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Dec. 8, 2019

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Self-storage moratorium will likely last most of year

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Published: January 29, 2019, 9:58pm

The Vancouver City Council instituted a six-month moratorium on new self-storage facilities in December, and the temporary ban is likely to remain in place until this fall or winter, said Bryan Snodgrass, the neighborhood liaison at the city’s planning department. The ban does not affect existing facilities.

Snodgrass briefed the council on the proposed work plan for the issue at a public hearing Monday. The original measure was passed as an emergency ordinance, a procedure that requires a public hearing and an additional vote within 60 days.

The moratorium was proposed because city staff expressed concern that public storage facilities, which employ few people, are not an effective use of commercial land. The city is drafting a plan that will govern land use in commercial corridors. The plan will include language about self-storage facilities, so the ban is intended to halt further construction until the plan is in place.

Snodgrass said staff will spend the first half of this year performing an inventory of existing facilities, conducting outreach to the industry and researching the approaches taken in other cities, then draft a recommendations in the third quarter of the year. Planning commission hearings, city council work sessions and public hearings would be held in the fourth quarter.

No public testimony was offered during Monday’s brief hearing, and the council unanimously voted again in favor of the moratorium. Snodgrass said the council will likely require another public hearing in June to extend the self-storage moratorium for another six months.

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