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‘Emergency Moratorium’ on Self-Storage Development Approved for Ferndale, WA

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Update 11/13/17 – Though Ferndale councilmembers and city staff expressed reservations about imposing a six-month ban on self-storage development during a Nov. 6 meeting, the council approved the moratorium. A public hearing on the ordinance is required to be held within 60 days of its adoption, according to the source.


11/7/17 – The Ferndale, Wash., City Council was expected to discuss a staff-recommended “emergency moratorium” on self-storage development during its meeting last night. The proposed six-month ban would apply to the “submission, acceptance, processing or approval of any permit or land-use applications related to storage, mini-storage or similar uses,” according to the source.

The proposal indicates the “potential proliferation of storage operations threatens the existing and planned character of the General Business zone, specifically along Portal Way.” City staff also cited a lack of new jobs created by storage properties in its assessment.

The city is processing several self-storage development applications, with at least four pending, the source reported. One of those projects was submitted by Doug Scoggins, owner of Pioneer Post Frame Inc., which specializes in commercial, agricultural and personal storage buildings, according to its website.

Scoggins already operates “several storage-facility buildings” on Portal Way and recently proposed a new facility on 20 acres of land along the street. The property has already been cleared in preparation for a business park and food-manufacturing facility, but the latter appears to have backed out of the plan, the source reported.

The Scoggins proposal and others already in the review process would be considered “vested” and not subject to the temporary ban if it’s passed, according to Jori Burnett, community-development director for Ferndale. “The moratorium is focused exclusively on the acceptance of applications for new projects,” Burnett told the source.

In September, officials in Federal Way, Wash., imposed a one-year ban on new self-storage development. Several cities across the nation have enacted similar moratoriums to curb storage projects. Other incidents in Washington include a six-month ban passed in August in Poulsbo and a previous six-month moratorium in Shoreline.

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