Incorporated in 1903, the City of Arlington is located in northern Snohomish County approximately 10 miles north of Everett and 40 miles north of Seattle. The City limits cover an area of approximately 8.2 square miles, and is roughly bounded by the Stillaguamish River and its flood plain on the north-northwest; I-5 on the west; 164th Street NE to 67th Avenue then 172nd Street on the south; and by SR-9 and the South Fork Stillaguamish flood plain on the east. The City of Marysville lies to the south, and the Tulalip Indian Reservation to the southwest. Further east up the Stillaguamish Valley is the City of Darrington.
The City and the immediate area is primarily suburban and rural residential with supporting retail and commercial enterprises. Light industrial and manufacturing business are located in the central portions of the City around the City-owned Arlington Airport. Unlike many small towns, Arlington is an employment center with approximately 2.2 jobs per household.
The City has experienced continued growth over the last twenty years, increasing population by over 450% since 1980. Arlington’s current population is about 15,000 and is expected to double by 2025. People and businesses are drawn to the area by the availability of suitable property and accessibility to water and sewer services.
Industrial and Commercial
The local industrial, commercial and retail activities provide a significant portion of the area’s economic base, which is supplemented by “commuter payrolls” in nearby Everett. Therefore, the economy of Arlington is influenced by the industry in the surrounding area, the most significant of which is Boeing’s manufacturing facilities, the Navy’s carrier home base and the “Technology Corridor.”
Over the years, the greater Arlington area has realized an increase in commercial and industrial growth. The most significant growth has occurred at the City’s municipal airport. In addition to the many aviation related assets, the airport also provides benefits to local businesses and industries and encourages additional economic development and expansion throughout the City and surrounding communities. Located at the Arlington Airport are over 160 companies employing over 2,500. The Airport is also in the process of developing an additional 124 acres of business parks.
Smokey Point, annexed to the City in 1999, is a business community located in southwest Arlington that is a rapidly growing commercial and retail area that serves the City and the City of Marysville.
Education in the City is provided primarily through the Arlington School District, which had a 2003-2004 student enrollment of 5,102 FTEs and a staff of 310 FTE teachers and 259 FTE staff. The School District operates five elementary schools, a middle school, a high schools and an alternative high school. The Lakewood School District serves the Smokey Point neighborhood.
Although there are no four-year colleges located in the immediate vicinity of the City of Arlington, nearby four-year colleges include the University of Washington, which is the largest single-campus university in the far west, Seattle University and Seattle Pacific University, all of which are located in Seattle. Western Washington University is located in the City of Bellingham, 48 miles north of Arlington. Public and private colleges located within 20 miles of the City include Everett Community College, City University and Cogswell College in Everett; Edmonds Community College Edmonds; Cascadia Community College in Bothell; and Columbia College which opened online courses at the Naval Support Complex just south of Arlington.
The City of Arlington operates its own municipal airport. The airport has two runways of 3,500 and 5,333 feet capable of handling aircraft of up to 270,000 lbs. There are 500 aircraft located at the airport including multi-engine, single engine, helicopters, gliders and ultra lights. The airport is the scene of an annual aviation event called the Northwest Experimental Aircraft Association Fly-In and Sport Aviation Convention that attracts unique and experimental aircraft from all over the country. The four-day event is held in July each year.
The City is also served by freight rail of Burlington Northern Railway, which has lines adjacent to the airport and through the center of the City. Interstate 5 passes along the western boundary of the City from Smokey Point to the Stillaguamish River on Arlington’s northwest. Three state highways also traverse the City: SR-9, SR-530, and SR-531.
Cascade Valley Hospital serves the Arlington vicinity with a 48-bed hospital and eight primary and specialty care clinics. The hospital and clinics have a medical staff of 95-100 and total staff of approximately 425. The hospital is a preferred provider for many of the area medical plans including Group Health and Providence Medical and provides hospital and level 4 trauma services as part of the North Snohomish County Health System.
The Regency Care Center, a Regency Pacific, Inc, long-term care facility is also located in the City. The Center provides 96 beds and a staff of 130-140l and a 108-unit assisted care facility, the Olympic Place Retirement Center for the senior population of the area.