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Grand Coulee, WA, Passes ‘Emergency Moratorium’ on Self-Storage Development


The Grand Coulee, Wash., City Council imposed an “emergency moratorium” on self-storage development on Nov. 30. The six-month ban applies to “any establishment, building, land, structure, or land use in which any commercial mini-storage business or other storage-related business is proposed.” The freeze coincides with ongoing revisions to the city’s Comprehensive Plan, which are scheduled to be complete on May 30, 2018, the same day the moratorium ends. The ban could be lifted earlier if the city adopts permanent regulations pertaining to the location of self-storage businesses prior to the end of May, according to the source.

The special meeting of the council lasted five minutes. It was spurred by a proposal to convert a former Variety Store retail structure to self-storage. Though the store closed this fall, city officials believe repurposing the building as self-storage would “hinder the location of other revenue-generating commercial businesses and be detrimental to the appearance and financial viability of the city,” per language included in the moratorium. “The city council hereby finds and declares that an emergency exists, which necessitates that this ordinance becomes effective immediately.”

The city receives sales-tax revenue from retail businesses but not self-storage, the source reported.

Grand Coulee is one of several Washington municipalities to recently impose bans on self-storage development. Last month, the Ferndale City Council passed a six-month ban, while Federal Way enacted a one-year ban in September. Other incidents in the state include a six-month ban passed in August in Poulsbo and a previous six-month moratorium in Shoreline. Several cities across the nation have also passed similar moratoriums to curb storage projects.



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