Moratorium would affect highway interchanges

Published 11:52 pm Monday, January 14, 2008

By By MIKE VOSS;Contributing Editor
During its meeting today, Washington’s City Council probably will impose a 121-day moratorium on development located in proposed highway interchange overlay districts.
Bobby Roberson, the city’s planning and development director, recommends the council impose the moratorium. The council has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed moratorium as part of its meeting. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. The Planning Board recommends the council impose the temporary moratorium.
Having adequate controls in place will help the bypass corridor to develop in a way that’s attractive, Roberson has said in the past. City officials have said they don’t want the corridor lined with all types of development.
During its October meeting, the Washington Planning Board talked about the possibility of forming highway interchange overlay districts to help guide growth around the U.S. Highway 17 bypass interchanges in Washington. The board formed a subcommittee to discuss the possibility of implementing a temporary moratorium on development around those interchanges.
A city document defines an interchange area as an area consisting of a 3,000-foot radius around the center of an interstate highway interchange.
One of the two interchange overlay districts for the bypass corridor will be located where the bypass intersects U.S. Highway 264 near the southern end of Whispering Pines Road. The other overlay district will be located where the bypass intersects U.S. Highway 17 adjacent to the northern end of Whispering Pines Road.
The city’s concerns with development adjacent to the bypass corridor go back to early 2006. That July, the council implemented a temporary moratorium on approving development on properties within 500 feet on either side of the bypass corridor boundary within the city’s jurisdiction. The moratorium was extended until Aug. 6, 2007.
In early 2006, the council began discussing the need to protect the bypass corridor from unwanted development. Existing land-use control ordinances are not adequate to respond to expected increased development adjacent to the bypass, according to the city. Land uses along the bypass right-of-way are expected to include, but not be limited to, residential, commercial, industrial and institutional.
If the moratorium is imposed today, it would expire at 11:59 p.m. May 14, unless extended by the council.
In other business, the council will conduct a public hearing on imposing a temporary moratorium on the use of synthetic composite siding as a replacement for wood siding on homes located in the Washington Historic District.
The council meets at 4:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building, 102 E. Second St.