Chapter 17.045


17.045.001    Authority and purpose.

17.045.002    Applicability.

17.045.003    Geographic scope.

17.045.004    Imposition of transportation impact fees.

17.045.005    Fee schedules and establishment of service area.

17.045.006    Calculation of impact fees.

17.045.007    Time of payment of impact fees.

17.045.008    Project list.

17.045.009    Funding of projects.

17.045.010    Refunds.

17.045.020    Appeals.

17.045.030    Relationship to SEPA.

17.045.040    Relationship to concurrency.

17.045.050    Necessity of compliance.

17.045.060    Administrative fees.

17.045.070    Impact fee schedule.

17.045.080    Deferral of impact fees.

17.045.001 Authority and purpose.

A.    This title is enacted pursuant to the city’s police powers, the Growth Management Act as codified in Chapter 36.70A RCW, the enabling authority in Chapter 82.02 RCW, Chapter 58.17 RCW relating to platting and subdivisions, and the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), Chapter 43.21C RCW.

B.    The purpose of this title is to:

1.    Develop a program consistent with the Imagine Bothell... Comprehensive Plan, the six-year transportation improvement program and the city capital improvement plan, for joint public and private financing of transportation improvements necessitated in whole or in part by development in the city;

2.    Ensure adequate levels of transportation and traffic service within the city;

3.    Create a mechanism to charge and collect fees to ensure that all new development bears its proportionate share of the capital costs of off-site transportation facilities directly necessitated by new development, in order to provide an adequate level of transportation service;

4.    Ensure that the city pays its fair share of the capital costs of transportation facilities necessitated by public use of the transportation system; and

5.    Ensure fair collection and administration of such impact fees.

C.    The provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed to effectively carry out its purpose in the interests of the public health, safety and welfare. (Ord. 2014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 1658 § 1, 1996).

17.045.002 Applicability.

A.    The requirements of this chapter apply to all development activity in the city of Bothell.

B.    Mitigation of impacts on transportation facilities located in jurisdictions outside the city will be required when:

1.    The other effective jurisdiction has reviewed the development’s impact under its adopted impact fee/mitigation regulations and has recommended to the city that the city impose a requirement to mitigate the impacts; and

2.    There is an interlocal agreement between the city and the effective jurisdiction specifically addressing transportation impact identification and mitigation. (Ord. 2014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 1658 § 1, 1996).

17.045.003 Geographic scope.

The boundaries within which impact fees shall be charged and collected are co-extensive with the corporate city limits, and shall include all unincorporated areas annexed to the city on and after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter. After the adoption of interlocal agreements with other local and regional governments, geographic boundaries may be expanded consistent therewith. (Ord. 2014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 1658 § 1, 1996).

17.045.004 Imposition of transportation impact fees.

A.    The approving authority is hereby authorized to impose transportation impact fees on new development according to the provisions of this chapter.

B.    Transportation impact fees:

1.    Shall only be imposed for system improvements that are reasonably related to the new development;

2.    Shall not exceed a proportionate share of the costs of system improvements that are reasonably related to the new development;

3.    Shall be used for system improvements that will reasonably benefit the new development;

4.    May be collected and spent only for system improvements which are addressed by a capital facilities plan element of the Imagine Bothell... Comprehensive Land Use Plan identifying:

a.    Deficiencies in public facilities serving existing development and the means by which existing deficiencies will be eliminated within a reasonable period of time;

b.    Additional demands placed on existing public facilities by new developments; and

c.    Additional public facility improvements required to serve new development;

5.    Should not be imposed to mitigate the same off-site transportation facility impacts that are mitigated pursuant to any other law;

6.    Should not be collected for improvements to state transportation facilities outside the city boundaries unless the state requests such improvements and an agreement to collect such fees has been executed between the state/county and the city;

7.    Shall not be collected for improvements to transportation facilities in other municipalities unless the affected municipality requests such improvement and an interlocal agreement has been executed between the city and the affected municipality for the collection of such fees;

8.    Should not be collected for any development approved prior to the date of adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter unless changes or modifications in the development requiring city approval are subsequently proposed which result in greater direct impacts on transportation facilities than were considered when the development was first approved; and

9.    Shall be collected only once for each development, unless changes or modifications to the development are proposed which result in greater direct impacts on transportation facilities than were considered when the development was first approved.

