Self-Storage Facilities Moratorium

The permanent regulations, Ordinance 2020-34 was approved by the City Council on December 8, 2020.


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 was originally in effect for 6 months or until November 26, 2020. City Council adopted a work plan with Ordinance 2020-12.

On June 16, 2020, City Council directed staff to move forward with gathering information for the self-service storage facilities moratorium workplan. Staff compiled information on self-service storage capacity and demand as well as researched regulations of other local jurisdictions regarding self-service storage. Staff also researched the amount of jobs self-service storage facilities provide and the vacancy rate of existing facilities. 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.

Watch the June 16, 2020, Council 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.

During the September 8, 2020, discussion, 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.  The Planning Commission discussed this topic during the September 24 and October 8 meetings, prior to holding a public hearing on October 29, 2020 and completing work on the ordinance.  Planning Commission meetings can be viewed live or any time after the meeting on the City's website.

The Planning Commission held a public hearing on October 29, 2020 on Ordinance No. 2020-34. This Ordinance will prohibit the construction of new self-service storage facilities and add provisions related to expansion of existing facilities. The Planning Commission recommended approval of Ordinance No. 2020-34 to City Council following the public hearing.  The Ordinance will move forward to Council for consideration of approval on December 8, 2020.  Planning Commission meetings can be viewed live or any time after the meeting on the City's website. 

On November 10, 2020, Council voted to extend the moratorium an additional 6 months (previously set to expire November 26, 2020), by approving Ordinance 2020-36..

Neighborhood Center Zoning Map

Business Industrial Zones Map