In the next year or two, the shape of many Washington cities will be cast in concrete, or at least etched on maps. As the vagaries of land-use planning go, a big clump of counties are doing revisions to their comprehensive plans in the months ahead. These plans, though shrouded in the mind-numbing language of zoning, are among the most important decisions that will be made in the region. The plans later print out as communities, cities, qualities of life, resource consumption patterns, levels of health and welfare, and legacies left to future generations.

Today, for example, Snohomish County released a more detailed draft of its intentions, indicating which lands will stay rural and which will sprout homes, shops, and—in one case—a NASCAR speedway. The Everett Heraldreports. (Oh, and notice the advertisement relating to PBDEs on the page with the article.)