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.

Step 1: Analyses

The City has selected LDC, Inc. and ECONorthwest as the project team to conduct a land use and economic analysis for each of the three subareas.  They have started their work and expect to conclude by May 2022.


The consultant team will analyze 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 are tentatively scheduled to be presented to the City Council and Planning Commission at a join meeting in June 2022.


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.


The first step in the process was to issue a RFP and hire a consultant (see above) to begin a land use and economic analysis of each subarea.  Until a consultant is hired, how long it will take for the work to be completed is not known but the expectation is for it to be concluded by June 2022. The results of the consultant’s work will then be shared with the Planning Commission and City Council at a public meeting and will be made available on this web page.

After the results of those analyses are presented to the Planning Commission and City Council, there will be a public outreach effort to solicit input from community members on potential zoning changes in each subarea.


In fall 2022, the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on Comprehensive Plan amendments, which could include proposals to rezone all or parts of each subarea.  The City Council will use the Planning Commission recommendation and public input to make a final decision by the end of 2022.


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.

Subarea study timeline

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 will begin once the consultants finish their work.

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