Chapter 3.73
FIRE PROTECTION IMPACT FEES

Sections:

3.73.010    Findings and purpose.

3.73.020    Definitions.

3.73.030    Fee imposed – Applicability.

3.73.040    Exemptions.

3.73.050    Fire protection impact fee program elements.

3.73.060    Fee calculation methods.

3.73.070    Fee collection.

3.73.075    Deferral of single-family residential impact fees.

3.73.080    Fee adjustments/administrative fee.

3.73.090    Fire protection impact fee accounts and refunds.

3.73.100    Processing.

3.73.110    Other authority.

3.73.120    Appeals.

3.73.010 Findings and purpose.

The City Council of the City of Issaquah finds and determines that growth and development activity in the City will create additional demand and need for fire protection facilities in the City, and the Council finds that growth and development activity should pay a proportionate share of the cost of such facilities needed to serve the growth and development activity. Therefore, pursuant to the Growth Management Act (Chapter 36.70A RCW), and RCW 82.02.050 through 82.02.100, which authorize cities to impose and collect impact fees to partially fund public facilities to accommodate new growth, the council adopts this chapter to impose fire protection impact fees for fire protection facilities. The provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed in order to carry out the purposes of the council in establishing fire protection impact fees. (Ord. 2461 § 3, 2006; Ord. 2229 § 1, 1999. Formerly 18.16.010).

3.73.020 Definitions.

“Affordable housing” means a dwelling unit reserved for occupancy by eligible households and having housing expenses no greater than 30 percent of a given percent of the King County median household income, adjusted for household size, as follows:

Low income affordable housing: Renter-occupied housing affordable to a household earning 50 percent of the King County median income, adjusted for household size, or owner-occupied housing affordable to a household earning 60 percent of King County median income, adjusted for household size.

Mid-moderate income affordable housing: Renter-occupied housing affordable to a household earning 70 percent of the King County median income, adjusted for household size, or owner-occupied housing affordable to a household earning 80 percent of King County median income, adjusted for household size.

Moderate income affordable housing: Renter or owner-occupied housing affordable to a household earning 80 percent of the King County median income, adjusted for household size.

“King County median income” means the median income for the Seattle-Bellevue, WA HUD Metro FMR Area (King County) as most recently determined by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under Section 8(f)(3) of the United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended. In the event such income determination is no longer published by HUD, the City may use or develop such other reasonable method as it may choose in order to determine the King County median income.

“Average unfunded cost” means that portion of the average cost of facilities which the City cannot foreseeably finance from any and all public revenue sources available to it based on a multiyear fiscal projection found in the Capital Facilities Element of the Comprehensive Plan.

“Capital Facilities Element” means that capital facilities plan adopted by the City Council as part of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, and its amendments.

“Comprehensive Plan” means the City of Issaquah Comprehensive Plan adopted by Ordinance No. 2061 on April 17, 1995, including any adopted amendments.

“Conditions of approval,” as they apply to fire protection impact fee evaluations, means those conditions necessary to ensure that the proposed development will not cause the fire protection level of service to fall below the standards adopted in the Comprehensive Plan. The conditions of approval shall be binding upon the approval of any permit application for which this chapter is applicable as described in IMC 3.73.030, Applicability.

“Development” means any construction, reconstruction or expansion of a building, structure, or use, any change in use of a building or structure or any changes in the use of land, that requires review and approval of a development permit.

“Development permit” includes, but is not limited to, a building permit, administrative site development permit, site development permit, short plat application, preliminary plat application, or project rezone application, or any written authorization from the City which authorizes the commencement of development.

“Director” means the Director of the Planning Department, or his/her designee.

“Financial commitment” means any form of binding and enforceable financial obligation that is acceptable to the City, and provided to the City at the time of development approval.

“Fire protection facilities” includes all publicly owned apparatus and buildings within the City limits that are used for fire protection, and emergency response and aid.

“Fire protection impact fee” means the payment of money imposed upon development as a condition of approval of a development permit to pay for public facilities needed to serve new growth and development, and that is reasonably related to the new development that creates additional demand and need for facilities, that is a proportionate share of the costs of the facilities, and that is used for facilities that reasonably benefit the new development. “Fire protection impact fee” does not include a reasonable permit or application fee.

“Level of service (LOS)” means the relationship between fire protection facilities and service provision within the City, as specified in the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

“Proportionate share” means that portion of the cost of public facility improvements and facilities that are reasonably related to the service demands and needs of new development. For any particular development, the proportionate share will depend on the type and size of the development, and location within the City. The proportionate share will be calculated by the methods set forth in Attachment A to Ordinance 2229, which is hereby incorporated by reference.

