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Category: Community Development - Request For Proposal
Status: Open


The City of Stanwood is seeking assistance from a highly qualified consultant to update the City’s Municipal Code as described in this Request for Proposal (RFP).  The Stanwood Municipal Code consists of 17 Titles that have been continually amended since 1968.  The goal of this project is to conduct a holistic review and update of the Municipal Code to modernize the code utilizing reader-friendly text and format, eliminate outdated and redundant provisions, eliminate inconsistencies and contradictions, and ensure consistency with current state and federal law. 

The last comprehensive update to the Stanwood Municipal Code occurred in 1968.  As the City has grown and development has increased over the years, so has the need for updated regulations.  Fifty years of amendments have resulted in inconsistencies, conflicts, and outdated regulations.  The City desires to adopt a modernized Municipal Code that reflects the character of Stanwood and meets the current needs of the community. 


The City of Stanwood is a non-charter code city operating under a Mayor-Council form of government.  The Mayor and seven elected council members are elected on an at-large basis representing the city as a whole.  The City employs 38 full and part-time employees and includes a strong network of community volunteers serving on several Boards and Commissions including the Economic Development Board, the Parks and Trails Advisory Commission, the Planning Commission, and the Salary Commission.  Councilmembers serve on council committees which include the Finance Committee, Community Development Committee, Public Works Committee, and Public Safety Committee.  A professional City Administrator oversees the day-to-day operations of the city. 


The consultant should expect that the Mayor, city departments, Boards, and Commissions will all be involved in the Municipal Code Update project as either a direct reviewer or recommending body. The consultant should also expect to work with a steering committee which will be made up of elected officials, city staff, business owners, and community representatives. 


The City seeks a qualified consultant team to update the Stanwood Municipal Code.  As the last comprehensive update was conducted in 1968, the city expects that the Municipal Code will require significant modifications to reflect the current needs and desires of the community.  The new code should reflect best practices with respect to the content and administration of the code.  The update needs to be user-friendly for staff, property owners, and developers by 1) removing legalese and jargon unfamiliar to the layperson, 2) improving clarity and overall functionality, and 3) reflect regulatory best practices.   It is also envisioned that the update will include tables and illustrations whenever possible to help convey concepts. Lastly, the updated code must be consistent with current case, state, and federal laws. 


1. General Approach
The selected consultant team should be experienced professionals who can work collaboratively with city staff, Boards and Commissions, and the community at large to develop a clear, concise, and reasonable set of regulations that implement the Comprehensive Plan’s vision for the next fifty years.  The following principles should guide the update process.  

  • Focus on improving the code to eliminate deficient, outdated, overly complex, or unnecessary codes that inhibit development.  
  • Make the code internally consistent between Titles and Chapters.
  • Create a user-friendly code that is easy to administer by staff and easily understood by developers and the community.
  • Use plain, easily understood language in describing requirements and procedures. 
  • Identify existing development regulations that need to be revised or updated to be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.
  • Standards and regulations should reflect the current needs and desires of the community.
  • Ensure compatibility with current state and federal law.
  • Evaluate the code for regulatory gaps.
  • Eliminate “repealed” or “deleted” titles, chapters, or sections. 
  • Apply form-based concepts and development flexibility where appropriate. 
  • Insert tables, graphics, and/or illustrations wherever necessary to convey concepts.  


2. Review Existing Conditions
The Stanwood Municipal Code contains 17 Titles, all of which need updating.   Refer to the attached RFP to view a list of the Titles with anticipated amendments.  It should be noted that this is not an inclusive list but should be used only as an example of the need to modernize the Municipal Code. 

The consultant should propose an approach to understanding the existing code and the community needs.  The approach should include gathering needed background information and analysis to suggest preliminary recommendations on how best to modernize the code.  The existing conditions review should include, at a minimum, a thorough examination of the current Municipal Code and staff interviews to identify critical problems.  A tour of the City is recommended to understand the community, neighborhoods, and general development patterns.  


