Lake Stevens, Washington

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Lake Stevens, Washington
Northeast shore of lake on which the city is located
Northeast shore of lake on which the city is located
Motto(s): "One community, around the lake"
Location of Lake Stevens, Washington
Location of Lake Stevens, Washington
Coordinates: 48°1′11″N 122°3′58″W / 48.01972°N 122.06611°W / 48.01972; -122.06611Coordinates: 48°1′11″N 122°3′58″W / 48.01972°N 122.06611°W / 48.01972; -122.06611
Country United States
State Washington
County Snohomish
 • Total 8.90 sq mi (23.05 km2)
 • Land 8.88 sq mi (23.00 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)
Elevation 217 ft (66 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 28,069
 • Estimate (2016)[2] 31,679
 • Density 3,160.9/sq mi (1,220.4/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code 98258
Area code 425
FIPS code 53-37900
GNIS feature ID 1512695[3]

Lake Stevens is a city in Snohomish County, Washington, United States named after the lake that it is built around.[4] It is southeast of Marysville, north of the city of Snohomish, and east of Everett. The population was 31,679 as of 2016 according to United States Census Bureau estimates, with much of the growth due to annexation.


Believed to be named after Governor Isaac I. Stevens, the shores of Lake Stevens were first settled in 1886, on a 160-acre (0.65 km2) homestead along the east shore. By 1890 the first town in the area, "Ferry", was established. Its name was later changed to "Hartford", and it served as the main link from the famed Monte Cristo timber and mining resources to the world.

In 1905 a railroad spur was built by the Rucker Brothers Timber Company, linking Hartford with Lake Stevens. Two years later Rucker Mill was opened, located along and in the north cove of the lake (original pilings can still be seen in the old lake outflow area just south of the boat launch). In 1919, the mill, which became known as the "world's largest sawmill", burned and was partially rebuilt. When it burned a second time in 1925 the mill was dismantled and Lake Stevens lost the very industry which caused its founding. However, by then a flourishing town was established and continued under its own momentum.

From the 1920s to the 1950s Lake Stevens was primarily a resort community, with many public and private resort beaches scattered around the shore. On November 29, 1960, Lake Stevens incorporated as a City with a population of 900. Soon, its popularity and natural beauty, combined with changing commuter habits, attracted more and more residents, changing its character to that of a suburban community. By 2000 the City had grown to a population of 6,361 in approximately 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2). The lake remains the focal point of the greater Lake Stevens community for recreation and as "a symbol of our need to provide for a sustainable existence that will protect our natural environment".


Lake Stevens is located at 48°1′11″N 122°3′58″W / 48.01972°N 122.06611°W / 48.01972; -122.06611 (48.019782, -122.066089).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.90 square miles (23.05 km2), of which, 8.88 square miles (23.00 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water.[1]

The lake itself is the largest and deepest lake in Snohomish County, with an area of 1,040 acres (4.2 km2) and an average depth of 64 feet (20 m).[6] It is fed by Lundeen, Mitchell, Kokanee, and Stitch Creeks and drained by Catherine Creek, which ultimately flows to the Pilchuck River. The small size of the surrounding watershed compared to the lake minimizes the effects of upstream pollution. This combined with an artificial aeration system allows for a generally good water quality.[6] Much of the shoreline is heavily developed, so few wetlands exist adjacent to the lake. Recreational activities include boating, fishing, and swimming.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201631,679[7]12.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
2015 Estimate[9]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 28,069 people, 9,810 households, and 7,250 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,160.9 inhabitants per square mile (1,220.4/km2). There were 10,414 housing units at an average density of 1,172.7 per square mile (452.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 85.1% White, 1.7% African American, 0.9% Native American, 3.6% Asian, 0.4% Pacific Islander, 3.2% from other races, and 5.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.6% of the population.

There were 9,810 households of which 45.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.3% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 26.1% were non-families. 19.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.26.

The median age in the city was 32.5 years. 29.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 32.2% were from 25 to 44; 23% were from 45 to 64; and 6.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.9% male and 50.1% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census of 2000, there were 6,361 people, 2,139 households, and 1,683 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,951.8 people per square mile (1,142.3/km²). There were 2,234 housing units at an average density of 1,036.7 per square mile (401.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.31% White, 0.60% African American, 0.91% Native American, 1.10% Asian, 0.31% Pacific Islander, 0.90% from other races, and 3.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.55% of the population.

There were 2,139 households out of which 49.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.5% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.3% were non-families. 15.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.96 and the average family size was 3.30.

In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 33.9% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 36.3% from 25 to 44, 17.6% from 45 to 64, and 5.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $65,231, and the median income for a family was $68,250. Males had a median income of $51,536 versus $30,239 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,943. About 3.8% of families and 4.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.9% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.

City government[edit]

Mayor and council

Lake Stevens government operates under the mayor-council system. The mayor serves as the executive of the city, while the council serves as the legislative body of the city.

