Design Stanwood was started in May 2003 when the Design Assistance Team, sponsored by the Northwest Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, visited Stanwood, studied its needs, identified areas for improvement and prepared a written report that outlined specific changes that could be made to enhance the City of Stanwood. This was a rare occasion in community planning when the planning process was truly cooperative. The Stanwood Design Assistance Team and the results documented in the report were the products of a true partnership of government (City and State agencies), private enterprise (small businesses led by a local architecture firm), organizations (including the American Institute of Architects), and individual volunteerism. Without the dedicated work of each of these groups, and particular dedication on the parts of individuals within these groups, the report would not have been possible.

The result of this cooperative effort was a common vision for a small town. More than that, it brought together all people and stakeholders. No one was left out unless by choice. It was an act of opening communication – a new form of dialogue – permanently.

The Design Stanwood Board recognizes this report as more than just words and drawings to illustrate a vision for a downtown – it is a new beginning for a town entering its second centennial.

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