Last updated on February 13th, 2020 at 09:53 am

With so much residential and commercial real estate development taking place across the Puget Sound, it can be challenging to stay abreast with all of the constant changes. Whether you are a homeowner who is curious about how nearby commercial developments may affect your neighborhood or a business owner who needs to know how an upcoming construction project may impact traffic flow, there are several ways to stay involved and get your questions answered.

Research Upcoming Land and Real Estate Development

New developments tend to spark a lot of information travel via word of mouth. Although it can be valuable to listen to what other citizens have to say, it’s important to get the facts straight, before developing your questions or feedback. Snohomish County lists proposed development projects on its website. This is a great resource to learn about major land development proposals that are in the pipeline and the where each is at in the approval process.

Watch for Postcards and Signs with the City or County Logo

Cities hold workshops and public hearings to get input from citizens when there is a land use or code change that may impact residents in the surrounding area. If your property will be affected, you will be notified by a postcard from the city. You will also notice city signs posted around the impacted area, indicating the date(s) and time(s) of the public events where these changes will be discussed.

Attend Public City Meetings

Not only are there public meeting and forum opportunities surrounding specific changes that may impact your property, there are also regularly scheduled City Council, Planning Commission, Snohomish County Tomorrow and Design Review Board meetings, that are open to the public. If you are curious about what these meetings entail or which one may best for you to attend to get your questions answered, you can review past meeting minutes and agendas on the County Planning and Development Services website.

Contact a Your City Council Member or Planning Commissioner

Your local government officials are elected to work with the citizens. If there is a development project, land use law or code change that you are particularly passionate about, be sure to reach out to your elected officials to further the dialogue. Your City Council person is a great resource. The Snohomish County’s website describes the City Council’s duty as follows:

“The council’s duties include identifying and articulating the needs of the citizens of Snohomish County, and providing a framework for county administration to carry out its work efficiently, ensuring that county government responds effectively to the community’s needs.”

Another great resource as is your local Planning Commissioner. The individuals in who hold these roles are citizen volunteers, who take on a four-year term of service.

Becoming a more sophisticated consumer of legal affairs within your city or county is highly encouraged by local government and law practitioners. There are a wealth of resources available to citizens to gain more information about everything from development projects to municipal codes. Your municipality’s website, as referenced in the sections above, is a great starting point. Another great resource is the Municipal Resources and Services Center. The MRSC provides research tools, information about all city and county-related topics, to include: parks and recreation, budgets, public safety, public works and utilities, economic development and more.

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