The Bainbridge Island, Wash., City Council unexpectedly enacted a six-month moratorium on self-storage development applications on Nov. 26. The ban will allow officials to consider regulations for self-storage and make long-term decisions regarding development within its business/industrial and neighborhood-center zoning districts, according to the source.
Though the moratorium wasn’t part of the council’s formal agenda, it voted 5-2 in favor of the stay after councilmember Joe Deets made a motion for it. Deets indicated his motivation was to have “an in-depth discussion on the long-term economic development we want,” and told fellow councilors he’d heard from several constituents promoting the storage ban. “[Self-storage facilities] really are not much of an economic driver; they don’t hire very many people,” he said.
The ban affects at least one application already in the pipeline. Seattle-based Urban Storage, which operates 51 locations in the state, including two in Bainbridge, was in the pre-application phase on a three-building project proposed for Day Road. Though Deets indicated the Urban project brought self-storage development to the forefront, he didn’t make the motion to single out the operator. “It’s not like we’re against this particular project,” he said. “That’s much too narrow of a focus.”
Councilmembers Sarah Blossom and Matthew Tirman voted against the measure. “I don’t really like this kind of reactionary behavior,” Blossom said. “Our code allows something; someone invested in land, invested time and money in a plan; works their way through the city process; we find out; we don’t like it, so we enact a moratorium.”
The city will next schedule a public hearing, followed by a work plan for the moratorium, the source reported.
Kitsap Sun, New Self-Storage Facility on Hold During Bainbridge Moratorium