North Bend council extends building ban

NORTH BEND - In what has become a routine occurrence, the North Bend City Council extended for another six months a building moratorium within the city at its meeting Tuesday, April 16.

Council members unanimously approved the ordinance on its final reading with little discussion. North Bend has been subject to the moratorium since April 1999 because it lacks the water rights needed for new development.

There are some exemptions to the moratorium. They include those who hold current water and sewer certificates, some public facilities and vested projects, as well as businesses and houses within the Sallal Water Association service area.

There is a restriction for Sallal users, however. Existing businesses and houses within the service area cannot obtain more water from the association than what they already use.

North Bend is currently working with the Department of Ecology to acquire more water rights, which would allow the city to lift the moratorium. It has a plan that includes using a well that has been ready since 1995 to draw water from an underlying aquifer. A second pump would take water from the aquifer and divert it to the Snoqualmie River during low flows.

In other business, the council approved a resolution that would allow the city to apply for a $1.2 million grant from the state Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation. The grant would help reimburse North Bend for the money the city spent on buying a portion of the Tollgate Farm property.

Last October, the City Council approved issuing $1.6 million in councilmanic bonds to help acquire the "central meadow" portion of the 410-acre farm.

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