The Pilchuck District was adopted by the City Council as a subarea in September 2011. The area is envisioned to appear and function as a traditional, compact, and walkable neighborhood, an “urban village”, within the context of the larger Snohomish community. The intent is to achieve a mix of land uses within the area to reduce the need for automobile trips required to meet the daily needs of residents. Land uses will be designed for compatibility and will include a variety of residential, commercial, and recreational activities. Development may take a various forms, from single-family homes to townhomes to four- and five-story residential, mixed-use, and office buildings.
The Pilchuck District utilizes form-based regulations rather than the more traditional segregation of land uses. This approach is primarily intended to achieve development that is visually and functionally compatible and complementary, with an integrated streetscape that functions as an active and interesting public realm, a comfortable pedestrian landscape and a distinctive “sense of place” within the larger Snohomish community.
Economic and physical development of the Pilchuck District is envisioned to reflect and enhance the Snohomish community, which has been in existence for over 150 years. The current Pilchuck District reflects development over most of this period. This long history has resulted in wide range of architectural styles, building types, scales, uses, and adaptive reuses representing the eras in which they were developed or modified. This variety of urban forms and architectural expressions help to establish the overall visual character of Snohomish. By virtue of the many design influences and practical accommodations, this character is eclectic while retaining a sense of history and small-town scale.
The regulatory context provides four separate zones within the Pilchuck District: Neighborhood Single Family, Neighborhood Townhouse, Neighborhood Center, and Neighborhood Civic. The character of each zone will vary with the type and intensity of land use identified. Zones designated for single-family and townhouse land uses are intended to retain a strongly residential appearance and scale consistent with the function. Elsewhere in the Pilchuck District, multi-story buildings containing dwellings, commercial, and civic uses will be integrated to create a generally continuous and somewhat more compact row of buildings along the sidewalk. The intent is to foster compatibility and continuity between adjacent uses and along streets to create a context where residents, businesses, and employees will co-exist and thrive.
The Pilchuck District Design Standards were developed in order to preserve and continue the City’s rich heritage and character, to foster quality design and development, and to promote land use compatibility within the City’s neighborhoods.