Almost 1,000 acres of land located near the intersection of Highway 2 and State Route 9 has been on the forefront of both the City of Lake Stevens and the City of Snohomish.
The land has huge commercial growth potential and has been in the City of Lake Stevens Comprehensive Plan for over a decade.
A developer approached the City of Snohomish, over a year ago, with plans to develop 375 acres of the property.
Since then, neither Lake Stevens nor Snohomish has been able to agree on where the land should be split and how it should be divided.
After an attempt at mediation failed, the Snohomish City Council adopted a resolution to move ahead in the land use planning of the area. This was done without public input.
The City of Lake Stevens was concerned that the resolution amounted to an illegal change in Snohomish’s comprehensive plan and took the matter to the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board.
“We believe that public input is a requirement of land use planning and are very troubled by this ruling,” Lake Stevens City Administrator Jan Berg said. “It allows the City of Snohomish to circumvent the public process and do land use planning by merrily passing a resolution overnight.”
While the board ruled that the resolution does not claim that Snohomish has control over the land and does not change their comprehensive plan, they did chastise Snohomish for their assertive language within the resolution.
Snohomish uses very aggressive ‘present’ language and ‘the parties would do well not to use language that is incendiary in nature’, the board said.
Last Monday, July 13, the Lake Stevens City Council was presented with the decision made by the review board and made the choice to continue to campaign for joint planning with Snohomish City.
“After listening to their options, Councilmember John Spencer made a motion that although they would probably be successful in challenging the decision, they wanted to spend the resources and time to offer up joint planning again,” Berg said. “We want to be able to plan the entire area that hopefully both of us can live with.”