Duvall is leading the way through innovative approach to planning

How do we balance population growth while conserving nature? How can we ensure both a strong, sustainable economy and healthy natural lands? These are important questions that the City of Duvall is asking right now.

A year ago City of Duvall received a grant to implement a watershed-based land use planning project. The project looks at the stream basins within and immediately surrounding the city.

Launched at the beginning of the year, the ambitious project integrates principles of watershed science and land use planning to answer the following questions:

  • What is the “development capacity” in each of Duvall’s sub-basins?
  • What are the existing conditions and development limitations within the City’s urban growth areas (UGAs), and are there other areas outside of the UGA that have significant development capacity?
  • Which natural resources (wetlands, riparian corridors, steep slopes, etc.) are critically important for maintaining watershed health, and what strategies are available to protect these resources?
  • How can the City most effectively manage and improve stormwater runoff from areas of existing and future development?


The answers to these questions are helping to inform the City’s ongoing 2015 Comprehensive Plan Update project, with several future planning efforts to come.

City of Duvall brought together city staff, King County’s Snoqualmie Watershed Forum, the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, the Snoqualmie Tribe, Stewardship Partners and others to work through this process.

This advisory group is evaluating geology, soils, hydrology, precipitation, topography, land cover, areas with impervious surfaces and other information to determine the current condition of the lands within the watersheds surrounding Duvall. The team will study how the water moves downstream and identify areas that are most important to improve water flows to salmon streams, minimize localized flooding and erosion, and maintain important habitat corridors.

This project is funded by Environmental Protection Agency, through a National Estuary Program grant, and City of Duvall matching funds. Duvall is one of several Puget Sound communities that received funding to implement watershed planning or restoration projects, with technical and policy support from Washington State Departments of Ecology and Commerce. The project will run through June of 2015. To learn more about watershed characterization visit: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/coastalatlas/wc/landingpage.html


Photo Credit: Aaron Booy