The Draft Town Center Plan is Ready!

After hearing your ideas at meetings and workshops over the last year, City planners have developed a Draft Town Center Plan, code, and environmental documents.

Description of Proposal

The proposal includes adoption of a Town Center Subarea Plan Update that would alter Future Land Use Map designations and Zoning districts, as well as provide refreshed policies, strategies, and a form- based code. A Planned Action designation is under consideration pursuant to RCW 43.21C.440, which would facilitate future development consistent with a Planned Action Ordinance when it meets the City’s Town Center Plan provisions and mitigation measures.

Since the scoping process in May-June 2018, during which no comments were received, the City has refined the alternatives regarding the northern boundary along Fryar Avenue, where a reclassification to M-1 is under consideration instead of a mixed-use district as originally proposed. Additionally, the City has clarified aspects of the proposed plan, form-based code, height, and density. The alternatives and associated analysis are part of the Draft SEIS available for public comment.

View the full Notice of Availability here:
Notice of Availability of Sumner Town Center Subarea Plan Update and Planned Action Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS)

Location of Proposal

The Town Center Subarea Planning Area is bounded by Zehnder Street on the north, Wood Avenue on the east, Thompson Street on the south, and the White River/Valley Avenue E/Union Pacific Railroad on the west.Documents Supplemented and Statement of Adoption

The Town Center Planned Action SEIS supplements prior EIS documents, which are adopted per WAC 197-11-630:

  • City of Sumner Comprehensive Plan Update Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS), June 30, 2005.
  • Final EIS for City of Sumner Comprehensive Plan Update 2010, November 24, 2010. This document was supplemented with a Final SEIS February 29, 2012 to add to the analysis of the Fleishmann’s property to respond to an appeal. This property is not in the 2018 Town Center Plan Update boundary.
  • Sumner Comprehensive Plan Update, East Sumner Neighborhood Plan Update, Capital Facility and Transportation Plan Update, Development Regulations and Critical Areas Ordinance Update, and East Sumner Neighborhood Planned Action, Final SEIS, issued August 6, 2015.

We have identified and adopted these documents as being appropriate for this proposal after independent review, and they will accompany the proposal to the decision maker. The Draft SEIS builds on these documents and when the SEIS is completed, will meet our environmental review needs for the current proposal.

You can view the Draft Town Center Plan, code, environmental, and all related documents below. Since it is such large file, you can reference the table of contents to find individual documents.

Draft SEIS_Town_Center_2018_0912

Compact disks may also be obtained at the City’s Community Development Department at no cost, and copies of the documents are available for review at City Hall,1104 Maple Street, Suite 250, Sumner, WA 98390. Paper copies may be purchased for the cost of reproduction.

Now, tell us what you think! There are many ways to provide feedback:

  • Planning Commission Community Meeting, September 20, 2018, 6:00 pm, Sumner City Hall, Council Chambers
  • Open House on October 2, 2018, 6:00 pm, Sumner Library (1116 Fryar Ave. Sumner, WA 98390)
  • Planning Commission Public Hearing, October 4, 2018, 6:00 pm, Sumner City Hall, Council Chambers. View the Planning Commission meeting packet here: Planning Commission Packet 10-4-18
  • Comment Period: Provide comments by 5 pm on October 12, 2018. Send to Eric Mendenhall by email at or by letter to Sumner City Hall, 1104 Maple St., Sumner, WA 98390

Questions? Please see the project website call 253-299-5526 for more information.

Why Update the Town Center Plan?

The region is growing and people want to move to Sumner and the Puget Sound. How does Sumner plan to add more housing, a more diverse variety of housing, and keep its small-town charm at the same time? That’s the question the Town Center Plan update seeks to answer.

February 2018 Open House

From the October 15 Open House feedback, city planners presented two options for the future of the Town Center. Here are the two options:

  • Most flexible zoning lets market determine development
  • Most restrictive in controlling design
  • Adds open space, plazas & gathering areas
  • Greatest choice for housing options not currently in Sumner
  • Streetscapes focus on all modes of transportation, landscaping, pedestrian movement & sense of place
  • Housing ranges from 12-25 dwelling units per acre up to 112 units per acre
  • Height in commercial/mixed-use zone ranges from 4-6 stories depending on location
  • Phase 1 Opportunity Sites: 1,900 housing units; 4,400 population
  • 20-year buildout: 2,900 housing units, 6,500 population

  • Adds open space, plazas & gathering areas
  • Adds more housing options than currently in Sumner, but not as many options as Alternative 1
  • Streetscapes focus on all modes of transportation, landscaping, pedestrian movement & sense of place
  • Housing ranges from 8-10 dwelling units per acre up to 112 units per acre
  • Height in commercial/mixed-use zone ranges from 4-6 stories depending on location
  • Height at Traffic/Fryar/Main limited to 4-5 stories, lower than Alternative 1
  • Height to the southeast limited to 2-3 stories, lower than Alternative 1
  • Phase 1 Opportunity Sites: 1,800 housing units, 4,000 population
  • 20-year buildout: 2,700 housing units, 5,900 population


What if streets were designed so well that they were more than a collection of buildings? Take a look at some concept images of what Sumner could look like in 20 years including redevelopment at the Red Apple site and along the west side of Traffic Avenue.


Voting has closed, but the process of discussing the Town Center Plan is still underway. If you’d like to add feedback, email Eric Mendenhall with your thoughts, questions and comments.

October 15 Open House

Thank you to everyone who came to the Future of Sumner Open House on October 5. We had over 200 people, talking together, asking questions of staff, sharing ideas, coloring maps and more.People colored maps of the Town Center area (outlined by the dark black border) to tell us if and where higher buildings could go.

Click here to see what people colored (pdf)

This map shows the average result of all your maps:

Red is 5-6 stories, orange is 4-5 stories, brown is 3-4 stories and yellow is 1-2 stories/single family.

We also asked about style of buildings. The dots indicate which style people preferred for each kind of building:


Proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendments


In addition to the Town Center Plan, the Comprehensive Plan Amendments include other proposed changes. The boards are below.  Participants were given one dot to use if they thought the proposal looked good or if they had concerns (which hopefully they shared with us).  Also below is the timeline board that shows where the process goes from here for both Comprehensive Plan Amendments and the Town Center Plan.