Self-Storage Facilities Moratorium

On November 26, 2019 the City Council imposed a temporary six-month moratorium on the acceptance of building permit or land use permit applications for new self-service storage facilities in the Business/Industrial (B/I) and Neighborhood Service Center (NSC) zoning districts. The moratorium does not apply to permits required for upkeep, repair, or maintenance of existing self-service storage structures or to building permits and other land use approvals related to self-service storage facilities that received land use approval for such a facility prior to the effective date of this moratorium and for which self-service storage facilities exist currently on the subject property, and for which any new structures are included within what was approved for the site prior to the effective date of the moratorium.  

The moratorium is in effect for 6 months, or until November 26, 2020, unless terminated or renewed by the City Council for one or more six month periods. The Council adopted a work plan with Ordinance 2020-12.

On June 16, 2020, the City Council directed staff to move forward with gathering information for the self-service storage facilities moratorium workplan. Staff will compile information on self-service storage capacity and demand as well as research regulations of other local jurisdictions regarding self-service storage.Staff will also research the amount of jobs that self-service storage facilities provide and the vacancy rate of existing facilities (if available). Council also requested that staff look at the environmental impacts of self-service storage and the existing self-service storage square footage and how much that equates to square footage per person.

It’s anticipated that staff will present an update to the Council in July and seek direction from the Council on how to proceed.

The various options for the Council to consider may include (but are not limited to):

  • Limit self-service storage to one of the two zoning districts (Business Industrial & Neighborhood Center)
  • Develop use-specific standards for self-service storage (i.e., design character, require market demand analysis, increased landscape buffers);
  • Eliminate self-service storage as an allowed use; or
  • Require self-service storage to obtain a conditional use permit in existing or other zoning districts. Council also expressed on Tuesday an interest in allowing existing self-service storage facilities to expand.

Watch the June 16 discussion here.

On September 8, 2020, Staff provided Council information and analysis on existing self-service storage facilities on Island as well as code regulations from surrounding west sound jurisdictions. The purpose of the presentation was to follow the workplan for the self-service storage facilities moratorium (Ordinance 2020-12), provide further information on this topic based on staff’s research and analysis in response to the Council’s request, and receive direction from the Council on how they want to regulate self-service storage facilities on Bainbridge Island.

Council directed the city manager to work with staff to eliminate self storage as a conditional use in the Neighborhood Service Centers and as an allowed use in the Business/Industrial zones. Staff will begin drafting an ordinance based on Council direction and take it through the legislative process, beginning with a meeting with the Planning Commission. The first meeting with the Planning Commission is September 24th.

Neighborhood Center Zoning Map

Business Industrial Zones Map