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SR 305 Development Moratorium

Next Opportunity to Participate:


  • On September 13, 2023, the Poulsbo City Council passed Ordinance 2023-13 approving a 12-month development moratorium for vacant properties and properties not improved with permanent structures located within the SR 305 Corridor zoned C-3 SR 305 Corridor

What is a Moratorium:

  • A moratorium is a pause on some new development, land use, and construction applications in order for a City to consider new and/or revised development and zoning regulations. The State of Washington grants Cities the authority to adopt a moratorium under RCW 36.70A.390.

What Part of the City and Types of Projects Does the Moratorium Effect: 

  • All new building permit applications and other new land use applications that propose development on vacant properties and properties not improved with permanent structures located within the SR 305 Corridor zoned C-3 SR 305 Corridor (C-3), as depicted on the map attached to this ordinance as Exhibit A, that is not mixed-use development that meets the standards set forth in PMC 18.80.080.J, Mixed-Use Structure, or planned mixed-use development that meets the standards of PMC 18.80.090, Planned Mixed-Use Development (PMUD).  From and after adoption of this ordinance, the City shall not accept new building permit applications and new land use applications for the development of vacant properties and properties that are not improved with permanent structures within the SR 305 Corridor zoned C-3 except for applications for mixed-use development meeting the standards described in this Section.

What Doesn’t it Effect:

  • Any property owner with a C-3/SR 305 zoned property that has been issued a valid, unexpired land use permit pursuant to PMC 18.270 prior to the effective date of ordinance 2023-13 may apply to modify said permit pursuant to PMC 19.90.040.B 1-4 and/or apply for any building permit for the approved land use and is not subject to the moratorium.

Why a Moratorium:

  • The City of Poulsbo is in the process of updating its 2024 Comprehensive Plan due by December 31, 2024 and has received a population and employment allocation as well as a housing target for the 2024 Comprehensive Plan update.
  • The City has begun the State Environmental Policy Act Environmental (SEPA) Impact Statement (EIS) (spell out) scoping process as part of its 2024 Comprehensive Plan update and is considering four (4) land use and growth alternatives and two (2) of the four (4) land use and growth alternatives include focusing residential growth along the SR305 corridor.
  • The majority of the corridor is zoned Commercial-3: SR 305 Corridor (C-3) and the corridor has not attracted much residential growth and the City is interested in expanding development options for residential development as part of the 2024 Comprehensive Plan update and has allocated approximately 800 population to the SR 305 Corridor in the two (2) land use and growth alternatives.
  • The City of Poulsbo was allocated grant money from the Department of Commerce to perform a market study and feasibility analysis, a transportation plan and draft development and design standards of the SR305 Corridor; and recommended that the city consider regulatory changes to encourage development in the study area including an increase in height, reduction in front yard setbacks, allowing shared parking ratios and reduction in parking, as well as multifamily tax exemption and an allowance for 100% residential rather than Mixed-Use.
  • The market study and feasibility analysis also found that there are limited sites and areas that are likely to develop or redevelop due to multiple factors including the amount of critical areas within the corridor and that retail renovation is the most likely development scenario due to the existing zoning regulations and the City desires time to determine if the recommendations in the report should be adopted as zoning changes as well as consider the results from the transportation plan and the appropriate center designation.

How Long Will it Last:

  • This is a 12-month moratorium. As the process moves forward, staff will have better understanding of the timeline. The work plan includes study, public outreach, a draft proposal and public hearings before both the Planning Commission and the City Council. This is a lot to do in 12-months, but the City Council, Planning Commission, and staff are already working diligently. If the City Council needs to approve an extension, they would first hold a public hearing, demonstrate significant progress, and outline the steps remaining.

Opportunities to Participate:

  • Pursuant to RCW 35A.63.220 and RCW 36.70A.390, the City Council shall hold a public hearing at a City Council meeting to be held at Poulsbo City Hall, 200 Moe Street, Poulsbo, Washington, on October 18, 2023 at 5:00 p.m., or as sooner thereafter as the same may be heard.  Public testimony shall be taken at the hearing and the City Council may, but shall not be obligated to, consider adopting further findings of fact justifying the moratorium after the close of the hearing.
  • The City Council Agenda Packet is posted the Friday before the meeting.


Contact plan& with questions.