3. Public Outreach
The City of Stanwood desires an early and continuous public engagement process that is broadly disseminated throughout the community via a variety of methods that residents can use to obtain and share information.  The city is seeking a consultant team that can prepare, coordinate, and support a public participation planning process that will engage the public through various media methods and public workshop processes.   The public participation plan should foster an environment for idea-sharing. 

  • The consultant should be able to prepare and produce high-quality public outreach materials graphically and in writing describing facts, findings, analysis, and recommendations. These materials need to be adaptable for use in public meetings, open houses, online surveys, webpages, social media, and public hearings.
  • It is imperative that the public engagement process encourage input from all segments of the community including economically disadvantaged, racial minorities, youth, seniors, and disabled persons.

4. Preliminary Assessment and Recommendations

Using information gained from the existing conditions review and public outreach efforts the consultant shall prepare a code assessment and recommendations on how best to update the Municipal Code.  This work should include a code audit of the existing conditions' strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and constraints relating to content, structure, and compliance with current law.  A formal recommendation shall be prepared that summarizes the analysis, findings, and preliminary recommendations on how best to approach revising the current Municipal Code.  This assessment will then be used as the talking point with staff and the Steering Committee to ensure that the project is meeting expectations prior to drafting actual code language. A formal check-in with the City Council is also anticipated. 


5. Draft Municipal Code Language
Building upon the preliminary assessment and recommendations report, which should include the Steering Committee and City Council direction, the consultant shall prepare a draft of the updated Municipal Code. Applying the general direction principles listed above, the new code should be clearly worded and organized to encourage the documents’ accessibility to a wide range of audiences.  Graphics and tables should be used wherever possible to illustrate concepts. The consultant shall prepare a companion document that carefully tracks all significant changes from the existing code to the newly proposed code by Title to ensure transparency to the Council and public. 

6. Conduct Environmental Review on the Draft Municipal Code Language
The consultant shall prepare the environmental review documents for the project.   It is anticipated that this will include a SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) checklist, project narrative, and general summary narrative.  An environmental impact statement (EIS) is not anticipated at this time, as the revisions should be consistent with the Stanwood Comprehensive Plan.  

7. Public Review and Hearing Process
Using information gathered during the public outreach, staff interviews, and Steering Committee meetings the consultant shall prepare the first draft of the proposed updated Stanwood Municipal Code.  It should be expected that several revisions will be needed to include comments by staff, the city attorney, a Steering Committee, and the Planning Commission.  A formal public notice shall be prepared by the consultant once the first draft of the Municipal Code has been prepared.  

A Steering Committee will be established to help focus the initial approach, vision, and tone of the code update. The Planning Commission will act as the formal code review body who will make a recommendation to the Council after holding a public hearing on the code.  Finally, the City Council shall approve the final ordinance after holding their own public hearing.  


The consultant will be responsible for drafting the amendments and exhibits for the Steering Committee and Planning Commission.  The final document shall be provided to the city in an editable format. 

8. Adoption of Final Municipal Code
The consultant shall prepare a final draft of the Municipal Code based on comments received from the public outreach efforts, staff recommendations, public meeting comments, and final Planning Commission recommendation.  This draft shall be presented to the Stanwood City Council at a public hearing; it is anticipated that there will be at least one workshop on the project and three readings of the final ordinance.  The consultant shall include in this task time to address any follow-up review with Code Publishing Company to address any scrivener’s errors prior to codification of the new code. 




Publication Date/Time:
1/12/2022 12:01 AM
Closing Date/Time:
2/9/2022 2:00 PM
Contact Person:
All questions concerning the RFP should be directed to Community Development Director Patricia Love at (360) 454-5206 or via email at
Evaluation Criteria:
The following criteria will be used to evaluate proposals. Each criterion will be given a rating as following:

8-10 points Highly Advantageous
5-7 points Advantageous
1-4 points Not Advantageous
0 points Unacceptable

I. Related Experience Related to Preparing Major Amendments to Municipal Codes
Extensive related experience (more than 10 projects) ---Highly Advantageous
Some related experience (5-10 projects) ---Advantageous
Little experience (1-4 projects) ---Not Advantageous
No related experience ---Unacceptable

