Deadly Mudslide

County Officials in Washington Landslide Area to Consider Building Ban

Officials in the Washington county where a deadly mudslide struck last month have pushed back a vote that would ultimately put a moratorium on new construction in landslide-prone areas.

The development ban ordinance in Snohomish County, initially scheduled to be heard Wednesday, is set for discussion Monday, according to reports. The county council said they wanted to give county officials more time to review the proposal, which would halt building for six months.

“Emergency ordinances are always, and should be, carefully vetted by all county agencies,” Councilmember Brian Sullivan told The Seattle Times. “I think it’s important to understand the implications.”

The moratorium would affect building within a half-mile of landslide hazard zones.

It wouldn’t stop projects that have already received the proper permits, said Council Chairman Dave Somers. But it would allow officials to assess risks and consider what new policies to enact in areas sensitive to landslides, he told The Seattle Times.

The ban comes on the heels of the March 22 hillside collapse in Oso that killed at least 41 people and demolished homes.

— Erik Ortiz