Chapter 26.05
FIRE IMPACT FEES

Sections:

26.05.010    Findings.

26.05.020    Definitions.

26.05.030    Fire impact fee capital facilities plan.

26.05.040    Fire impact fee formula.

26.05.050    Fire impact fee assessment.

26.05.060    Fire impact fee adjustments.

26.05.070    Credits.

26.05.080    Appeals.

26.05.090    Refunds.

26.05.100    Use of fire impact fees.

26.05.110    Review.

26.05.115    Single-family residential deferral option.

26.05.120    Exemptions.

26.05.130    Authority unimpaired.

26.05.010 Findings.

The city council finds and determines that new growth and development in the city creates additional demand and need for public fire safety facilities in the city, and the city council finds that new growth and development should pay its proportionate share of the costs for new fire service facilities to serve new growth and development in the city. Therefore, pursuant to Chapter 82.02 RCW, Excise Taxes, the city council adopts this chapter to assess fire impact fees on new residential, commercial, and industrial development in the city. The provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed in order to carry out the purposes of the city council in establishing the fire impact fee program. (Ord. 04-776 § 1)

26.05.020 Definitions.

The following words and terms shall have the following meanings for the purposes of this chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise. Terms or words not defined herein shall be defined pursuant to RCW 82.02.090 when given their usual and customary meaning.

The “Act” means the Growth Management Act, Chapter 17, Laws of 1990, First Extraordinary Session, Chapter 36.70A RCW et seq., and Chapter 32, Laws of 1991, First Special Session, as now in existence or hereinafter amended.

“Building permit” means an official document or certification of the city of DuPont issued by the city’s building official which authorizes the construction, alteration, enlargement, conversion, reconstruction, remodeling, rehabilitation, erection, placement, demolition, moving, or repair of a building or structure.

“City” means the city of DuPont, Washington, county of Pierce.

“Development activity” means any construction of a building or structure that creates additional demand and need for fire safety facilities.

“Development approval” means any written authorization from the city, which authorizes the commencement of the “development activity.”

“Letter encumbered” means to reserve, set aside, or earmark the fire impact fees in order to pay for commitments, contractual obligations, or other liabilities incurred for the provision of fire protective services.

“Feepayer” is a person, corporation, partnership, an incorporated association or governmental agency, municipality, or similar entity commencing a land development activity, which requires a building permit and creates a demand for additional fire capital facilities.

“Impact fee” means the payment of money imposed by the city on development activity pursuant to this chapter as a condition of granting development approval in order to pay for the fire facilities needed to serve new growth and development that is a proportionate share of the cost of fire capital facilities that is used for facilities that reasonably benefit new development. Impact fees do not include a reasonable permit fee, an application fee, and the administrative fee for collecting and handling fire impact fees or cost of reviewing independent fee calculations.

“Owner” means the owner of record of real property, as found in the records of Pierce County, Washington, or a person with an unrestricted written option to purchase property; provided, that if the real property is being purchased under a recorded real estate contract, the purchaser shall be considered the owner of the property.

“Proportionate share” means that portion of the cost for fire facility improvements that are reasonably related to the service demands and needs of new development.

“Public facilities” means the following capital facilities owned or operated by governmental entities: (1) public streets and roads; (2) publicly owned parks and open spaces and recreational facilities; (3) school facilities; (4) fire protection facilities not part of a fire district; and (5) police facilities and essential public facilities as defined by Chapter 36.70A RCW. (Ord. 04-776 § 2)

26.05.030 Fire impact fee capital facilities plan.

In order to collect fire impact fees, the city must first adopt a fire capital facilities plan as an element of the city’s comprehensive plan.

The city’s capital facilities plan for fire protection services shall consist of the following elements:

(1) The city’s capacity over the next six years, based on an inventory of the city’s fire facilities both existing and under construction;

(2) The forecast of future needs for fire facilities based upon the city’s population projections;

(3) A six-year financial plan component, updated as necessary, to maintain at least a six-year forecast for financing needed within projected funding levels;

(4) Application of the formula set forth in this chapter based upon the information in the capital facilities plan; and

(5) Council Action. No new or revised impact fee shall be effective until adopted by council following a duly advertised public hearing to consider the city’s capital facilities plan or plan update. (Ord. 04-776 § 3)

26.05.040 Fire impact fee formula.

The impact fee formula is based on the following assumptions:

(1) Total fire service capital facilities needs for the period 2004 – 2009 as identified in the city of DuPont capital facilities plan equals $5,410,000.

(2) Allocation of the $5,410,000 is divided 50 percent residential responsibility and 50 percent commercial/industrial responsibility.

(3) The 2004 population of the city of DuPont is 4,425 or 52 percent of the estimated 2009 population of 8,500. Population growth will account for 48 percent of the total 2009 population.

(4) Population growth between 2004 and 2009 will be housed in approximately 1,380 new dwelling units.

Residential Impact Fee Formula Per New Dwelling Unit

($2,705,000 x 0.48) ÷ 1,380 =

$940.87 per dwelling unit

(5) There are 1,003 acres of commercial/industrial zoned land in the city of DuPont south of Sequalitchew Village excluding environmentally sensitive areas, streets and the Consent Decree Area Golf Course.

