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Posted on: February 24, 2017

Next Steps: Development Moratorium

In September 2016, the Issaquah City Council enacted a six-month moratorium on certain types of development. 

The council has since extended temporary moratorium until Sept. 6, 2017. 

In 2012 — to protect Issaquah's existing neighborhoods and natural environment — the City adopted the Central Issaquah Plan (CIP) to guide the long-term evolution of our community's existing commercial core into an urban center. 

During a July 2016 check-up on the CIP, the City assessed whether projects that have been built, approved or are currently under review met the community's vision for Central Issaquah. 

The moratorium enables the City to address several issues before more development proceeds, including:
  • Architectural fit with the community
  • Urban design elements
  • Vertical mixed use
  • Affordable housing
  • Parking
  • Visions for each Central Issaquah district
The moratorium does not, however, mean all development will stop. Projects currently under construction — or have already filed complete permit applications — can proceed. 

In November 2016, the City Council also excluded small projects consisting of four or fewer residential units or non-residential development (including existing and new) not to exceed 3,000 square feet of total building area.

In addition, the moratorium excludes:
  • Properties covered by approved development agreements
  • Transit-oriented development
  • Essential public facilities, such as fire stations and hospitals
  • Publicly-funded schools and Village Theater
  • Projects involving the sale and development of land currently owned by the City and public capital projects
  • Remodels and tenant improvements
  • Single-family homes on lots already vested through platting approvals
  • Affordable housing (with affordable units representing at least 40 percent of the total units proposed)
  • Emergency repairs or construction necessitated by a natural disaster such as fire, flooding, earthquake or other similar cause

What's Next

In November 2016, the council also adopted a revised 12-month work plan to address the identified issues, and scheduled a follow-up public hearing for Feb. 21, 2017.

Following the Feb. 21 hearing, the council decided to extend the moratorium until Sept. 6.

Learn More
To learn more about the moratorium, view the initial ordinance.

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