C.    For a change in use of an existing building or dwelling unit, including any alteration, expansion, replacement, or new accessory building, the impact fee shall be the applicable impact fee for the land use category of the new use, less any impact fee previously paid for the land use category of the prior use. If no impact fee was required for the prior use, the impact fee for the new use shall be reduced by an amount equal to the current impact fee rate for the prior use; provided, that the prior use was in effect within three years of the most recent adopted date of this title.

D.    For relocation of an existing land use to another location within the city, the impact fee shall be the applicable impact fee for the land use category of the relocated land use; provided, that should the building at the previous land use location be removed, then the impact fee shall be reduced by an amount equal to the current impact fee rate for the prior land use in the removed building. (Ord. 2014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 1658 § 1, 1996).

17.045.005 Fee schedules and establishment of service area.

A.    An impact fee schedule setting forth the amount of the transportation impact fees to be paid by a development is set out in BMC 17.045.070. The impact fee rates are generated using the methodology and formulas set forth in the rate study, which is incorporated herein by reference.

B.    For the purpose of this chapter, the entire city shall be considered one service area. (Ord. 2014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 1877 § 1, 2002; Ord. 1658 § 1, 1996).

17.045.006 Calculation of impact fees.

A.    The director shall calculate the transportation impact fees as set forth in BMC 17.045.070, subject to the provisions of this chapter.

B.    In determining the proportionate share, the method of calculating impact fees shall incorporate, among other things, the following:

1.    The cost of public streets and roads necessitated by new development;

2.    An adjustment to the cost of the public streets and roadways for past or future payments made or reasonably anticipated to be made by new development to pay for particular system improvements in the form of user fees, debt service payments, taxes, or other payments earmarked for or proratable to the particular system improvement;

3.    The availability of other means of funding public street and roadway improvements;

4.    The cost of existing public street and roadway improvements; and

5.    The methods by which public street and roadway improvements were financed.

C.    A credit, not to exceed the impact fee otherwise payable, shall be provided for the value of any dedication of land for, improvement to, or new construction of any system improvements provided by the developer to facilities that are identified in the capital facilities plan and on the project list (BMC 17.045.008) and that are required by the city as a condition of approving the development activity. The determination of “value” shall be consistent with the assumptions and methodology used by the city in estimating the capital improvement costs.

D.    The director may adjust the standard impact fee at the time the fee is imposed to consider unusual circumstances in specific cases to ensure that impact fees are imposed fairly.

E.    The amount of fee to be imposed on a particular development may be adjusted by the director giving consideration to studies and other data available to the director or submitted by the developer demonstrating to the satisfaction of the director that an adjustment should be made in order to carry out the purposes of this chapter. Independent fee calculations for traffic impact fees shall use the same formulas and methodology used to establish the impact fees in this title and shall be limited to adjustments in trip generation rates used in the rate study, and shall not include travel demand forecasts, trip distribution, costs of street projects, or cost allocation procedures. Independent fee calculations for land uses not included on the impact fee schedule shall document trip generation rates, adjustments for pass-by trips and trip length adjustments applied to the cost per p.m. peak hour trip end documented in the most recent rate study. The director may develop administrative guidelines and technical procedures regarding the independent fee calculations.

F.    The impact fee shall provide for system improvement costs previously incurred by the city to the extent that new growth and development will be served by the previously constructed improvements; provided, that such fees shall not be imposed to make up for any system improvement deficiencies.

G.    Cost Indexing. At the end of any 12-month period in which the impact fees are not updated, the director may adjust the traffic impact fee schedule by the same amount as the percentage change in the Seattle-Tacoma area Consumer Price Index for the most recent 12-month period prior to the date of the adjustment. (Ord. 2166 § 1 (Exh. A), 2015; Ord. 2014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 1877 § 1, 2002; Ord. 1658 § 1, 1996).

17.045.007 Time of payment of impact fees.

A.    All developers shall pay an impact fee in accordance with the provisions of this chapter at the time that the applicable development permit is ready for issuance. The fee paid shall be the amount in effect as of the date of the permit issuance.

B.    All developers shall pay an impact administrative fee at the time of application for a development permit as set forth in the fee schedule adopted by resolution of the city council.

C.    The impact fee, as initially calculated after issuance for a development permit, shall be recalculated at the time of payment if the development is modified or conditioned in such a way as to alter the trip generation rate for the development.

D.    No development permit shall be issued until the impact fee is paid, except that developers of residential subdivisions, short subdivisions, or planned unit developments may defer payment until building permits are issued for the lots within the subdivision, short subdivision or planned unit development.

