VANCOUVER, WA-A development moratorium in the Salmon Creek Corridor here was officially reinstated this week by the Board of Clark County Commissioners. The emergency action was taken because county code requires development to be halted when resulting traffic would cause existing transportation facilities to fail. In fact, the area has been in a de-facto moratorium since March. That’s when travel speeds in the Salmon Creek Corridor fell below established standards, pushing the corridor into what is called concurrency failure. As a result, the county has been accepting development applications for the area but hasn’t been able to approve them due to the traffic speeds. With the formal action this week, no additional development applications will be accepted for the area until the moratorium is lifted. There are about 15 seperate project applications on hold because of the moratorium, including 377 units of housing and 63,000 sf of commercial space.Clark County’s director of community development Rich Carson tells the moratorium could last for up to two years depending on how long it takes to source funding for the necessary roadwork to improve speeds in the corridor. Board chair Betty Sue Morris was unavailable Wednesday for comment. In a prepared statement, she says the county will look to the private sector for a solution. “In imposing this moratorium, we are making a commitment to develop a work plan that addresses the situation, and we will have that work plan in place within 60 days.” she says. “Public-private partnerships will be key to producing the infrastructure that the area needs for long-term growth.”The moratorium covers the same area as a previous moratorium that was imposed in November 2001, expanded in January 2002 and lifted 12 months later. On the west side of I-5, the area is bounded roughly by Whipple Creek on the north and Salmon Creek on the south. East of I-5, it is bounded roughly by 179th Street on the north, 119th Street on the south, and 50th Avenue on the east.The moratorium was lifted not because traffic speeds improved, but because the county lowered the speed that is considered acceptable. Carson tells that the standard cannot be lowered any further without creating life safety issues. “People start doing crazy things when it takes them too much time to get through a traffic signal,” he says.A work session to begin discussing the work plan for this area takes place August 18 at 10 a.m. in the county’s Public Service Center, 6th floor, 1300 Franklin Street, Vancouver.

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