Land Use Code Amendments

Amending the City's Land Use Code

Cities can amend their municipal code at any time during the year so long as those amendments are consistent with the city's adopted comprehensive plan. The City has an established process by which amendments to the code may be made (AMC Chapter 20.96).

Planning staff will review each suggested amendment and prepare a written analysis including a recommendation that the proposed amendment be approved, denied, or changed and approved. Only those amendments that meet the goals of the Growth Management Act and are consistent with the goals and policies of the Comprehensive Plan will be recommended for approval. The Planning Commission will review the amendments and staff analysis and make a recommendation to the City Council. The Council will make the final decision on each proposed amendment.

Who Can Propose Land Use Code Amendments

Any person, business, or organization may submit an application for a proposed amendment to the City's Land Use Code. The City can also propose amendments to the Land Use Code. The following schedule outlines the application process:

Pre-Submittal Meeting

Prior to submitting an application for an amendment, schedule a meeting with planning staff. They will give you an idea of whether your proposal is feasible, what SEPA environmental work will need to be done, and other helpful information. You can schedule a meeting by calling the department main line at 360-403-3551.

Application Deadline

There is no application deadline for a Land Use Code Amendment.

Review of Proposals

Planning and Land Use Division staff will review all proposed code amendment applications. Staff will then make a formal recommendation on each proposed code amendment to the Planning Commission.

Planning Commission Public Hearing

The City Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to consider the proposed code amendment. The date and time of the hearing will be advertised at least 14 days prior to the hearing. The Planning Commission will then make a recommendation to the City Council regarding each proposed amendment.

City Council Public Hearings

The Arlington City Council will then take into consideration the Planning Commission's recommendation and review the proposed amendment. The City Council may hold its own public hearing to consider the proposed code amendment. The date and time of the hearing will be advertised at least 14 days prior to the hearing. If they chose not to hold a hearing, they must still act on the proposal in a public meeting.

Proposed Land Use Code Amendment Evaluations

In deciding whether to adopt a proposed amendment to this title, the central issue before the council is whether the proposed amendment advances the public health, safety, or welfare. All other issues are irrelevant, and all information related to other issues at the public hearing may be declared irrelevant by the presiding official and excluded. In particular, when considering proposed minor map amendment:

  • The council shall not consider any representations made by the petitioner that if the change is granted the rezoned property will be used for only one of the possible range of uses permitted in the requested classification. Rather, the council shall consider whether the entire range of permitted uses in the requested classification is more appropriate than the range of uses in the existing classification.
  • The council shall not regard as controlling any advantages or disadvantages to the individual requesting the change, but shall consider the impact of the proposed change on the public at large.

Application Submittal Requirements

Applications for Land Use Code Amendments must be submitted in accordance with the Application Submittal Matrix (PDF). Please submit your completed application to:

City of Arlington
Department of Community and Economic Development, Permit Division
18204 59th Avenue NE
Arlington, WA 98223
Phone: 360-403-3551