Subarea Studies

North Lake, North Corner, & Central West Subareas Study

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Subarea Map

The Project

City leaders want to know if housing opportunities can be increased and fiscal sustainability enhanced by rezoning portions of three subareas where the current predominate designation is Single-Family.  

A portion of each of the three subareas – North Lake, North Corner, and Central West – include unincorporated areas that potentially could be annexed into the city.

Comprehensive Plan Policy Amendments

The Planning Commission will be considering amendments to the Comprehensive Plan to provide high-level direction regarding future work on the subarea regulations and zoning.  For more information about those amendments go to the Comprehensive Plan page.


The City selected LDC, Inc. and ECONorthwest as the project team to conduct a land use and economic analysis for each of the three subareas.  Their work is now complete and can be reviewed here.


The consultant team analyzed each subarea by providing a:

  • Land use inventory to better understand how the subareas are currently developed;
  • Buildable lands analysis to understand the development potential of each subarea after considering areas made unbuildable due to wetlands, other critical areas and easements;
  • Development potential analysis under a variety of zoning scenarios including the possibility of rezoning portions or all of a subarea to a higher density or mixed use designation to understand the effects rezoning might have;
  • Market analysis to understand the demand for non single-family development; and
  • High-level cost-benefit analysis of the unincorporated areas in each subarea to provide base information regarding future potential annexations.

The results of the consultant team’s analyses were presented to the City Council and Planning Commission in June 2022.

Public Outreach

Public involvement in this project is necessary for it to be successful, as some of the potential rezones would have a significant impact on how Snohomish grows.  That growth must reflect the community’s vision.  An active outreach campaign is anticipated to begin in Summer of 2022, continuing into 2023.

To comment on this project, contact Planning Director Glen Pickus.


In November 2021, the City Council adopted the 2022 Comprehensive Plan Amendments Final Docket that included three City-initiated proposals to study each subarea and to consider the feasibility and impact of rezoning to encourage the creation of more housing options and to broaden the city’s tax base.


An extensive public participation process will start soon and continue throughout 2023.  The process will reach out to subarea residents as well as the general public to determine how the community would like the subareas grow and develop.


In the fall of 2022, the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on Comprehensive Plan amendments, to establish basic policies that can help guide future planning efforts in these areas.  These policies will not include any map changes or rezones this year.  The City Council will use the Planning Commission recommendation and public input to make a final decision on adopting Comprehensive Plan policies.


The results of this project will also be used to develop an annexation strategy for the unincorporated areas within each subarea.  No annexation is currently being proposed, nor has a timeline been discussed for adopting an annexation strategy or to annex any areas into the city.