Snohomish County Council Adopts Missing Middle Housing Ordinance

  • by Russell Wiita
  • May 11, 2022, 11:07 AM
Nate Nehring Councilmember, District 1
News Release: May 4th, 2022
Contact: Russell Wiita – Legislative Aide to Councilmember Nehring
(425) 626-4173

Snohomish County Council Adopts Missing Middle Housing Ordinance

Everett, WA – This morning, the Snohomish County Council passed Ordinance 22-016 to encourage the production of more “missing middle” housing. The ordinance was introduced by Councilmember Nate Nehring as part of a suite of housing affordability legislation.

“Missing middle” housing refers to townhomes and other housing that is denser than traditional single-family developments but less dense than mid-rise apartments. Townhome-style housing can be an option for first time homebuyers looking to enter homeownership when other options are less attainable.

“Housing affordability is one of the most pressing issues in our communities and region” said Councilmember Nehring. “These changes will help increase the housing supply and provide more diverse housing options especially for individuals and families looking to own their first home.”

The changes adopted in the ordinance encourage the preservation of existing homes in new developments, increase density bonuses for Planned Residential Developments (PRDs), increase permitted building heights, make changes to setback regulations, and makes townhomes a permitted use in R-7200 zones.

“REALTORS® and their clients are experiencing firsthand how expensive homeownership has become and the very competitive nature that exists to secure a home” said Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS’® President, Ellen Bohn. “We believe this ordinance, which encourages the development of middle housing, is a positive step in the right direction for addressing the affordable housing crisis in Snohomish County.”

Councilmember Nehring has introduced a suite of legislation to address housing affordability in Snohomish County. Last month, the County Council adopted Ordinance 22-006, creating more flexibility for accessory dwelling units (ADUs). Other legislation related to SEPA exemptions and development agreements are making their way through the legislative process.

To read Ordinance 22-016 and learn more, visit this link ( For questions about the legislation passed this morning or the suite of housing affordability legislation, please contact Russell Wiita in Councilmember Nehring’s Office at 425-626-4173 or