In response to continued regional population growth, the City of Sumner released an updated version of its Town Center Plan yesterday. The plan lays out strategies for future land use map designations, zoning districts, environmental impacts, and other policies pertaining to the Town Center Subarea Planning Area, a section of the city near Main Street and the Sounder train station.

According to the city, the updated plan “seeks to answer the following question: How does Sumner plan to add more housing, a more diverse variety of housing, and keep its small-town charm?”

Sumner originally adopted a Town Center Plan as part of its Comprehensive Plan under the Growth Management Act back in 2005. After receiving comments from residents over the past year, the city drafted an update that proposes three different alternatives to that original plan.


Images courtesy of City of Sumner.

Alternative 1 (Preferred by the city):

  • Adopts the Town Center Plan Update, form-based code, and planned action ordinance
  • Provides the largest amount of commercial mix-used zones and land allowed to build 4-6 stories
  • Provides the greatest increase in housing density and height, ranging from 12-25 dwelling units per acre to 112 units per acre
  • Adds gathering areas
  • Promotes multimodal travel, new landscaping, and other pedestrian amenities

Alternative 2:

  • Similar to Alternative 1
  • Provides fewer acres of mixed-use zones
  • Provides a wider range of housing density, from 8-112 units per acre
  • Height in commercial mixed-use zones ranges from 4-6 stories
  • Height in other areas is limited to 2-4 stories, depending on location

Alternative 3:

  • No changes are made to the original plan
  • Keeps current zoning restrictions
  • Most zones focus on a single use
  • Allows a maximum height of 4 stories

Read the full plan, including analysis of aesthetics, mitigation of environmental impacts, and more, at