Six-Month Temporary Building Moratorium

The City Council passed Ordinance 2018-02, a temporary six-month moratorium on the acceptance of certain development applications, during their meeting on Tuesday, January 9.

Citing a desire to have additional time to review regulations and policies to ensure the vision, guiding principles, goals and policies of the City’s Comprehensive Plan are being met to the Council’s satisfaction, the Council passed a six-month moratorium on all building permit applications or land use applications included or otherwise described in Table 2.16.010-1 of the Bainbridge Island Municipal Code. One of the key concerns expressed by the Council in adopting the moratorium is the Council’s ongoing consideration of the Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) Update. Given the significance of the update to those regulations, the Council expressed a need for a temporary “timeout” to allow for additional public outreach in determining how best to protect the Island’s unique environment.

The moratorium does not apply to building or land use applications that are already vested or specifically excluded in the “Exclusions” section of the ordinance. Those exclusions include, but aren’t limited to, the following (a full list of exclusions is available on the City website.

  • City Council legislative actions.
  • Permits and approvals for government facilities and structures, including for facilities and structures of municipal corporations and special purpose districts.
  • Permits and approvals for alterations or remodels to existing buildings that do not require a Site Assessment Review.
  • Permits and approvals for emergency repair or construction necessitated by a hazardous event or natural disaster.
  • Permits and approvals for Affordable Housing projects.
  • Permits and approvals for septic maintenance and repairs, hazardous tree or invasive plant species removal, demolition, boundary line adjustments, wireless communication facilities, and overwater structures allowed under the City’s Shoreline Master Program.
  • Building permit applications for complete site plan applications and other complete land use applications that had been submitted prior to January 9, 2018.
  • Building permit applications for single family residences in the R-0.4, R-1, and R-2 zones, for single family residences that are not part of an approved subdivision, provided that the applicant owned the property as of January 9, 2018. The applicant can only use this exclusion once.
  • Building permit applications for a single-family residence in a zone other than zones R-0.4, R-1, and R-2, provided that the building permit application for the single-family residence is not for a permit that is part of an approved subdivision.
  • Building permit applications for single family residences that in addition to fully complying with the current critical areas ordinance, certify that they will also voluntarily comply with the [proposed] critical areas ordinance, 2018-01 (January 9, 2018), specifically in regard to BIMC 16.20.100.E., Native Vegetation Protection Area Requirement. Certain conditions must be met to be eligible for this exclusion.  (Please Refer to Critical Areas Ordinance Update.)

Upcoming Meetings

A Public Hearing will be held at a City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 13 during the regular City Council meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m. 

For review of the January 9, 2018 City Council meeting and other City Council meetings, agendas, and minutes are located at City Council Agendas.

Background and Supporting Documents

Ordinance 2018-02
Land Use Procedures Summary Table (BIMC 2.16.010)

Revised Code of Washington State (RCW) Section 36.70A.390 Moratoria

News Media and Publications

Bainbridge Island Review – COBI Moratorium Article 011218 
Kitsap Sun – COBI Moratorium Article 011518

Comments and Questions

Public participation is invited throughout the Moratorium process. Check this page for updated information, timelines, draft documents and meeting notices. You may also join an email listserv to receive timely project notifications: Notify Me 

For more information on how the moratorium may impact your project, stop by the Planning and Community Development Counter at City Hall, or email .  

Contact Us

  1. Gary R. Christensen, AICP

    280 Madison Ave. N
    Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

    Ph: 206-780-3750
    Planner of the Day: 206-780-3770

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