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 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

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: On March 21, 2018, County Council adopted Amended Ordinance No. 18-011, revising regulations concerning personal wireless service facilities. The effective date of the ordinance is May 20, 2018.

​Council Review: Informational Briefing 6/6/17 and 2/6/18, Hearing 3/21/2018
​Planning Commission: Briefing 7/25/17 and Hearing 9/26/17

  Kristen Holdsworth

Updates to the County's Construction Codes

This project updated 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).

Project status: On October 18, 2017, the County Council adopted Ordinance No. 17-057, 17-058, and 17-059.

  Eileen Canola

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, 9/19/16, 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

Security Devices

This project will focus on modifications to the security devices chapter, which is contained in Chapter 30.84 SCC.

Project status: On March 28, 2018, the County Council adopted Ordinance No. 18-018. The ordinance becomes effective on April 9, 2018. To learn more about the project, visit the project web page.

Council Review: Hearing 3/28/18, Briefing 2/26/18, Informational Briefing 9/19/17
Planning Commission: Briefing 11/28/17, Hearing 12/19/17

  Stephen Fesler

Streamlining the Final Plat Process

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.

On August 2, 2017, Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers approved Amended Ordinance No. 17-045. The ordinance became effective on August 12, 2017. To learn more about the project, visit the project web page.

  Stephen Fesler

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 ordinance will become effective on December 17, 2017. To learn more about the project, visit the project web page.

​Council Review: Briefing 9/19/17 and 9/5/17, Hearing 10/18/17
Planning Commission: Briefing 5/23/17, Hearing 6/27/17

  Stephen Fesler

Active Code Projects

Project Title   Staff Contact

Biennial Update to School Districts' Capital Facilities Plans (CFPs)

Every two years school districts in the County submit a six-year capital facilities plan (CFP) for eligibility to participate in the County’s school mitigation impact fee program, as established in Chapter 30.66C of the Snohomish County Code and authorized by the Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA). Under the GMA, impact fees for schools can be assessed from new development for impacts that are reasonably related to the new development to help finance system improvements such as capital projects needed to serve the growth from the new development.

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


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.
​Council Review: Hearing 3/28/18
​Planning Commission: Briefing 3/28/17, Hearing 4/25/17

  David Killingstad

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

Commercial and Industrial Standards Part II

This project will focus on: modifying bulk requirements to height, setbacks and lot coverage; modifying performance standards to maintain a natural buffer between uses and zones, which will still provide for optimum use of properties; revising parking options to maximize site utilization; revising residential uses in commercial zones; and revising process improvements for the review and approval process for commercial and industrial development.

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

Council Review: Informational Briefing 6/6/17

  Richard Craig

Legal Lots of Record (Lot Status)

​Washington State law (RCW 58.17.210) prohibits the issuance of any building, on-site sewage, or other development permit for lots divided in violation of state or local land use regulations. Snohomish County has implemented requirements to determine whether a lot is a legal lot of record through a “lot status determination” application and written guidance found in Bulletin #24 (Legal Lots). This code development project will review existing PDS business practices and codify regulations relating to determining legal lot status in Snohomish County Code (SCC).

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

  Kristen Holdsworth

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