Stanwood Planning Commission

Some of the 30 people at Stanwood Planning Commission’s “Planning Café” on Oct. 28 point out locations on a map of the area.

If Stanwood had to build 400 more housing units by 2050, where would we put them?

Close to 30 people pondered people and where to put them at Stanwood Planning Commission’s “Planning Café” on Oct. 28, including planning commissioners and city staff. They gathered in the fire station around two aerial maps of the city to talk about growth and what type of housing to develop where.

Displays showed examples of housing types like duplexes and multiple living units that represented “the missing middle,” or options that lie between single family residences and big apartment buildings. People could comment on the types of housing. They could draw on maps without reference to current zoning, anything goes. All planning commissioners came to answer questions and take part, as well as city planners and administrators.

Community Development Director Patricia Love said that the state is looking ways to accommodate the population forecasted for 2050 and will divvy up responsibility throughout each county. She said that 1.8 million people will be coming into a four county area.

“That’s basically three Seattles,” she said. “We’re legally required to plan for it. You have a voice in this decision and we want to hear it.”

She said that the state plans to put a majority of the growth along the light rail and other transportation lines. But Stanwood is still required to take on about 400 housing units.

City officials are studying available land and utilities.

“Do we have enough water and enough sewer to handle the potential housing projections?” Love asked.

The next Comprehensive Plan update is due July 1, 2023. It may seem early, but it’s not, Love said. The city is preparing by having open houses and planning events to get public opinion. Results from Monday’s planning café will be discussed at the next Stanwood Planning Commission meeting, Tuesday, Nov. 12 in the Stanwood Fire Station, 8117 267th Place NW, Stanwood.

Contact reporter Evan Caldwell at and follow him on Twitter @Evan_SCN for updates throughout the week and on Instagram @evancaldwell.scn for more photos.

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