II. Demonstrated Clear Understanding of Project with an Identified Project Approach
Clear and concise project approach ---Advantageous
Confusing or Overly Complicated Approach ---Not Advantageous
Not provided ---Unacceptable

III. Innovative Approach to Public Engagement.
Extensive public presentation experience ---Highly Advantageous
Moderate public presentation experience ---Advantageous
Limited public presentation experience ---Not Advantageous
No response ---Unacceptable

IV. Graphics
Extensive Firm experience providing reader-friendly graphics ---Highly Advantageous
Moderate Firm experience providing reader-friendly graphics ---Advantageous
Limited Firm experience providing reader-friendly graphics ---Not Advantageous
No response ---Unacceptable

V. Reader-Friendly Documents
Extensive Firm experience providing reader-friendly documents ---Highly Advantageous
Moderate Firm experience providing reader-friendly documents ---Advantageous
Limited Firm experience providing reader friendly documents ---Not Advantageous
No response ---Unacceptable

VI. Environmental Review.
Extensive experience with programmatic environmental reviews ---Highly Advantageous
Moderate experience with programmatic environmental reviews ---Advantageous
Limited experience with programmatic environmental reviews ---Not Advantageous
No response ---Unacceptable

Special Requirements:
Consultants are encouraged to submit concise and clear responses to the RFP. Proposal lengths exceeding maximum page limits will result in an automatic 10-point deduction. All pages shall be 8.5 x 11-inch format with not less than 11-point font. Provide a cover letter, one (1) signed original RFP, and five (5) copies of the original. Pages may be double-sided. The following information will be required in each proposal:

1. Cover Letter (1-page maximum): Indicate interest, availability, and approach to the project.

2. Description of Firm. (2-page maximum) Provide relevant information about the firm including an introduction, description, history, and experience in preparing major amendments to municipal codes.

3. Scope of Work (8 pages maximum): Describe your approach to accomplish the scope of work stated in the RFP. Also, include a description of your management style and how to minimize risks that may affect the project being completed on time and on budget. The Consultant is encouraged to include suggestions or supplemental tasks which may enhance the project or streamline the scope of work and improve cost-effectiveness

4. Schedule (2 pages maximum): Describe a realistic schedule for the project based on this RFP and list any assumptions you have made about the project that affects the schedule. Include a timeline showing the estimated length of time required for completion of the phases as described in the scope of work. It is the City’s goal to complete the project by December 2023.

5. Project Team (2 pages maximum): Identify the proposed team, including sub-consultants, general qualifications, and experience. Identify the project manager and principal contact who will be permanently assigned to the project (it is strongly preferred that they are the same person).

6. Relevant Experience (8 pages maximum): Describe Consultant experience in preparing similar scopes of work. Include between three (3) and five (5) projects that the Consultant has completed that are similar to the project described in this request within the last ten (10) years.
For each project, provide the following information:
? Name and location of each project
? Year completed
? Name and contact information of each client and their project manager.
? Elements of the project that are common to the scope elements described in this request

7. Project Team Resumes (provide an appendix in proposal, one page resume per team member, no page limit): Include a paragraph for each key team member, years of experience, education, certifications, company affiliation, workplace location, and a brief list of individual project experience.

Tentative Schedule of Events
1. January 12, 2022 – Release RFP
2. February 9, 2022 – Submittal Deadline
3. February 10 – 15, 2022 – Submittal Review
4 Week of March 14, 2022 – Interviews
5. Week of March 21, 2022 – Negotiate Contract & Draft Scope of Work
6. April 8, 2022– City Council Award of Contract

Submittal Content Requirements
It is the sole responsibility of the responder to submit their packet to the designated location prior to the deadline date and time. Each response must be sealed in an envelope that has been clearly marked “RFP: City of Stanwood Municipal Code Update Project”. All late packets will be returned to responder unopened when properly marked.

All responders shall submit a cover letter, one (1) signed original RFP, and five (5) copies of the original to:

City of Stanwood
ATTN: Community Development Director Patricia Love
10220 270th Street NW
Stanwood, WA 98292.

The City reserves the right to modify or cancel in part, or in its entirety, this RFP.

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