Commercial/Industrial Impact Fee Formula

$2,705,000 ÷ 1,003 acres = $2,696.91 per acre

(Ord. 04-776 § 4)

26.05.050 Fire impact fee assessment.

The city shall collect fire impact fees from applicants seeking development approvals from the city for any development activity in the city for which building permits are required. This will include the expansion of existing uses, which create the demand for fire protection services.

A developer may choose to offer a negotiated voluntary developer mitigation agreement in lieu of the impact fee. The aggregate value of the mitigation agreement shall, at a minimum, be equal to the value of the total calculated impact fee for the subject project. Such agreement shall be executed and any monies agreed to thereunder paid to the city at the time the building permit is issued.

Fire impact fees shall be assessed at the time of a sufficiently complete building permit application that complies with the city’s zoning ordinances and building and development codes. Fire impact fees shall be collected from the feepayer at the time the building permit is issued.

Except if otherwise exempt, the city shall not issue the required building permit unless or until the fire impact fees are paid. (Ord. 04-776 § 5)

26.05.060 Fire impact fee adjustments.

The city may adjust a fire impact fee at the time the fee is imposed to consider unusual circumstances in specific cases to ensure that impact fees are imposed fairly.

In calculating the fee imposed on a particular development, the city shall permit consideration of studies and data submitted by a developer to adjust the amount of the fee. The developer shall submit an independent fee calculation study to the director of community development. The director of community development shall review the study to determine that the study:

(1) Is based on accepted impact fee assessment practices and methodologies;

(2) Uses acceptable data sources and the data used is comparable with the uses and intensities planned for the proposed development activity;

(3) Complies with the applicable state laws governing impact fees;

(4) Is prepared and documented by professionals who are mutually agreeable to the city and the developer and are qualified in their respective fields; and

(5) Shows the basis upon which the independent fee calculation was made.

In reviewing the study, the director of community development may require the developer to submit additional or different documentation. If an acceptable study is presented, the director of community development may adjust the fee to that appropriate for the particular development activity. If an acceptable study is not presented, the developer shall pay the impact fees required prior to submitting the study.

A developer requesting an adjustment or independent fee calculation may pay the impact fees imposed by this chapter to obtain a building permit while the city determines whether to partially reimburse the developer by making an adjustment or accepting the independent fee calculation. (Ord. 04-776 § 6)

26.05.070 Credits.

A feepayer can request that a credit, or credits, be awarded to the feepayer for the value of dedicated land, improvements to, or new construction of any system improvements provided by the developer to facilities that are identified in the capital facilities plan and that are required by the city as a condition of approving the development activity. (Ord. 04-776 § 7)

26.05.080 Appeals.

(1) Any feepayer may pay the impact fees imposed by this chapter under protest in order to obtain a building permit.

(2) Appeals regarding fire impact fees imposed on any development activity may only be taken by the feepayer of the property where such development activity will occur. No appeal shall be permitted unless and until the impact fee at issue has been paid.

(3) Determinations of the city staff with respect to the applicability of fire impact fees to a given development activity, or the availability of a credit, can be appealed to the city council pursuant to this section.

(4) An appeal shall be taken within 10 working days of payment of the impact fees under protest or within 10 working days of the city’s issuance of a written determination of a credit or exemption decision by filing with the city a notice of appeal giving the reasons for the appeal with an accompanying appeal fee as set forth in the existing fee schedule for land use decisions. (Ord. 04-776 § 8)

26.05.090 Refunds.

(1) If the city fails to expend or encumber the impact fees within six years from the date the fees were paid, unless extraordinary circumstances or reasons exist, the current owner of the property on which the impact fees were paid shall receive a refund of such fees.

(2) The city shall notify potential claimants by first class mail that they are entitled to a refund. 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.

(3) Owners seeking a refund must submit a written request for a refund of the fees to the city within one year of the date the right to claim a refund arises or notice is given, whichever comes later.

(4) Any impact fees for which no application has been made within the one-year period shall be retained by the city and expended on appropriate fire facilities.

(5) Refunds of impact fees shall include any interest earned on the impact fees by the city. (Ord. 04-776 § 9)

26.05.100 Use of fire impact fees.

(1) Pursuant to this chapter, fire impact fees shall be used for fire facilities that will reasonably benefit the city and its residents.

(2) Fees shall not be used to make up deficiencies in city facilities serving an existing development.

(3) Fees shall not be used for maintenance and operations, including personnel.

(4) Fire impact fees shall be used for but not limited to land acquisition, site improvements, engineering and architectural services, permitting, financing, administrative expenses and applicable mitigation costs, and capital equipment pertaining to fire protection facilities.

(5) Fire impact fees may also be used to recoup public improvement costs incurred by the city to the extent that new growth and development will be served by the previously constructed improvement.

