Sammamish enacts emergency moratorium on new development

Sammamish enacts emergency moratorium on new development

  • Thursday, October 5, 2017 9:43am
  • News

The city of Sammamish followed its neighbor Issaquah’s footsteps; at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the council unanimously approved an emergency moratorium on most new development until city leaders have implemented a revised traffic model.

“We can’t stop growth, but we can manage it,” City Manager Lyman Howard stated in a press release on Wednesday. “We’re in an intense cycle of strategic planning at the same time all this growth is happening. The building moratorium is like a time out or a pause. It’s a temporary reprieve while we complete the planning necessary to guide development in alignment with our Comprehensive Plan.”

Council members specifically want to complete their work developing a revised traffic concurrency policy and traffic modeling program. They voted in July to make alleviating traffic congestion their No. 1 priority, and the emergency ordinance provides them time to do in-depth analysis of current conditions, the press release said.

City leaders are working with a consultant to explore alternative concurrency models. They expect to select a preferred approach and begin looking at implications by January 2018.

Because this is an emergency ordinance, the council must hold a public hearing on the moratorium within 60 days and review and renew the action if it lasts beyond six months.

The moratorium does not mean all development will stop. Projects can proceed if they are already under construction or have development applications filed with the city. With approximately two years’ worth of such projects in the pipeline, it will likely take some time before citizens notice the effect of the moratorium.

In addition, the moratorium excludes affordable-housing projects and publicly-funded facilities.

The Issaquah City Council enacted a similar emergency moratorium in September 2016, which is scheduled to lift at the end of this year.

More specific information is available in a Sammamish Building Moratorium FAQ sheet at

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Screenshot from ORCA website
New ORCA system launches for regional transit across the Puget Sound

Overhaul includes new website, mobile application and digital business account manager.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII (Episode 4): Foster mom wants accountability in Auburn cop’s upcoming murder trial

Special podcast series explores Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

Sunset Elementary School. Courtesy of Google.
Sunset Elementary School cancels classes over COVID-19 challenges

The school will be closed on May 16 and May 17.

Courtesy of Cougar Mountain Zoo.
Cougar Mountain Zoo launches nationwide interactive class

The class will take place on May 17 at 4:00 p.m. and will show eating habits of animals.

FILE PHOTO: King County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
Dozens of King County Sheriff’s Office employees left jobs instead of getting vaccinated

This added on to the existing number of vacancies in the department.

Pamela Stuart (Screenshot from Twitter)
King County Council chooses Pamela Stuart to fill Sammamish City Council vacancy

The seat became vacant when Ken Gamblin resigned on January 17.

Courtesy of Raintown Realty.
Raintown Realty partners with Side to assist with evolving real estate market

According to Raintown Realty, in 2021 the company garnered $113 million in transaction volume.

King County logo
King County audit finds backlog of property tax exemption applications for seniors, people with disabilities, and disabled veterans

The auditors found that program expansions lead to three-times the amount of applications.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson (Screenshot from video press conference)
AG announces $518 million settlement from pharmaceutical companies over their role in opioid crisis

Most of the settlement money will be used to mitigate the opioid crisis in Washington.

Most Read