2020 Building Moratorium

At this time the City of Sammamish is not accepting development or construction permit applications that do not already have a Traffic Concurrency Certificate. 

For more information, please see the Moratorium FAQs below.

Background Information

On Monday April 20, 2020, the Washington State Growth Management Hearings Board (GMHB) responded to the case of Don Gerend v. City of Sammamish with a mandate to resolve outstanding growth and development questions regarding the City’s prior amendments to its transportation concurrency and level of service standards. This is not a final decision but a directive to address issues raised by the GMHB.

To give the City the necessary time to evaluate these questions, during the April 21, 2020 Regular Meeting the City Council passed a 6-month moratorium on all land use, development, and building permit applications, which went into effect immediately.

Subsequently, the City Council adopted amendments to the Moratorium on May 5, 2020 to only restrict the submittal of new applications for concurrency certificate under SMC 14A.10. An exception was included for public agency uses by the City Council on May 11, 2020.

On July 28, 2020, at the City Council Special Meeting, the City Council voted to repeal Ordinances Nos. O2020-501 and O2020-502 and replace with a new moratorium, O2020-508on the acceptance of applications for concurrency certificates under Sammamish Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 14A.10.  There are no substantive changes between the repealed and new moratorium ordinances.  The new moratorium is effective immediately for a period of six (6) months or until January 28, 2021.

The City Council held public hearing on September 1, 2020, in order to take public testimony and consider adopting further findings of fact. No changes to the moratorium passed on July 28, 2020 were made following the public hearing. The City Council may elect to extend the moratorium for one or more six month periods under RCW 35A.63.22. However any further action, with public hearing, on the part of the City Council is required for extension.  


Have a comment?

Please submit comments related to O2020-508 to the City Clerks Office at City Clerk or Deputy City Clerk


Moratorium FAQs

General Questions 

1. With the moratorium in place, what does that mean for my current application? 

Existing applications (submitted prior to April 22, 2020) will continue to be reviewed and processed. Applications will be accepted for projects that do not require a traffic concurrency certificate.

2. So what types of project applications will be accepted?

Applications for the following types of projects may now be submitted:

  • remodels or expansions to existing single-family homes
  • docks or other shoreline development
  • landscaping, clearing & grading, and other site improvements
  • tree removals
  • demolition of existing structures
  • construction of new single-family homes on lots that are vested under RCW 58.17.170
  • traffic concurrency for school-related projects

3.  What types of applications will not be accepted? 

New traffic concurrency applications will not be accepted, along with any application for development that requires a traffic concurrency certificate, when a certificate has not been issued or has expired. This includes, but is not limited to, new accessory dwelling units (ADUs), new single-family homes on lots not vested as part of a recent subdivision (RCW 58.17.170), and any commercial tenant improvement for a more intensive use.

You may submit for Project Guidance for more information. This is a free service, providing you with basic information for potential projects.

4. How long will this moratorium last?

The Ordinance O2020-508 is in place for six months. If no action is taken by City Council to extend the moratorium, it will no longer be in affect as of January 29, 2021.


Permit Center Questions 
1. My application is under review or approved but not yet issued, can I pay issuance fees and receive the permit? 

Yes. Since the permit application was submitted and paid for prior to April 22, 2020, it will still be reviewed and processed. For all existing applications, corrections will continue to be accepted. 

2. I have a permit for a remodel/addition and need an electrical permit to complete the work, can I get this permit? 

Yes. All mechanical, plumbing, and electrical permits associated with a building permit will be allowed. 

3. Can I still submit corrections to my existing permit/project application? 

Yes. For all existing applications, corrections will continue to be accepted. 

4. May I still apply for Project Guidance or Pre-Development Services? 

Yes. Since a Project Guidance or a Pre-Development Services request are both means of providing public information, and are NOT applications, those will continue to be accepted and processed by the City. 

5. Can I do an addition/remodel to my existing single-family residence? 

Yes. Permit applications for existing residences that are deemed complete will be accepted and reviewed.  

6. I need to submit a financial guarantee for my project/permit, can I still do this?  

Yes. As long as the financial guarantee is for a existing project/permit application, it will continue to be reviewed and processed.  

7. A public agency (such as a school district) wants permits for work to be completed during the summer, are schools and other public projects exempted from the moratorium? 

Yes. The moratorium amendment adopted by City Council on May 11, 2020 clarified that public projects for parks, trails, schools, and public agency facilities are exempt from the moratorium. 

8. I have a vested subdivision, am I able to apply for permits for site work or new single-family residences? 

Yes. Permit applications for the construction of new single-family homes on lots that are vested under RCW 58.17.170 will be reviewed and processed.  


Public Works Questions 
1. Can I submit for a right-of-way (ROW) permit? 

Yes. The emergency ordinance does not prohibit right-of-way permits.  Right-of-way permits are covered under Chapter 14A.30 of the Municipal Code and was not included in the ordinance. 

2. I would like to replace my driveway, can I get a permit for this? 

Yes. All right-of-way permits are allowed to be submitted for work to be done in the public right-of-way. 

3. I am a utility company and need to perform repairs to my existing facilities, can I do this? 

Yes. You can perform maintenance, repairs, and upgrades to your systems in the public right-of way.  A right-of-way permit will need to be submitted, reviewed, and approved prior to any work starting. 

4. I am a developer who has had a pre-application conference, can I submit for a traffic concurrency test?  

No. The emergency moratorium prohibits traffic concurrency applications to be submitted and performed. 

5. I have submitted for a right-of-way permit, will it be reviewed and issued? 

Yes.Right-of-way permits will continue to be reviewed and issued upon approvals. 


Fire Questions
1. Are Fire Sprinkler/Fire Alarm Permits affected by the moratorium?

No. You may apply for a Fire permit for sprinklers and/or alarms. 


Code Compliance Questions
1. If I was required by the City to apply for building permits based on an active code enforcement case, can I still apply for a building permit?

It depends. You may apply for a building permit if the work that needs to be done qualifies as exempt from the moratorium. 

2. Will code compliance continue to enforce the code during the moratorium?

Yes. Enforcement will continue. However, cases may not be resolved until permits are able to be obtained. For cases not requiring permits, enforcement will continue as normal.