“Service area” means the geographical area in which a defined set of fire protection facilities provide service to development within the area. For the purposes of this chapter, the service area shall be the entire area within the City limits of Issaquah. (Ord. 2746 § 6 (Exh. C), 2015; Ord. 2461 § 3, 2006; Ord. 2229 § 1, 1999. Formerly 18.16.020).

3.73.030 Fee imposed – Applicability.

There is imposed, and shall be collected from every person who applies for a development permit, a fire protection impact fee, consistent with the provisions of this chapter. The provisions of this chapter apply to all applications for development permits made on, and after the effective date of Ordinance 2461, and to all development permits which have not received final approval by this date. (Ord. 2461 §§ 3, 5, 2006; Ord. 2229 § 1, 1999. Formerly 18.16.030).

3.73.040 Exemptions.

The following developments are exempt from the requirements of this chapter:

A. Low, moderate and mid-moderate income affordable housing; provided, that the applicant shall record a City-drafted covenant that prohibits using the affordable housing units for any purpose other than for low, moderate or mid-moderate income affordable housing. At a minimum, the covenant must address price restrictions and household income limits for the low-, moderate- or mid-moderate-income affordable housing, and that if the affordable units are converted to a use other than for low-, moderate- or mid-moderate income affordable housing, the property owner must pay the applicable impact fees in effect at the time of conversion. Covenants must be recorded with the applicable County Auditor or recording officer. The covenant shall run with the land and apply to subsequent owners and assigns of housing units that receive a low-, moderate-, or mid-moderate income affordable housing exemption from impact fees. Any claim or request for an exemption under this section shall be made no later than the time of application for a building permit. If a building permit is not required for the development, then the claim shall be made when the first development permit is applied for. Any claim not made when required by this section shall be deemed waived.

B. Accessory Units. A development permit for an accessory unit shall not be assessed a fire protection impact fee.

C. Change of Use. A development permit for a change of use that has less impact than the existing use shall not be assessed a fire protection impact fee.

D. City Projects. A development permit for a City project shall not be assessed a fire protection impact fee.

E. Home Occupations. A development permit for a home occupation shall not be assessed a fire protection impact fee. (Ord. 2746 § 6 (Exh. C), 2015; Ord. 2461 §§ 3, 6, 2006; Ord. 2229 § 1, 1999. Formerly 18.16.040).

3.73.050 Fire protection impact fee program elements.

A. The City shall impose and collect fire protection impact fees on every development permit within the service area, except as provided in IMC 3.73.040, Exemptions.

B. Any fire protection impact fee imposed shall be reasonably related to the impact caused by the new development and shall not exceed a proportionate share of the cost of fire protection facilities that are reasonably related to the new development.

C. The fire protection impact fee imposed may include costs for fire protection facility improvements previously incurred by the City to the extent that new development will be served by the previously constructed improvements; provided, that such fee shall not be imposed to correct any system improvement deficiencies.

D. The fire protection impact fee imposed for any development shall be calculated and determined by the procedures established by this chapter and based on the methods set forth in Attachment A, attached to Ordinance 2461, and incorporated herein by reference as if set forth in full.

E. In computing the fee applicable to a given development, credit shall be given for the fair market value, measured at the time of dedication, for any dedication of land for, improvements to, or new construction of any fire protection facilities that are identified in the Capital Facilities Element and that are required by the City as a condition of approving the development.

F. Fire protection impact fees shall be used for fire protection facilities that will reasonably benefit the new development, and only those fire protection facilities addressed by the City’s Capital Facilities Element of the Comprehensive Plan. (Ord. 2461 §§ 3, 7, 2006; Ord. 2229 § 1, 1999. Formerly 18.16.050).

3.73.060 Fee calculation methods.

A. Each development application shall mitigate its impacts on the City’s fire protection facilities by payment of a fee that is based on the type of land use and square footage of the development, and proportional to the cost of fire protection facility improvements necessary to serve the needs of growth.

B. Applications for a change of use shall receive credit based on the existing use. This credit is calculated by deducting the fee amount of the existing use from the fee of the proposed use.

C. All data and other information necessary to determine impact fee amounts will be made available to the public. Data such as apparatus and building needs, emergency service requests, facility improvement projects and costs, and related fee schedules will be updated as necessary. Forms and procedures will be established administratively. (Ord. 2523 § 4, 2008; Ord. 2461 § 3, 2006; Ord. 2229 § 1, 1999. Formerly 18.16.060).

3.73.070 Fee collection.

A. At the time of issuance of a building permit, the impact fee shall be calculated based on the fee schedule established in Attachment A to Ordinance 2461. Except as provided in IMC 3.73.075, no building permit shall be issued until the impact fee has been paid in full by the applicant; provided, that payment of fees may be phased if the building permit for the development is also phased. The fire protection impact fee shall be collected by the City, and maintained in a separate account, as required by IMC 3.73.090. Fire protection impact fees may be paid under protest in order to obtain a building permit, or other development approval.

