Residents encouraged to be part of Arlington’s Comp Plan

  • Saturday, March 23, 2019 1:30am
  • Opinion

By Barb Tolbert

The Arlington Comprehensive Plan expresses community priorities that guide the city’s vision and what we want our city to become. The plan touches on issues ranging from what type of development should go where and road improvements to protection of our natural resources and critical areas and park space. The plan also acts as our community vision over a long period of time.

The priorities that guide this vision change, and our policies for how we plan to grow need to change as well. Arlington citizens, the city or a local government agency with property within our city limits may propose amendments to the Comprehensive Plan at any time. Those proposals may only be considered by the city at specific times.

Called docketing, it allows for receiving and evaluating proposals to amend the Comprehensive Plan, zoning map and development regulations. The intent of the Washington State Growth Management Act of 1990 is to concentrate growth into cities and stop urban sprawl. GMA requires cities like Arlington to maintain procedures for residents interested in suggesting changes to their GMA-based comprehensive plans, zoning maps and development regulations. The GMA limits cities to amend their comprehensive plans to once per year with a few exceptions. Arlington has posted its docketing procedures at While the city’s Community and Economic Development Department accepts such applications year-round, staff can only review them on an annual basis. In reviewing applications, staff needs to consider the GMA and our own growth policies, not just public opinion.

Once the applications are reviewed they are forwarded to the Planning Commission for review. That commission forwards its recommendations to the City Council for final decisions. In 2019, the city received 11 applications for changes to the Comprehensive Plan. They include:

•Rezone of Property at 3209 180th St. NE (city property adjacent to York Park) from Public/Semi-Public zoning to Residential High Density

•Annexation of the Old Town Stormwater Wetland property

•Inclusion of the City’s Complete Streets Policy in the Comprehensive Plan

•Inclusion of the Arlington-Marysville Manufacturing Industrial Center Subarea Plan

•Amendment to Arlington Municipal Code 20.44 to update Unit Lot Subdivision regulations

•Inclusion of the Arlington Public Schools Capital Facilities Plan

•Inclusion of the Lakewood School District Capital Facilities Plan

•Rezone of three private properties at 7103, 7115, and 7127 172nd St NE to high-density residential from low-moderate-density residential •Rezone of a private property at 606 E. Highland Drive to high-density residential from medium-density residential

Information on each is available at

The public is invited and encouraged to participate in the process. Sign up to receive Planning Commission and City Council agendas to keep up to date. Go to and click on “Notify Me”.

Barb Tolbert is mayor of Arlington, which runs a monthly column in this newspaper.

More in Opinion

Election observations

As journalists we get to engage ourselves with politicians during election campaigns… Continue reading

School transportation important in Arlington

The yellow school bus is an American icon. Transportation to and from… Continue reading

At Lakewood cafe, we learned about priorities

Last Wednesday approximately 90 students, parents, staff, community members and administrators came… Continue reading

Fall a colorful time for home selling, buying

The fall real estate season is the second-most popular time to sell… Continue reading

Great Pumpkin Spice ideas for healthy eaters

It’s Pumpkin Spiced everything season. You might enjoy this fun fall flavor,… Continue reading

Programs before, not after, addiction key to stopping it

Places like Marysville, Arlington and Snohomish County are doing a great job… Continue reading

Work over summer helps prepare students, facilities for new school year in Arlington

By Gary Sabol Staff from Arlington Public Schools spent the summer providing… Continue reading

New Lakewood superintendent says, Let’s have a conversation

On Wednesday, Oct. 9, Lakewood students, staff, parents and community members are… Continue reading

Inslee missed chance on Boeing tax breaks

Jay Inslee had a chance recently to face his muggers. He didn’t… Continue reading

Tribes continue to work hard on salmon recovery

Treaty tribes are encouraged by fish passage improvement projects in the Puget… Continue reading

Tips on staying healthy as school starts up again

It’s after Labor Day, and we all know what that means: Summer… Continue reading

Hits and misses

Hits To Marysville Police Chief Rick Smith for his many years of… Continue reading