Lake Stevens, Washington
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 Lake Stevens Real Estate

 Future Development of Lake Stevens, Washington

For the original adoption of the Comprehensive Plan in 1994, the City conducted three community visioning exercises which included citizens of the entire Urban Growth Area. Participants were asked to discuss specific likes and dislikes regarding the built environment, natural environment, and cultural/social environment. The results of that process formed the basis of the community's vision as a foundation for the Comprehensive Plan. At the time many
people expressed the following thoughts:

  • concern that traffic was becoming a major problem
  • fears that urban densities would be ugly
  • the City has too many dead-end streets
  • existing downtown needs more services
  • the City needs safer pedestrian and bicycle ways
  • there will be a loss of the small town feel of the City
  • many residents would prefer to work in Lake Stevens rather than commute

These concerns and comments were addressed by the 1994 Comprehensive Plan. Through the visioning process the City identified the following opportunities and planning goals which provided a basis for the original Plan:

  • Maintain quality of life
  • Reduce land use conflicts and haphazard development
  • Maintain infrastructure
  • Determine what public services the City wants to provide and decide at what level of service it is willing to provide these services
  • Determine how to finance and pay for these public services
  • Determine how to acquire and spend public resources
  • Anticipate future expenditures
  • Build on current stewardship of land
  • Protect our drainage basins
  • Protect our lake
  • Build on and take full advantage of existing assets

For the most part, these ideas remain valid. The 2006 update included a review of how successful those efforts were and what must be done in the future. In 2006:

  • An Annexation Plan is being implemented.
  • An updated Parks Plan has been adopted.
  • An updated Transportation Plan has been completed.
  • Interlocal agreements with the Sewer District and Drainage District are in effect.
  • The City will pursue an aggressive program for development of its historic town center.
  • It will support development efforts at Frontier Village and will work with businesses and residents on issues of importance to the area.
  • It will pursue a Subarea Plan for a South Lake Stevens residential and retail center.
  • It will implement programs to encourage pedestrian, bicycle and other non-auto access to work, shopping and recreation.

These and other initiatives, based on updated 2006 information and trends, will keep the Lake Stevens Comprehensive Plan current and relevant to today’s needs.

These goals and aspirations of the public were considered in the development of a 2006 Vision Statement. The Statement in turn, was the key consideration in the update of the Plan itself, along with the other components required by State law.

The 2006 Lake Stevens Vision

Based on the considerations and requirements outlined above, the following "Vision Statement" has been adopted as part of this 2006 update of the 1994 Comprehensive Plan:

Recognizing both citizens' desires to maintain the small town atmosphere, and the philosophy and mandates of the Growth Management Act, the City of Lake Stevens will grow to a community of 46,000 people within its Urban Growth Area with high densities being concentrated in and around “Old Town” and Historic Downtown, South Lake Stevens and Frontier Village while medium-density neighborhoods extend from them to lower density neighborhoods developing on the periphery of the UGA. Care will be taken to ensure that any development is sensitive to the environment and existing residents by reasonably mitigating impacts through all lawful means available.

We intend to be a community of sustainable development. We declare that beautiful yet functional and efficient design is paramount to sustaining a positive development atmosphere and community image. To be sustainable, our community will strive to provide a range of housing that is affordable to our diverse population; and will seek to match jobs to residents to local consumers so that our citizens can find their needs met at home in Lake Stevens.

The City of Lake Stevens strongly endorses the thrust of the Growth Management Act as an essential and responsible series of planning measures that when implemented, will help direct community, regional, and statewide efforts to enhance Washington's quality of life, environmental protection, and economic vitality.

The principal theme of the Vision Statement is that the City of Lake Stevens will maintain its character and identity – the "small town" atmosphere. The updated goals for 2006 are as follows:


The City of Lake Stevens will provide an effective stewardship of the environment, to protect environmentally sensitive areas and conserve land, air, water, and energy resources for current and future generations.


The City of Lake Stevens will encourage changes that promote livability, pedestrian orientation and high-quality design, and limit stress factors such as noise pollution and traffic congestion. In addition, the City of Lake Stevens should identify the responsibilities of public and private agents at the local and regional level for providing emergency and social services.


The community will focus its economic development activity in the Hartford Road Industrial Area, three Community growth centers and small neighborhood service centers.


The City of Lake Stevens will use local resources whenever possible to encourage local involvement in community actions and to enhance community pride. This will include continued encouragement of public and private involvement in community traditions, as well as encouragement of volunteerism and activism.


The City of Lake Stevens will encourage the development of the local economy by: providing a predictable development atmosphere; emphasizing diversity in the range of goods and services; encouraging non-consumptive, sustainable level markets; and ensuring that as the economy changes employment opportunities are balanced with a range of housing opportunities.


The City of Lake Stevens will enhance the opportunities for enjoyment of recreational and cultural activities, fostering a range of activities for all ages. The enjoyment and educational value of such activities is enhanced by diversity in the available choices.


The City asserts its role and interest in areas outside of the UGA in the urban rural transition areas and beyond. These are areas where future UGA expansions may occur and the City must be involved in their planning and development

These goals provide the foundation for the more specific goals and policies found in the complete version of the Comprehensive Plan, which can be viewed here.

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