E.    A developer may obtain a preliminary determination of the impact fee before application for a development permit, by paying the administrative fee and providing the director with the information needed for processing.

F.    Impact fees may be paid under protest in order to obtain a permit or other approval of development activity. (Ord. 2014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 1658 § 1, 1996).

17.045.008 Project list.

A.    The director shall commonly review the city’s comprehensive land use and transportation plan (“comprehensive plan”) and shall:

1.    Identify each project in the comprehensive plan that is growth-related and the proportion of each such project that is growth-related;

2.    Forecast the total moneys available from taxes and other public sources for road improvements over the next 12 years;

3.    Calculate the amount of impact fees already paid; and

4.    Identify those comprehensive plan projects that have been or are being built but whose performance capacity has not been fully utilized.

B.    The director shall use this information to prepare a project list which shall comprise:

1.    The projects on the comprehensive plan that are growth-related and that should be funded with forecast public moneys and the impact fees already paid;

2.    The projects already built or funded pursuant to this chapter whose performance capacity has not been fully utilized; and

3.    An update of the estimated costs of the projects listed.

C.    The project list shall be used within the rate study to develop the impact fee rate schedule. (Ord. 2014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 1877 § 1, 2002; Ord. 1658 § 1, 1996).

17.045.009 Funding of projects.

A.    A transportation impact fee trust and agency fund is hereby created. The director shall be the fund manager. Transportation impact fees shall be placed in appropriate deposit accounts within the transportation impact fee fund.

B.    The transportation impact fees paid to the city shall be held and disbursed as follows:

1.    The fees collected for each project shall be placed in a deposit account within the impact fee fund;

2.    When the council appropriates capital improvement project (CIP) funds for a project on the project list, the fees held in the impact fee fund shall be transferred to the CIP fund. The non-impact fee moneys appropriated for the project shall comprise both the public share of the project cost and an advancement of that portion of the private share that has not yet been collected in transportation impact fees;

3.    The first money spent by the director on a project after a council appropriation shall be deemed to be the fees from the impact fee fund;

4.    Fees collected after a project has been fully funded by means of one or more council appropriations shall constitute reimbursement to the city of the public moneys advanced for the private share of the project. The public moneys made available by such reimbursement shall be used to pay the public share of other projects;

5.    All interest earned on transportation impact fees paid shall be retained in the account and expended for the purpose or purposes for which the transportation impact fees were imposed.

C.    Projects shall be funded by a balance between transportation impact fees and public funds, and shall not be funded solely by transportation impact fees.

D.    Transportation impact fees shall be expended or encumbered for a permissible use within 10 years of receipt, unless there exists an extraordinary or compelling reason for fees to be held longer than 10 years. The director may recommend to the council that the city hold fees beyond 10 years in cases where extraordinary or compelling reasons exist. Such reasons shall be identified in written findings by the council.

E.    The director shall prepare a periodic report on the transportation impact fee account showing the source and amount of all moneys collected, earned or received and projects that were financed in whole or in part by transportation impact fees. (Ord. 2166 § 1 (Exh. A), 2015; Ord. 2014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 1658 § 1, 1996).

17.045.010 Refunds.

A.    A developer may request and shall receive a refund when the developer does not proceed with the development activity for which transportation impact fees were paid, and the developer shows that no impact has resulted; however, the impact fee administrative fee shall not be refunded.

B.    If the city fails to expend or encumber the impact fees within 10 years of payment or such other time period established pursuant to BMC 17.045.009, the current owner of the property for which impact fees have been paid may receive a refund of the fee. In determining whether impact fees have been expended or encumbered, impact fees shall be considered expended or encumbered on a first-in, first-out basis.

C.    If an owner appears to be entitled to a refund of transportation impact fees, the director shall notify the owner by first class mail deposited with the United States Postal Service at their last known address. The owner must submit a request for a refund to the director in writing within one year of the date the right to claim the refund arises or the date the notice is given, whichever is later. Any transportation impact fees that are not expended or encumbered within the time limitations established by BMC 17.045.009(D), and for which no application for a refund has been made within this one-year period, shall be retained and expended on any project.

D.    Refunds of impact fees under this chapter shall include any interest earned on the impact fees by the city.

E.    When the city seeks to terminate any or all impact fee requirements, all unexpended or unencumbered funds shall be refunded pursuant to this section. Upon the finding that any or all fee requirements are to be terminated, the city shall place notice of such termination and the availability of refunds in a newspaper of general circulation at least two times and shall notify all potential claimants by first class mail to the last known address of claimants. Claimants shall request refunds as in subsection C of this section. All funds available for refund shall be retained for a period of one year. At the end of one year, any remaining funds shall be retained by the city, but must be expended on projects. This notice requirement shall not apply if there are no unexpended or unencumbered balances within an account or accounts being terminated. (Ord. 2113 § 1, 2013; Ord. 2014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 1658 § 1, 1996).

