Port Angeles council repeals temporary surface parking lot ban

Development said to be an issue

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles City Council has repealed a temporary moratorium it had adopted in September on the installation of surface-style parking lots within some commercial sectors of the city. The council took the action on Wednesday.

“The council wants development, and it became clear that the moratorium was preventing that,” Community Development Director Allyson Brekke said.

No council members were available to comment on Thursday.

The temporary moratorium was enacted because it allowed for additional time to explore options as well as allow the city to draft new land-use codes regarding surface parking lots as it looked at land-use code revisions to address the housing crisis.

It was required by law to conduct a public hearing within 60 days of the adoption but repealed it before that time.

The city received a grant from the state Department of Commerce to have an analysis of its land-use codes conducted, specifically to make changes to the codes to allow for multifamily housing in the city’s commercial districts.

The analysis showed that surface parking lots in the commercial corridors were problematic to the code changes the city is trying to achieve.

“This type of parking creates an excess of hard surfaces within the city, sometimes requires the demolition of existing buildings that provide, or could provide, housing in the community, and creates problems in achieving pedestrian-oriented and high-quality commercial block frontages,” Brekke said.

Staff initially recommended the city revise the moratorium to a central area west of Ennis Street rather than the U.S. Highway 101/Front Street/First Street area.

Staff also recommended that the moratorium only be specific to surface parking lots that are on their own lots and not associated with other buildings.

Staff members will come back to the city council on Nov. 16 with more information.

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