Residential Moratorium

  1. Public Hearing and Consultant Selection

  2. Moratorium Work Plan

    Staff is currently developing a work plan for the 6-month moratorium. The draft plan will be presented to the Planning and Building Committee on March 5th at 5:30pm.
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Six-month Temporary Moratorium on New Residential Development

At their February 12th, 2018 meeting, the City Council passed Ordinance 1383  declaring an immediate six-month moratorium on the acceptance of certain residential development applications.  A public hearing on the ordinance will occur on March 26th to take public testimony. After the public hearing, the Council may continue, modify, or repeal the moratorium. If continued, a work plan will also be adopted.

Public Hearing Comments:
All persons will have an opportunity to present their oral comments at the public hearing which is during that City Council meeting that starts at 5:30pm.  Those wishing to submit written comments may do so at the hearing, by submitting them to the City Council via the Planning Department, by e-mail at or by facsimile at (253) 858-6408.  All written comments must be submitted by 3:00 p.m. on Monday, March 26, 2018.

Reason for the Moratorium:
The City Council noted that significant growth and development in the City is the cause of widespread concern of City residents expressed in the election of mayor and councilmembers in the 2017 election. In the last five years, the city population has risen by 30% and there are currently 1,200 dwelling units in the permit pipeline.  The Council has identified six potential code amendments that could address this residential growth, as shown on Exhibit A of the ordinance.

The council expressed concern that the rapid pace of residential development will continue and that there is the strong potential for additional residential development permits to be filed and become vested before the City staff, Planning Commission, and City Council can perform the study, public outreach and participation, and decision-making necessary to adopt any of those amendments.  

The Council felt that the vesting of additional residential land use permit applications prior to the completion of the desired study, public outreach and participation, and decision-making would be detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare.

Effect of Moratorium:
The specific limitations of and exception to the moratorium can be found in Sections 3 and Sections 4 of Ord. 1383. Below is a general summary of the effect.

For no longer than six months, unless the moratorium is extended, no new planning, civil, and building permit applications for residential development will be accepted. This includes preliminary plats, preliminary short plats, and siteplan review for residential developments. The moratorium includes the shoreline area.

Recognizing vested rights and valid approvals, the City will accept final plats, final PRDs, final short plats, civil permits, and building permits for projects related to approved development agreements, and related to full, complete, and valid applications for a preliminary plat or preliminary short plat that were submitted prior to February 12th, 2018.

The City will also continue to accept:

  • Permits for one single-family home on an existing recorded lot.
  • Permits for  repair, restoration, refurbishment, replacement and remodels of existing residential dwellings. 
  • Permits for additions to single-family homes 
  • Permits for accessory uses and structures 
  • Boundary line adjustments

The moratorium does not apply to nonresidential developments.

Upcoming Meetings:
A public hearing will be held during the City Council meeting on Monday, March 26th which begins at 5:30pm in the Council Chambers of the Civic Center, 3510 Grandview Street.

For review of the March 5th, 2018 Planning & Building Committee meeting, the packet, audio recording, and minutes, click here.

For review of the February 12th, 2018 City Council meeting, the packet, audio recording, and minutes, click here

For review of the February 5th,2018 City Council work-study session on addressing residential growth, the packet, audio recording, and minutes, click here.

For review of the January 31,2018 City Council / Staff Retreat,
click here.

Background and Supporting Documents

Initial work plan memo to Planning & Building Committee- March 5th, 2018.

Ordinance 1383– Adopted and effective February 12th, 2018
Addressing Growth Memo–February 5th, 2018 Council Work-study Session

Comments and Questions
Public Participation is encouraged through the moratorium and code development process.  Check or subscribe to this page for updates, draft documents, and meeting notices through Notify Me. You may also join the Planning Department’s Weekly Email Notice to receive timely updates by emailing Cindy Andrews or texting “GHPLANNING” to 22828

For more information on how the moratorium may impact your project, stop by the Planning Department at the Civic Center, call 253-851-6170, or email