17.045.020 Appeals.

A developer may appeal the amount of an impact fee determined by the director as provided in BMC Title 11. The developer shall bear the burden of proving:

A.    That the director committed error in calculating the developer’s proportionate share, as determined by an individual fee calculation or, if relevant, as set forth in the fee schedule, or in granting credit for the benefit factors; or

B.    That the director based his determination upon incorrect data. (Ord. 2014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 1658 § 1, 1996).

17.045.030 Relationship to SEPA.

A.    All development shall be subject to environmental review pursuant to SEPA and other applicable city ordinances and regulations.

B.    Payment of the impact fee shall constitute satisfactory mitigation of those traffic impacts related to the specific improvements identified on the project list (BMC 17.045.008).

C.    Further mitigation in addition to the impact fee shall be required for identified adverse impacts appropriate for mitigation pursuant to SEPA that are not mitigated by an impact fee.

D.    Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit the city’s authority to deny development permits when a proposal would result in significant adverse traffic impacts identified in an environmental impact statement and reasonable mitigation measures are insufficient to mitigate the identified impact. (Ord. 2014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 1877 § 1, 2002; Ord. 1658 § 1, 1996).

17.045.040 Relationship to concurrency.

Neither compliance with this chapter or the payment of any fee hereunder shall constitute a determination of concurrency under Chapter 17.03 BMC. (Ord. 2014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 1658 § 1, 1996).

17.045.050 Necessity of compliance.

A development permit issued after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this section shall be null and void if issued without substantial compliance with this chapter by the department, the approving authority and the director. (Ord. 2014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 1658 § 1, 1996).

17.045.060 Administrative fees.

A.    The cost of administering the impact fee program for traffic impact fees shall also include an amount equal to three percent of the amount of the traffic impact fee calculated in the rate study. The administrative fee shall be deposited into an administrative fee account within the traffic impact fee fund. Administrative fees shall be used to defray the cost incurred by the city in the administration and update of the traffic impact fee program, including, but not limited to, review of independent fee calculations and the value of credits. The administrative fee is not creditable or refundable under BMC 17.045.010.

B.    The administrative fee, in addition to the actual impact fees, shall be paid by the developer to the city at the same time as the impact fee is paid. (Ord. 2014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009).

17.045.070 Impact fee schedule.

Impact Fee Schedule

The impact fee schedule below is based on the city’s 2014 rate study. As authorized under BMC 17.045.006(G), the schedule may automatically increase each January 1st based on the Seattle-Tacoma area Consumer Price Index.

Land Uses

Unit of Measure

Impact Fee Rate

Effective July 1, 2015

Effective July 1, 2016

Cost per New Trip Generated:






Single-Family (Detached)










Senior Housing and Accessory Dwelling





Commercial – Services






Day Care










Service Station with or without Minimart and/or Carwash

fueling position




Quick Lubrication Vehicle Shop

servicing positions




Automobile Care Center





Movie Theater





Health Club











Elementary/Junior High School





High School




















Assisted Living, Nursing Home, Group Home






Light Industry/Manufacturing Industrial Park










Mini Warehouse











Fast Food Restaurant





Commercial – Retail

Retail Shopping Center





Supermarket > 5,000 SF





Convenience Market < 5,000 SF





Furniture Store





Car Sales – New/Used





Nursery/Garden Center










Hardware/Building Materials Store < 25,000 SF





Discount Merchandise Store (Freestanding)





Video Rental





Home Improvement Superstore > 25,000 SF





Miscellaneous Retail





Commercial – Office

Administrative Office





Medical Office/Clinic






GLA = gross leasable area

GFA = gross floor area

For uses with unit of measure in “SF GFA” or “SF GLA,” the impact fee is shown as cost per square foot.

NA = no previous land use

(Ord. 2189 § 1 (Exh. A), 2016; Ord. 2166 § 1 (Exh. A), 2015; Ord. 2068 § 1 (Exh. A), 2011; Ord. 2014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 1877 § 1, 2002).

17.045.080 Deferral of impact fees.

Impact fees may be deferred, consistent with Chapter 21.06 BMC. (Ord. 2197 § 2, 2016).