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.
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,
Background and Supporting Documents
Initial work plan memo to Planning & Building Committee- March 5th, 2018.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.