Council adopts emergency interim zoning ordinance for Main Street
August 4, 2022
Members of the Cathlamet Town Council acted on Main Street zoning concerns when they met Monday night.
At a previous meeting, council members had asked town attorney Fred Johnson to prepare an interim zoning control ordinance intended to pause conversion of Main Street storefronts into residential rentals.
While considering the ordinance, council members acknowledged the lack of affordable housing in the community alongside the goal of maintaining a Main Street commercial core.
During public comment, Main Street business owner Patty Vezaldenos, proprietor of Patty Cakes Café, spoke in favor of the ordinance. Kaden Anderson, who owns commercial and residential real estate on Main Street, reported that a street-level apartment converted from a vacant storefront was now unoccupied and would be leased to a business. Richard Erickson, a Wahkiakum Chamber of Commerce board member, outlined the challenges faced by new business owners, which include securing appropriate space to operate.
Council members unanimously approved the ordinance and its associated interim zoning map. It imposes a six-month moratorium on the conversion of Main Street-level, front-facing commercial real estate into residences, and could be extended another six months as needed. Permanent changes to zoning regulations would require additional steps.
During the next six months, town staff are directed to gather further information and the council will hold a hearing for public comment. The hearing is scheduled for the evening of September 19.