(6) In the event bonds or similar debt instruments are or have been issued for fire facility improvements, impact fees may be used to pay the principal on such bonds. (Ord. 04-776 § 10)

26.05.110 Review.

Impact fees shall be reviewed by the planning commission with recommendations to the city council as it may be necessary and appropriate, in conjunction with the annual review and update of the capital facilities plan and the city’s comprehensive plan. (Ord. 04-776 § 11)

26.05.115 Single-family residential deferral option.

In accordance with RCW 82.02.050, impact fee payments may be deferred for single-family detached and attached residential construction until final building inspection or 18 months from the date of original building permit issuance, whichever occurs first. Impact fee deferrals are considered under the following terms and conditions:

(1) For each single-family residence for which any impact fee deferral is applied for, an administrative fee as set forth in the city’s fee schedule must simultaneously be paid to the city due to the increased burden placed on city staff for processing and monitoring such deferral.

(2) A separate application must be submitted for each single-family residence being constructed.

(3) Only the first 20 applications per calendar year by each applicant for impact fee deferral are eligible for impact fee deferral under this chapter.

(4) The period of deferral expires at the earliest of:

(a) The time of final inspection by the city;

(b) The time of issuance of a certificate of occupancy by the city;

(c) The time of closing of the first transfer of the property occurring after the issuance of the applicable building permit; or

(d) Eighteen months after the building permit is issued by the city.

(5) Final inspection approval, certificate of occupancy, and hookups to water and sewer will not be issued or made until payment in full of the impact fees is made.

(6) For the first transfer of the property, the impact fees shall be paid at closing if they have not been previously paid.

(7) The applicant for impact fee deferral must grant and record in favor of the city of DuPont an impact fee lien in the amount of the deferred impact fee. The lien must be in a form signed, dated and approved by the city attorney, and signed by all owners of the property and persons or entities holding any interest in the property, with all signatures acknowledged as required for a deed, and recorded among the appropriate land records of Pierce County. Proof of such recording shall be submitted to the city before a building permit may be issued. The lien shall specify that it is binding on all successors in title after the recordation. The lien may specify that it is subordinate to one mortgage for the purpose of construction upon the same real property granted by the applicant for impact fee deferral. A mortgage, deed of trust or other financing mechanism shall be limited to the property upon which construction on one single-family residence will occur. A lien not paid when due shall bear interest at the statutory rate. A lien shall become due at the expiration of the deferral date.

(8) If impact fees are not paid in accordance with ESB 5923(2015) and DMC 26.05.120, the city may institute foreclosure proceedings in accordance with Chapter 61.12 RCW.

(9) After full payment of impact fees, and upon written request of the person paying said fees containing the name and address of the requester together with a copy of a proposed lien release form, the city, upon approval by the city attorney, shall sign a lien release and deliver it to the person paying said fee either in person or by first class mail. (Ord. 17-1017 § 2 (Exh. B))

26.05.120 Exemptions.

The fire impact fees are generated from the formula for calculating the fees as set forth in this chapter. The amount of the impact fees is determined by the information contained in the adopted fire department capital facilities plan, as appended to the city’s comprehensive plan. All new development located in the city will be charged a fire impact fee; provided, that the following exemptions shall apply. Any development activity or project which has submitted a technically complete building permit application prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter shall be exempt from the payment of fire impact fees. The following shall be exempt from fire impact fees:

(1) Replacement of a structure with a new structure having the same use, at the same site, and when such replacement is within 12 months of demolition or destruction of the previous structure;

(2) Alteration or expansion of or remodeling of an existing dwelling or structure where no new units are created and the use is not changed;

(3) Construction of an accessory residential structure;

(4) Miscellaneous improvements including, but not limited to, fences, walls, swimming pools, and signs;

(5) Demolition of or moving an existing structure within the city from one site to another;

(6) Low-income housing developed by individuals, nonprofit corporations, or a housing authority may be exempted from impact fees at the discretion of city staff subject to:

(a) Fiscal impact analysis of the effect of impact fees upon low-income housing and how exempting housing from impact fees would forward the goals for low-income housing in the city and Pierce County;

(b) That adequate documentation be provided that the housing will remain available for low-income persons for a 10-year period of time at affordable rents;

(c) Staff may make partial exemptions for market rate and low-income units; provided, that documentation is submitted for the low-income units to show that they will meet the specifications for household income, rent levels, and that affordable rent will be available for 10 years; and

(d) In the case of owner-occupied dwellings, that such housing will be sold or leased at affordable rates to low-income households for a period of 10 years; and

(7) The impact fee for exempt development shall be calculated as provided by this chapter and paid with public funds. Such payments may be made by including such amounts in the public share of the system improvements undertaken within the city for fire protection services and facilities. (Ord. 04-776 § 12)

26.05.130 Authority unimpaired.

Nothing in this chapter shall preclude the city from requiring the feepayer to mitigate adverse and environmental effects of a specific development pursuant to the State Environmental Policy Act, Chapters 43.21C and/or 58.17 RCW, governing plats and subdivisions; provided, that the exercise of this authority is consistent with Chapters 43.21C and 82.02 RCW. (Ord. 04-776 § 13)