Countywide Planning Policies

2021 Countywide Planning Policies Update

Welcome to Snohomish County’s project webpage for Countywide Planning Policies. Snohomish County has been working in coordination with its cities and towns on updating the Countywide Planning Policies (CPPs) in preparation for updates to Comprehensive Plans in 2024. The 2021 update is an ongoing process conducted through the Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) of Snohomish County Tomorrow (SCT).


What are the Countywide Planning Policies (CPPs)?

The Countywide Planning Policies (CPPs) apply to all cities and towns within Snohomish County, as well as the county itself. The CPPs provide the framework for each jurisdiction’s comprehensive plans and associated policies intended to comply with regional policies developed by the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC). The Growth Management Act (GMA) requires coordination and consistency between comprehensive plans for all jurisdictions in the same county. 


There is a broad range of categories within the CPPs, including chapters on Housing, Economic Development and Employment, Transportation, Natural Environment, and Public Services and Facilities. The current CPPs were last updated in 2011 and can be viewed here.

A graphical representation of the planning framework in Washington State. Image courtesy of PSRC


Planning for the Future: Regional and Local Plans

The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) is a regional planning agency with four membership counties which include: Snohomish, King, Kitsap, and Pierce Counties. PSRC is responsible for developing and approving a regional plan every ten years. In October 2020, the PSRC General Assembly approved VISION 2050, the updated regional plan. Some highlights of VISION 2050 include updated policies with more focus on Climate Change, environmental justice, and social justice.   


VISION 2050 has multicounty planning policies (MPPs), which address a variety of topics, including the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) that outlines a preferred pattern of urban growth across the region. The adoption of VISION 2050 by PSRC now requires Snohomish County to update its Countywide Planning Policies (CPPs) to be consistent with and reflect the changes to the multicounty planning policies (MPPs) in the regional plan. The 2021 update to the CPPs has been an interjurisdictional planning effort between Snohomish County Tomorrow member jurisdictions. A subcommittee of the Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) of Snohomish County Tomorrow has been working since May 2020 to draft updated CPPs (available for view below).   


PSRC also develops and adopts other regional plans that have an impact on countywide and local planning in Snohomish County. The Regional Centers Framework, which outlines standards for the identification of regional, countywide, and local centers, was updated in 2018. Centers are locations where future population and employment growth will be concentrated. Other documents include the regional economic strategy and the Regional Open Space Conservation Plan.


CPP Update Project Schedule 

Under VISION 2050, Snohomish County is required to update the CPPs no later than December 31, 2021.


PAC Subcommittee: Draft updated CPPsMay 2020 - January 2021
Snohomish County Tomorrow Planning Advisory Committee:  Review draft CPPsFebruary - April 2021
Public Comment PeriodFebruary 18 - March 16
Snohomish County Tomorrow Steering Committee: Review draft CPPs and provide recommendation to County CouncilApril - June 2021
Snohomish County Council: Review of CPPs and Public HearingJuly - August 2021
Snohomish County Council: Adoption of CPPsAugust 2021


Draft Countywide Planning Policies

The following documents include proposed text for the draft updated policies.  The spreadsheets include additional notes for proposed policy amendments and any relevant and supporting multicounty planning policies (MPPs). Please note the following editing format:

  • Text with strikethrough and between double parenthesis is proposed to be deleted
  • Text shown with an underline is proposed to be added

The following are the Draft Countywide Planning Policies as recommended by the Planning Advisory Subcommittee

Next Steps

The draft version of the 2021 Countywide Planning Policies (the documents linked above) were made available for public comment through March 16, 2021. Now that the comment period has closed, staff will review all comments and provide them to the Planning Advisory Committee to consider as they proceed with their task of reviewing these draft CPPs. Please see the CPP Update Project Schedule above for details.