Comprehensive Plan Update (2024)
City of Arlington Comprehensive Plan Update 2024
The City of Arlington is completing the 2024 Comprehensive Plan. Arlington is updating the plan to meet the requirements of the Washington State Growth Management Act and to align with Puget Sound Regional Council Policy Vision 2050 and the Snohomish County Countywide Planning Policies.
As an urban edge city currently consisting of nine square miles, Arlington’s current population of 19,868 (2020 census) is expected to grow by about 8,500 households with a projected population of 34,649 by 2044, according to Snohomish County’s Buildable Lands Report (BLR).
Arlington consists of three primary planning areas: Old Town Business and Residential Districts; Arlington Municipal Airport and the surrounding Cascade Industrial Center, and the Smokey Point planning area. The Old Town planning area consists of early to mid-1900 architecturally styled residential homes and commercial buildings, with an iconic “Main Street” serving the downtown corridor. The Airport and Cascade Industrial Center planning area includes 4,019 acres between the Cities of Arlington and Marysville reserved for manufacturing and industrial development. The third planning area, Smokey Point, has the most economic potential of all. Located along the western edge of the City and parallel to I-5, the Smokey Point Boulevard corridor is currently being studied for development as a transit oriented, mixed-use corridor, along its entirety, in anticipation of the Community Transit SWIFT BRT (Gold Line) in 2027.
The City of Arlington Comprehensive Plan was initially completed in 1995, with periodic updates being conducted as required by RCW 36.70A.130., but never really changing the foundational principles of the original plan, which was primarily low-density residential development, no plan for economic development to occur or be sustained, and no realistic plan for expansion of the Urban Growth Area (UGA). The Puget Sound Region has changed dramatically, even since Arlington’s 2015 Comprehensive Plan update, and the basis upon which that plan was developed is in conflict with how the City needs to evaluate and manage the inevitable changes that we will face. City staff and planning commission have started the process to preliminarily revise the Comprehensive Plan with a new framework, updated foundational principles, goals and policies to address the City’s future with reasonable predictability.
This Comprehensive Plan will provide strategies to encourage, create, and support equity among all aspects of life, place making, neighborhood connectivity, economic stability and vibrancy, resilience and sustainability, quality, diverse and efficient residential growth, recreational/park opportunities, for the protection of the quality of life for the City of Arlington’s residents and businesses.
The process for updating the Arlington Comprehensive Plan will include four key stages of work and related public engagement:
- Review Background and Confirm Vision (through the end of 2022)
- Develop Policy Framework and Planning Scenarios (end of 2022 through mid-2023)
- Compile Draft Comprehensive Plan and Complete Environmental Review (through end of 2023)
- Finalize and adopt the Comprehensive Plan (through third quarter of 2023)