Council Continues Freeway/Tourist Moratorium

A limited moratorium in the Freeway/Tourist District was continued by the City Council after a public hearing on July 19. The moratorium was originally adopted on June 7 for a six-month period.

The Freeway/Tourist District consists of properties in the south portion of Mountlake Terrace, just east of I-5–including Gateway Place, the former Evergreen school site, and a few properties in the vicinity of 244th Street SW.

The moratorium is to provide time for the Freeway/Tourist zoning code to be updated without allowing new uses in the interim that could conflict with the new code and vision for future economic development. The Freeway/Tourist code has not been significant reviewed and updated for about 20 years.

The moratorium prevents new types of uses on sites in the Freeway/Tourist District–but allows permits for improvements to existing uses and new business licenses, for example when one office use is being changed to another office under a new owner. It also allows changes of use, as long as the changed use is already permitted under the current Zoning Code and had been legally established after January 1990.

Updating the code is on the Planning Commission’s 2010 work program. The Commission expects to recommend a Freeway/Tourist code update to the City Council this fall. When ready, the code update will be considered at public meetings and hearings.

The moratorium ends December 4, unless the Council votes to end it sooner or extend it.

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