In surprise move, city enacts Development Moratorium, cites concern of ‘rapid increase in single-family residences’

After a decade-long North Bend building moratorium ended in 2009, development has been fast paced – with almost 900 new housing unit being added to the small town over the past seven years. This past week, in a surprise move, the city council seemed to say, ‘hold on now.’

At the November 1st North Bend City Council meeting, council members passed Ordinance 1603 – enacting a six-month moratorium on the acceptance of applications for permits or approvals for single-family dwellings within the Neighborhood Business zone, Interchange Mixed Use zone and Special Districts area. The ordinance was not on the meeting agenda.

The moratorium, though, does not impact permits or approvals for a single building permit to construct one single-family dwelling, and any permitted associated accessory dwelling units, on a single existing lot – or currently vested development projects.

According to the press release announcing the move:

“The moratorium allows the City Council adequate time to review whether the development regulations in the previously mentioned commercial zones are compatible with the allowed commercial uses in the area and accurately reflects the community’s vision of protecting North Bend’s rural character, natural beauty and small town scale.”

Per the new ordinance, 893 new housing units have been added to the City of North Bend since 2009 and the city council is concerned about the “effect of the rapid increase of single-family residences… and wishes to assess whether the city is growing consistent with the adopted vision for North Bend.”

It is a similar sentiment expressed by many residents as they deal with increasing traffic and construction impacts since the recession ended and development picked up in 2012.

They city is also giving residents a formal opportunity to share their thoughts on the ordinance in early December. A public hearing on the moratorium is scheduled to take place during the December 6th City Council meeting being held at 7PM at the Mt. Si Senior Center, 411 Main Ave. S.

The city strongly encourages the public and any property owners affected by the moratorium to attend the public hearing, as well as subsequent planning efforts associated with this zoning moratorium that may be held by the City Council, Planning Commission and City Staff.



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  • This is good news. It hopefully reflects a City Council that is actually looking out for the “better good” of a community that has developers desperate to build on any available location. There seems to be a high tide of opportunity for developers because of the Seattle area’s limited available building sites and the strong magnet of high paying jobs. Thank you councilpersons for having a vision that supersedes the immediate opportunities. If Snoqualmie would do the same, perhaps the I-90 SR-18 issue could be resolved before we add additional vehicles into the already dangerous situation.

    1. The I-90/SR-18 issue is driven by development in Maple Valley and other SR-18 communities, as well as truck traffic using SR-18 instead of I-405 and I-5. The major back-ups in the afternoon are for traffic exiting both directions of I-90 and heading westbound on SR-18. The traffic using Snoqualmie Parkway is a minor part of the issue today.

      And, I agree that Snoqualmie should also slow down their development. They have grown very fast and need to let infrastructure and budgets catch up to their new size and increased complexity.

  • Living Snoqualmie