The City of Westminster has approved a 12-month moratorium on new development applications in the area of the city generally north of 92nd Avenue to help address critical sanitary sewer capacity constraints.

The city moved quickly to impose the moratorium after further study of the system’s capacity made it clear additional steps were needed to protect public health and safety.

The moratorium applies only to new applications for development in the basin that would increase demand on the Big Dry Creek Interceptor Sewer. 

Projects in the basin that do not increase the demand on the system or those projects that are not served by the Big Dry Creek Interceptor Sewer will be able to move forward. 

Projects in the Little Dry Creek basin and the North Huron basin are not affected.  

View a map of the area

Latest news

Moratorium memorandum - review process guidelines

Planning Division - development review guide

View the City Council agenda memo 

View the moratorium ordinance

City slowing development north of 92nd Avenue to address sewer capacity issues 

Westminster: Open for business

faqs

What is the Big Dry Creek Interceptor Sewer (BDCIS)?
The BDCIS is a 22-mile long system that carries wastewater for treatment to the Big Dry Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility.  The BDCIS serves approximately two-thirds of the city.    

Is the city’s sewer system safe?
Yes. The city’s sewer system is safe. Residents and businesses are well-served by the existing system.  

Where is the affected area?
Please see the map above of the affected area. This moratorium does not apply to areas of the city not served by the BDCIS, including Downtown, Westminster Station, areas generally south of West 92nd Avenue, and areas generally north of West 120th Avenue and east of North Huron Street (i.e. The Orchard).  

What does a moratorium mean?  
The city will not accept new applications for development that increase sewer demand on the BDCIS.

Who is impacted by the moratorium?
Applicants who are proceeding through the city’s development entitlement process cannot be guaranteed building permit issuance if the capacity for the BDCIS is met.  

When did the moratorium begin and how long will it last?
City Council action on Monday, July 23, enacted a moratorium, and the moratorium itself went into effect at noon on Tuesday, July 24. The current moratorium is for 12 months for areas served by the BDCIS to allow for the study of potential improvements to the BDCIS and to more accurately predict construction timelines. 

Why is this moratorium necessary?
Sewer modeling shows that the BDCIS, in existing condition, is unable to serve all applicants who seek new development in the city.  

How will the city evaluate development projects underway before the moratorium?
The city will evaluate building permit issuance for those who have applied for development projects prior to the issuance of the moratorium on a first-come, first-served basis.      

Do I need to restrict my water use?
No. While the city always encourages wise resource use and conservation where possible, no water restrictions are necessary due to the moratorium. You can flush, irrigate, etc. as normal.

Can I add a bathroom to my home?
Yes. Bathroom additions in residential homes are allowed and are not subject to the moratorium.

Can I remodel my home?
Yes. The moratorium does not affect current use of your home in any way.

Can I remodel my existing business?
In general, remodeling projects that do not place additional demands on the BDCIS will move forward as usual. The city will work with applicants for projects that would place additional demands on the BDCIS on a first-come, first-served basis as capacity of the BDCIS allows. The city will work with existing businesses to find solutions to offset impacts to the BDCIS through conservation methods.

Additional Developer FAQS

Contact us:

John McConnell, principal planner, at 303-658-2474 or by email at jmcconne@cityofwestminster.us.

Jenni Grafton, housing policy and development manager, at 303-658-2105 or by email at jgrafton@cityofwestminster.us.