B. Fire impact fee rates shall be updated annually using the following procedures:

1. The Director shall use the Building Cost Index published by Engineering News Record to calculate annual inflation adjustments in the impact fee rates. The impact fees shall not be adjusted for inflation should the index remain unchanged.

2. The indexed impact fee rates shall be calculated in January, or as soon thereafter as the latest index information is published by Engineering News Record, and shall become effective immediately thereafter. A copy of the indexed impact fee rates shall be provided to the City Council but the indexed rates shall become effective without further Council review.

3. The City Council shall review the fire impact fee rates prior to December 31, 2010, and every 2 years thereafter, to determine whether or not a new fire impact fee rate study should be prepared. If this review does not occur, the City shall continue to collect impact fees at the rate in effect, but shall not index the fire impact fees for subsequent years until the required review by the City Council occurs. (Ord. 2771 § 7, 2016; Ord. 2523 § 4, 2008; Ord. 2461 §§ 3, 8, 2006; Ord. 2283 § 5, 2000; Ord. 2229 § 1, 1999. Formerly 18.16.070).

3.73.075 Deferral of single-family residential impact fees.

A. An applicant for a building permit for a single-family detached or attached residence may request a deferral of the full impact fee payment until the date of final inspection or 18 months from the date of building permit issuance, whichever occurs first. Deferral of impact fees shall be granted under the conditions set forth in this section.

B. An applicant for deferral must request the deferral at the time of building permit application and must receive the deferral no later than the time of issuance of a building permit. Any request not so made shall be deemed waived.

C. To receive a deferral, an applicant must:

1. Submit a separate application for deferral for each single-family detached or attached residence for which the applicant wishes to defer payment of the impact fees. Each application must be accompanied by the nonrefundable administrative fee established by the City Council in order to reimburse the City for all costs associated with the deferral.

2. Grant and record a deferred impact fee lien against the property in favor of the City in the amount of the deferred impact fee. The deferred impact fee lien must:

a. Be in a form approved by the City;

b. Be signed by all owners of the property, with all signatures acknowledged as required for a deed;

c. Include the legal description, tax account number, and address of the property;

d. Be recorded in King County;

e. Be binding on all successors in title after the recordation; and

f. Be junior and subordinate to 1 mortgage for the purpose of construction granted by the person who applied for the deferral of impact fees.

3. Notice shall be provided within a week of building permit issuance by posting each property using the following notice method:

a. 4-Foot by 4-Foot Board. The responsibility for posting the sign rests with the project applicant. The sign shall be designed as follows:

i. Size. 4-by-4-foot constructed of wood;

ii. Color. Yellow background, black lettering;

iii. Lettering Style. Helvetica or similar style; signs shall be prepared using templates or attachable letters. Hand-lettered signs are not acceptable;

iv. Content of Sign/Notice. The title shall be in 3-inch capital letters, and the remaining sign contents shall be in 1.5-inch upper and lower case (see Permit Center for diagram). The content must include:

(A) The title “NOTICE OF DEFERRED IMPACT FEES”;

(B) “City of Issaquah”;

(C) “Notice that these fees must be paid to the City by the Applicant before house can be occupied”;

(D) The name, address and telephone number of the applicant;

(E) The name, address and telephone number of the Development Services Department;

(F) Other information as the Director/Manager may determine to be necessary to adequately notify potential home owners of the pending requirement;

v. Location. The sign shall be installed:

(A) Midpoint on the street frontage from which the site is addressed or as otherwise directed by the Director/Manager;

(B) At either a location 10 feet back in from the property line or signs which are structurally attached to an existing building shall be exempt from the setback provision; provided, that no sign is located more than 10 feet back from the property line without approval from the Director/Manager; and

(C) The sign must be easily read from the surrounding vicinity and must not be visually obstructed in any way, including, but not limited to, obstruction by vegetation or any other obstruction;

vi. Installation. The sign must be secured to a 4-inch by 4-inch wood post, long enough to set the post 36 inches below grade and back fill with dirt (see Permit Center for diagram);

vii. Certification of Installation. The project applicant must notify the Permit Center that the sign has been posted to proper specifications by submitting a signed “Notification of Sign Installation” to the Permit Center before deferral of impact fees may occur (obtain such forms from the Permit Center);

viii. Maintenance and Signage Removal. The project applicant shall be required to maintain the sign and surrounding area in good condition until 14 days after the deferred impact fees have been paid to the City. Removal of the sign prior to the deferred impact fees being paid may invalidate or postpone any other decision-making or permit process. The sign must be removed by the project applicant no later than 30 days after the deferred impact fees have been paid to the City, and the post holes must be filled to prevent public injury.

