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 (TCR). 

On April 20, 2021, City Council adopted an immediate six-month moratorium, Ordinance O2021-529, restricting certain applications for TCRs. The moratorium includes exceptions for: 
  • Public agencies, as defined by Sammamish Municipal Code (SMC) 21A.15.915
  • Single-family residences on existing vacant lots, as defined by SMC 21A.15.365
  • Accessory dwelling units (ADUs), as defined by SMC 21A.15.350 and 21A.15.351
  • Affordable duplexes on existing vacant lots, as defined by SMC 21B.15.160 that meet provisions of 21B.75.050 and 21B.75.060
Applications for TCRs will be accepted and processed in the order received starting on January 27, 2021. Any applications submitted on before then will be rejected. 

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.

On April 21, 2020, the City Council passed an immediate 6-month moratorium on all land use, development, and building permit applications.

Subsequently, in May 2020, City Council adopted amendments to limit the restriction to the submittal of new applications for Traffic Concurrency Certificates, with an exception for public agencies.

On July 28, 2020, City Council adopted a replacement 6-month that would expire on January 28, 2021.

On January 19, 2021, ordinance O2021-525 was adopted by City Council to renew the existing moratorium for an additional 6-month period. This moratorium was in effect from January 27, 2021 until July 27, 2021, with exceptions for:

  • public agencies, as defined by SMC 21A.15.915,
  • single-family residences on existing lots, and
  • accessory dwelling units



Moratorium FAQs


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

Any current application will continue to be reviewed. Any project that has already received a Traffic Concurrency Certificate (TCR), and the TCR has not expired, may submit for subsequent development applications. 

So what types of projects may now apply for a TCR?

The current moratorium has exceptions for:

  •  one single-family residence on an existing lot
  •  one accessory dwelling unit (ADU), attached or detached, on an existing residential lot
  •  public agencies (such as cities, counties, and school districts)
  •  affordable duplexes in Town Center (TC) zoning districts on existing vacant lots, as defined by SMC 21B.15.160 that meet provisions of 21B.75.050 and 21B.75.060

What types of applications will not be accepted? 

TCR applications will not be accepted for subdivisions (for any number of lots), multifamily residential development, or commercial development. 

Any application for a building permit or land use permit must have a valid TCR in order to be accepted, in accordance with SMC 20.05.040

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

How long will this moratorium last?

Ordinance O2021-529 is in place for six months, from April 20, 2021 through November 20, 2021. 


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. 

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. 

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

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

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. 

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.  

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.  

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. Ordinance O2021-529 states that public projects for parks, trails, schools, and public agency facilities are exempt from the moratorium. 

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.  


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. 

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. 

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. 

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

No. The moratorium prohibits traffic concurrency applications to be submitted and performed, except for single-family residences on existing lots and accessory dwelling units. 

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. 


Are Fire Sprinkler/Fire Alarm Permits affected by the moratorium?

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


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. 

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.