Yakima City Council moves forward with temporary hold on new extended stay hotels

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YAKIMA Wa. -- Yakima city council is moving forward with a moratorium that puts any new extended stay hotel plans on hold.

Council members formalized the moratorium and directed it to the Planning Commission during yesterday night’s council meeting.

City Spokesperson Randy Beehler says the moratorium will take effect July 24th and will allow the Planning Commission to prepare a definition to city codes and zoning regulations of extended stay hotels.

“The purpose of this moratorium is to give the city some time to do a little bit more research into definitions like hotel/motel, extended stay, that’s been assigned to the Planning Commission and then the Planning Commission will eventually make a recommendation to the council,” said Beehler.

On June 22nd Yakima City Council adopted the moratorium prohibiting the acceptance of any additional permits or applications for extended stay hotels or motels for a six-month period.

Extended stay use was defined as lodging accommodations, or lodging and meals for more than 30 consecutive days.

Beehler says the topic was brought up after a facility sent in an application trying to become a congregate living place.

“Think of, so somebody is going to come here and work for three months. They need a place to sleep and take a shower, that kind of stuff,” said Beehler.

Beehler says right now city codes don’t address that type of specific use for facilities, so the city council wants to make sure they are able to develop regulatory codes to better control the situation.

Councilmember Dulce Gutierrez says the moratorium could last up to six-months but it can be lifted if the council comes up with definitions sooner.

“I think this is something that will allow for us to not only take our time in making sure we’re really evaluating, investigating and assessing potential impacts or benefits,” said Gutierrez.

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