Six-Month Temporary Building Moratorium

The City Council passed Ordinance Nos. 2018-02 and 2018-03 declaring a temporary six-month moratorium on the acceptance of certain development applications, with specified exclusions. On February 15, 2018, the Council enacted Ordinance No. 2018-05 amending the previous ordinances by restating those ordinances, except with regard to the effective date and duration provisions of the moratorium. Also, Ordinance No. 2018-05 does not change the basis for the declaration of emergency that was included in Ordinance No. 2018-02 and Ordinance No. 2018-03. The moratorium continues to have an effective date of January 9, 2018.

In enacting this six-month moratorium, the Council’s stated its intention to have additional time to review regulations and policies to ensure the vision, guiding principles, goals, and policies of the City’s Comprehensive Plan are being met to the Council’s satisfaction.

Ordinance No. 2018-05, Section 3, prohibits:

A. All applications for new short subdivisions (BIMC 2.16.070), new preliminary long subdivisions (BIMC 2.16.125), and new large lot subdivisions (BIMC 2.16.080).

B. Structures, buildings, and land use permits and approvals in the R-1, R-2, R-0.4, and Business/Industrial zones:

(i) That will result in less than 65% of the subject property being retained as native vegetation; or

(ii) That will result in reducing the native vegetation on the subject property by any amount if that property had native vegetation existing on less than 65% of the property as of the effective date of the moratorium.

(iii) Provided, that subsections (i) and (ii) do not prohibit structures, buildings, and land use permits and approvals in the R-1, R-2, R-0.4, and Business/Industrial zones that will result in land disturbance of 12,500 square feet or less on the subject property.

(iv) Provided further, that this Section B does not apply to complete land use applications (see BIMC Table 2.16.010-1) that were submitted prior to the effective date of the moratorium, and to the resultant site work and associated approvals related to such complete land use applications.

C. Major Site Plan and Design Review and Major Conditional Use Permit proposals that are not otherwise subject to this moratorium and that did not, before the effective date of the moratorium, have a pre-application conference on the Planning Department’s calendar.

Ordinance No. 2018-05, Section 5 (Exclusions) states that the moratorium does not apply to:

A. Permits and approvals for affordable housing projects that qualify as Housing Design Demonstration Project (HDDP) Tier 3 projects pursuant to BIMC 2.16.020.Q. and Table 2.16.020.Q-1, and

B. Permits and approvals for government facilities and structures; private vocational training institutions, preschools, K-12, and higher education facilities; wireless communication facilities; and emergency medical and disaster relief facilities.

The moratorium does not apply to building or land use applications that are already vested.

Key concerns expressed by the Council in adopting the moratorium are the Council’s ongoing consideration of the Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) Update, the urgent need to address affordable housing issues, and analyze design review standards and guidelines and long subdivision review process. Given the significance of the update to those regulations, the Council expressed a need for a temporary “timeout” to allow for additional public outreach in determining how best to protect the Island’s unique environment.

Related Meetings

The City Council held a Special  Meeting on Thursday, February 15, 2018 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm to further consider moratorium Ordinance No. 2018-05.

A Public Hearing was held at a City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 13 during the regular City Council meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m.  

The City Council conducted a February 6, 2018 Study Session to further discuss the implementation of the moratorium. The agenda for that meeting is available at City Council Agendas.

Links of the January 9, 2018 City Council meeting and other City Council meetings, agendas, and minutes are located at City Council Agendas.

Background and Supporting Documents

Revised Moratorium Handout - Updated February 15, 2018

Ordinance No. 2018-05 - Passed February 15, 2018 (Effective 02/28/18)

Draft Moratorium Revision - Discussed at Feb. 6 Work Study (Not adopted)

Moratorium Handout - Updated January 22, 2018

Ordinance 2018-03 - Passed January 16, 2018

Ordinance 2018-02 - Passed January 9, 2018

Land Use Procedures Summary Table (BIMC 2.16.010)

Revised Code of Washington State (RCW) Section 36.70A.390 Moratoria

Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC) – Topic: Development Permit Vested Rights

News Media and Publications

KING5 News – COBI Moratorium Article 011618  

KOMO News – COBI Moratorium Article 01162018

Kitsap Sun – COBI Moratorium Article 011518

Bainbridge Island Review – COBI Moratorium Article 011218 

Comments and Questions

Public participation is invited throughout the Moratorium process. Check this page for updated information, timelines, draft documents and meeting notices. You may also join an email listserv to receive timely project notifications: Notify Me 

For more information on how the moratorium may impact your project, stop by the Planning and Community Development Counter at City Hall, or email .  

Contact Us

  1. Gary R. Christensen, AICP

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