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Snohomish County Council Action Moves Port of Everett Boundary Enlargement Measure to August Primary Ballot

Date: Mar 21, 2024

On March 12, 2024, the Snohomish County Council unanimously approved a motion to place the Port of Everett’s petition for boundary enlargement on the August 2024 primary ballot.

Council action follows a historic first by the Port of Everett Commission, which on Dec. 19, 2023, unanimously passed Resolution No. 1220 directing Port staff to submit a proposition of enlarging the boundary of the existing Port District to include most of Snohomish County to the County Council for voter consideration.

The Port Commission’s decision came as the result of an exploratory effort by the Port last year to conduct an economic value study and legal assessment of enlarging Port District boundaries beyond its current footprint to be better positioned to bring value and economic opportunities to more of Snohomish County.

“This is the first time in 106 years that Snohomish County residents will get to vote on the scale and scope of their Port,” Port of Everett Executive Director/CEO Lisa Lefeber said. “Snohomish County has changed dramatically in this time, so it will be good to give the new generation a voice in the matter.”

The Port continues to engage with the public to educate about the Port, the unique tools and authorities of public port districts, and to share information and answer questions on the upcoming ballot measure.

Various public information opportunities will be available through August, including a virtual information session hosted by Economic Alliance Snohomish County on Tuesday, April 9, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. The session is hosted online via Zoom and is free to attend; RSVP required. A recording will be available following the session for those who cannot make it. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE & TO REGISTER.

Additionally, the Port has scheduled informational community open houses in central locations throughout the County to share information and answer questions in-person for those interested in learning more about the boundary measure and the Port. CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION OF THE INFORMATIONAL OPEN HOUSE SCHEDULE.

Here's the informational open house lineup:

  • East County: May 16, 2024 | 4:30-6:30 p.m.
    Monroe Community Senior Center
  • Central East County: May 23, 2024 | 4:30-6:30 p.m.
    Hartford Hall at The Mill Lake Stevens
  • South County: May 30, 2024 | 4:30-6:30 p.m.
    Lynnwood Event Center
  • Southeast County: June 3, 2024 | 4:30-6:30 p.m.
    Willis Tucker Activity Center
  • North County: June 13, 2024 | 5-7 p.m.
    Stilly Valley Center
  • Central County: June 20, 2024 | 4:30-6:30 p.m.
    Marysville Opera House

An informational webpage is also available with additional information on the boundary enlargement measure, including FAQs @

Translation and accessibility tools are available on the webpage or can be requested at

Media Contact: Kate Anderson, Port of Everett Media & Marketing Coordinator


The Port of Everett is a special-purpose district tasked with economic development. Through operation of international shipping terminals, the largest public marina on the West Coast and real estate development ventures, the Port of Everett supports more than 40,000 jobs in the region and contributes $433 million to state and local taxes. The Port strives to bring quality jobs, business and tourism opportunities to its local and surrounding communities, and is committed to enhancing, restoring and preserving the overall environmental health of the waterfront. Port properties provide numerous public access and recreational opportunities for area residents and visitors to enjoy, supporting a vibrant, livable and balanced waterfront.

As an economic driver and job creator in the region, the Port of Everett is always looking into ways that the tools and resources unique to ports can create new opportunity and add value to the communities it serves. The caveat? Ports are limited in their ability to operate or invest in projects outside their district boundary lines.

While many large port districts in Washington state are county-wide — including all other ports in the state that operate international seaports — the Port of Everett is not. Currently, Port boundaries cover most of Everett, portions of Mukilteo, and small parts of Marysville and unincorporated Snohomish County — a total of about 110,000 residents. To put this into perspective, with nearly 830,000 residents and growing, only about 15% of the County has access to certain port tools and investments. This significantly restricts how the Port of Everett can help advance economic and community priorities across Snohomish County, which is one of the fastest-growing counties in the state.

The topic of Port boundary expansion is not a new one. It has come up many times over the course of the Port’s nearly 106 years of service, as the current Port District and greater Snohomish County area have experienced significant growth and evolving economic needs over the past century. However, this is the first time it is coming up for a vote.

During the Port of Everett’s Strategic Plan outreach in 2018/2019, the Port sought public feedback to help set a roadmap for the next decade of Port initiatives (2020-2030). During public engagement intended to inform the Port’s 2020 Strategic Plan, the Port heard general interest in expanding Port District boundaries, linked to a desire to see the Port’s strategic investments and infrastructure improvements stretch into other parts of Snohomish County.

Given the Port’s current limitations to support economic and community priorities outside of its current boundary line, combined with the significant economic challenges and opportunities facing the County today and initial community interest, the Port Commission tasked staff with formally exploring potential boundary expansion. It became a Strategic Action Item of the Port’s 2020 Strategic Plan, which was adopted by the Commission in December 2019.

A recently completed exploratory effort on Port boundaries included conducting a formal assessment of the economic value and legal implications of expanding Port District boundaries, and a formal call for input by community leaders, residents and businesses in the area to gauge interest in Port tools and resources being offered to more areas of the County where they are not currently accessible.

Given the Port’s geographic and financial limitations, the challenges and opportunities before us, and the general interest heard during recent outreach on the topic, the Port Commission believed it was time to send it to the ballot.

Learn more @