In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, the City Council cleared the way for the anticipated extension of a moratorium on commercial and hotel development by amending city rules to allow moratoriums of up to four years.
Currently, city rules allow moratoriums to last no more than two years. But after more than 16 months of the ban on commercial and hotel development, staff members say an 18-month extension on the moratorium is needed so the council and the Planning Commission can evaluate staff's findings.
Christopher M. Harding, a lawyer who represents local developers, was upset with the decision and said the moratorium extension would be tantamount to the unconstitutional taking of property. City Atty. Robert M. Myers denied that assertion, saying that non-commercial uses will still be permitted.
A City Council vote on the moratorium extension will probably take place in February.