian Facilities

Proposed code amendments to provide additional clarity regarding internal pedestrian facility and expand applicability of adequate routes to schools/school bus stops to all residential development.

Project status: The project has commenced; to learn more about the project, visit the project web page.

Planning Commission: Briefing 3/28/17, Hearing 4/25/17
  David Killingstad

School Impact Fee Code Amendment

Code amendment in response to a 2016 Council Budget Note directing Planning and Development Services (PDS) to develop, evaluate, and propose amendments to reduce the variability of school impact fee charges. The deadline for  PDS to brief council on a proposal is August 31, 2017.

Project status: This project has commenced, please check back for updates.
  Eileen Canola

Subdivision Alterations

Potential code amendment to provide consistency in code, and with state law, on process for approval of subdivision alterations. Amendment would remove requirement to send a recommendation to the Hearing Examiner.

Project status: The project has commenced, please check back for updates.
  David Killingstad

Updating Urban Residential Development Regulations

Proposed code amendments to several related code sections for townhouse development as well as other types of urban residential development. Proposed code amendments are designed to provide new development options, remove certain regulatory barriers, and improve the quality of townhouse development. 

Project status: The project has commenced; to learn more about the project, visit the project web page.

Planning Commission: Briefing 5/23/17
  Stephen Fesler

Personal Wireless Service Facilities Update (Formerly Known As Update Cell Tower Regulations)

Proposed code amendments to reflect recent changes in federal law, clarify collocation, and address related issues.

Project status: The project has commenced, please check back for updates.
  Kristen Holdsworth

Updates to the County's Construction Codes

This project will update the County's Construction Codes as contained in subtitle 30.5 of the Snohomish County Code (SCC) for consistency with the adopted 2015 Washington State Building Codes (effective July 1, 2016).

The State Building Code Council (SBCC) advises the Washington State Legislature on building code issues and develops the building codes used in Washington State. The State Building Codes are updated on a three-year cycle in conjunction with International Code Council (ICC). 

Project status: The project has commenced, please check back for updates.

  Eileen Canola

Remanded Code Development Projects

Project Title   Staff Contact

Rural Craft Breweries/Distilleries/Wineries

​The intent of this project is amend title 30 of the Snohomish County Code to establish land use and development regulations to address the use of rural craft breweries, distilleries and wineries on land zoned Rural Business, Rural Industrial, Rural-5 Acre, and Agriculture-10 Acre.

Project Status: The County Council considered Ordinance No. 15-066 at several public hearings in 2016. The Council remanded the Ordinance to the Planning Commission on September 21, 2016, for further study and discussion of the proposed regulations and related issues. The Planning Commission held a study session on October 25, 2016. Other code development projects have been given a higher priority at this time and there is no set schedule for the Planning Commission to reconsider this topic.
  Troy Holbrook