Voters elect a mayor and seven councilmembers to serve, each to four-year terms. All positions are non-partisan. Elections for the mayoral and council positions are held in staggered cycles, meaning that not all positions are up for election in the same year. The cycles are as follows:

  • Mayor; council positions three, four, and five - last held in 2015; next cycle is 2019
  • Council positions one, two, six, and seven - last held in 2013; next cycle is 2017

In instances of vacation of a seat, the city council has the authority to fill the seat, including that of the mayor. This most recently occurred in November 2016, when position two became vacant after Councilman Sam Low was elected to the Snohomish County Council Position-Five. The City Council unanimously appointed Gary Petershagen to the position. The table shown below details the make up of the council since 1996:

Served Mayor Position 1 Position 2 Position 3 Position 4 Position 5 Position 6 Position 7
1996 Jay Echols Neal DooleyA - 1991 Larry Wagner Genevieve Moore Lynn Walty Glenn McLoughlin
1998 Jack Blackwell Richard Maddalena
2000 Lynn WaltyD Rich EstepB Dan ReichenbergD
2002 Larry WagnerD
2004 Steve BrooksD Karen AlessiB Vern LittleB
2006 Walty / LittleA-Nov. Heather ColemanB Arnie ClarkE Tom HartwellB
2007 Vern LittleF Suzanne QuigleyA-Jan, F Clark / HolderA-Feb, F
2008 John SpencerC, E Mark SomersB Kathy Holder
2009 Coleman / DaughtryA-Nov.
2010 Kim DaughtryD Marcus TageantD
2012 Todd WelchD
2014 Sam LowD
2015 John SpencerD
2016 Kurt HiltD Rauchel McDanielF
2017 Gary Petershagen A Jan
Table key:
  • A - originally appointed to vacant seat (with month noted)
  • B - defeated incumbent in general election to win seat
  • C - incumbent lost in primary. Defeated other candidate to win seat
  • D - incumbent did not run for re-election. Defeated other candidate to win seat.
  • E - ran unopposed to win or hold seat
  • F - defeated opponent in general election to hold seat
Color-coded year corresponds to election held in that year for said position. See section above regarding elections for unexpired terms (position six, for 2007 election cycle).
Source: Snohomish County Elections

Non-elected positions

Prominent (non-elected) positions for the city include: city administrator, city clerk, police chief, planning director, public works director, and community programs planner.

Boards and commissions

The city has several boards and commissions whose role is to advise the council on a variety of issues specific to that board or commission. Members of each board or commission are volunteers from the community, either as residents or property owners from within the urban growth area. They are appointed by the mayor with council approval. The exception is with the civil service commission, which all members, who must reside inside the city limits, are appointed by the mayor exclusively. These boards and commissions include:

  • Arts commission
  • Civil service commission
  • Design review board (made up of members of the planning commission)
  • Library board
  • Parks board
  • Planning commission
  • Zoning board (made up of city council members)

More information

Annexation and the unincorporated "Urban Growth Area"[edit]

Since 2005, the population of the City of Lake Stevens has nearly quadrupled from 7,400 to 28,069 currently. This has been primarily due to an effort called "One Community Around the Lake" to bring the unincorporated areas within the Urban Growth Area into the city limits. The table shown below details these efforts:

Area Annexed Method Month & Year Ordinance Acres / Square Miles Population New City Population % Increase
Northlake Direct Petition January 2006 719 855 / 1.34 2,300 9,700 31.1%
Frontier Village Direct Petition December 2006 729 708 / 1.11 3,600 13,300 37.1%
Soper Hill Direct Petition May 2007 742 292 / 0.46 1,200 14,500 9.0%
Southwest Election (56.38% FOR) December 2009 801 2,374 / 3.71 10,874 25,674 73.5%

Additionally, two small annexations have taken place during this time. The Fire District Annexation, the 1.02-acre (4,100 m2) Station 82 property on the southwest corner of Chapel Hill Road and 99th Ave NE, occurred in October 2007 (Ordinance 745), and the Corniche Annexation, the 2.91-acre (11,800 m2) commercially zoned vacant parcel on the southwest corner of Market Place and 91st Ave NE, occurred in March 2008 (Ordinance 768). Neither added to the city's population.

School district[edit]

Lake Stevens consists of one high school (Lake Stevens High School and one mid-high school (Cavelero, grades 8-9), two middle schools (Lake Stevens and North Lake) and six elementary schools (Mt. Pilchuck, Sunnycrest, Hillcrest, Glenwood, Skyline, and Highland) with a seventh elementary and a new early learning center opening during the 17-18 school year.[10]

Community newspaper[edit]

The Everett Herald is the community newspaper and is circulated daily.

Parks, trails, and ballfields[edit]

Highlighted by the lake itself, Greater Lake Stevens is home to numerous parks, trails, and ballfields, including:

Cascade mountains seen from Wyatt Park
  • Bond Field
  • Bonneville Field
  • Catherine Creek Park
  • Cavalero Park (off-leash dog park)
  • Centennial Trail
  • City Beach
  • City Boat Launch
  • Eagle Ridge Park
  • Hartford Field
  • Kid's Oasis Playground
  • Lake Stevens Community Park
  • Lochsloy Fields
  • Lundeen Park
  • North Cove Park
  • Sunset Park
  • Wyatt Park (Davies Beach)
  • Mt. Pilchuck Disc Golf Course

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  2. ^ a b c "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Lake Stevens, WA - Official Website". Retrieved 2017-05-17. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ a b "Integrated Aquatic Plant Control Plan" (PDF). City of Lake Stevens. January 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on October 19, 2016. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Lake Stevens School District / Overview". Retrieved 2017-05-17. 
  11. ^ Sandy Ringer (14 February 2011). "Lake Stevens wrestlers try to pin down storybook ending for documentary". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  12. ^ crailtap (4 May 2010). "Mini Top 5 with Cory Kennedy concerning his big move to California". crailtap on YouTube. Google Inc. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 

External links[edit]