The Poulsbo, Wash., City Council last week approved a six-month moratorium on self-storage development in the commercial zoning district along State Highway 305. The Aug. 16 unanimous vote was spurred by applications for two new properties, an expansion of an existing site and other inquiries about building storage in the area, which already contains four facilities, according to the source.
Prior to the vote, council members discussed their concerns about preserving the city’s character. “We’re seeing a lot of projects coming forward, and there may be more coming in tomorrow,” councilmember Jeff McGinty said. “All we’re saying is, let’s just put the brakes on it, do an analysis, do a public hearing, see what the public wants. If it turns out to be the way it is, it stays that way or we change it to the appropriate thing.”
An abundance of self-storage facilities along the highway isn’t the vision residents have for the city, Mayor Becky Erickson said. “I have real concerns about what’s going on here. I would really appreciate a serious timeout and some close inspection of the decisions here,” she added.
In recent months, Poulsbo Self Storage submitted an application to build a multi-story, 90,000-square-foot facility on a 2.5-acre property at 10th Avenue and Lincoln Road. In addition, Sherlock Self Storage is seeking to develop a five-building complex totaling 121,000 square feet on about 9 acres of land on the north end of 7th Avenue, according to Karla Boughton, planning and economic-development director.
The city also received an application from Reliable Storage about expanding its facility at 1080 N.E. Forrest Rock Lane. The two-building addition will comprise 18,500 square feet.
The moratorium will temporarily block all three projects as well as any new proposals for storage development. To make it official, the council will hold a public hearing on Sept. 20. Council members also have the option to extend the moratorium beyond the six months, let it lapse or even permanently change the city’s zoning code, the source reported.
“We have to monitor all aspects of the zoning code,” councilmember Connie Lord said. “There’s a lot of different possibilities that can happen in our various zones. It’s just one of those things that kind of was off our radar screen as far as, ‘Hey, is this exactly what we think is appropriate in this particular zone?’”