D. The amount of the impact fees deferred shall be determined by the fees in effect at the time the applicant applies for a deferral.

E. The City shall withhold final inspection until the impact fees have been paid in full. No temporary certificate of occupancy (TCO) will be granted on a residence that is part of the deferral program. Upon receipt of final payment of impact fees deferred under this subsection, the City shall execute a release of the deferred impact fee lien for each single-family detached or attached residence for which the impact fees have been received. The applicant, or the property owner at the time of the release, shall be responsible for recording the lien release at his or her expense.

F. The extinguishing of a deferred impact fee lien by the foreclosure of a lien having priority does not affect the obligation of the applicant or the property owner to pay the impact fees as a condition of final inspection.

G. If impact fees are not paid in accordance with the deferral and in accordance with the terms and conditions provided in this section, the City may institute foreclosure proceedings in accordance with Chapter 61.12 RCW.

H. Each applicant for a single-family detached or attached residential construction permit, in accordance with his or her contractor registration number or other unique identification number, shall be entitled to annually receive deferrals for the first 20 single-family residential construction building permits. For purposes of this subsection, an “applicant” includes an entity that controls the applicant, is controlled by the applicant, or is under common control with the applicant. (Ord. 2771 § 8, 2016).

3.73.080 Fee adjustments/administrative fee.

A. Upon payment by the applicant of a $200.00 administrative fee, fees calculated by the City may be adjusted by the Director, in any of the following circumstances:

1. The applicant demonstrates that a fire protection impact fee assessment was improperly calculated; or

2. The applicant provides studies and data that, when considered, suggest that adjustment of the fee would be appropriate; provided, that the study is supported by a data base adequate for the conclusions in such study, the study is prepared using generally accepted methods of planning, engineering and financial analysis and the study is performed by a person with qualifications and experience in the costs, benefits and financing of public facilities; or

3. Unusual circumstances exist which, when considered, suggest that imposition of the standard fee would be unfair.

B. The Director shall consider the documentation submitted by the applicant, but is not required to accept such documentation which the Director reasonably deems to be inaccurate or not reliable.

C. Any appeal of the decision of the City with regard to fire protection impact fee amounts shall follow the process for the appeal of the underlying development permit, as set forth in the Issaquah Land Use Code, and IMC 3.73.120. (Ord. 2461 § 3, 2006; Ord. 2229 § 1, 1999. Formerly 18.16.080).

3.73.090 Fire protection impact fee accounts and refunds.

A. Fire protection impact fee receipts shall be earmarked specifically and retained in a special interest bearing account established by the City solely for fire protection impact fees. All interest shall be retained in the account and expended for the purpose or purposes for which said fees were imposed. Annually, the City shall prepare a report on the source and amount of all fire protection impact fees collected, interest earned, and the fire protection facilities that were financed in whole or in part by said fees.

B. Fire protection impact fees shall be expended by the City only in conformance with the Capital Facilities Element of the Comprehensive Plan.

C. Fire protection impact fees shall be expended or encumbered by the City for a permissible use within 6 years of receipt by the City, unless there exists an extraordinary or compelling reason for fees to be held longer than 6 years. Such extraordinary or compelling reasons shall be identified in written findings by the City.

D. The current owner of property on which a fire protection impact fee has been paid may receive a refund of such fees if the City fails to expend or encumber the fees within 6 years of receipt of the fees by the City on fire protection facilities intended to benefit the development for which said fees were paid. In determining whether fire protection impact fees have been encumbered, such fees shall be considered encumbered on a first in, first out basis. The City shall notify potential claimants by first-class mail deposited with the United States Postal Service at the last known address of the claimants.

E. An owner’s request for a refund must be submitted to the City in writing within 1 year of the date the right to claim the refund arises or the date that notice is given, whichever date is later. Any fire protection impact fees that are not expended or encumbered by the City in conformance with the Capital Facilities Element within these time limitations, and for which no application for a refund has been made within this 1 year period, shall be retained and expended consistent with the provisions of this section. Refunds of fire protection impact fees shall include interest earned on such fees.

F. Should the City seek to terminate any or all fire protection impact fee requirements, all unexpended or unencumbered funds, including interest earned, 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 availability of refunds in a newspaper of general circulation at least 2 times and shall notify all potential claimants by first-class mail to the last known address of claimants. All funds available for refund shall be retained for a period of 1 year. At the end of 1 year, any remaining funds shall be retained by the City, and must be expended by the City consistent with the provisions of this chapter. The notice requirements set forth above shall not apply if there are no unexpended or unencumbered balances within the account or accounts being terminated.

G. An applicant may request and shall receive a refund, including interest earned on the fire protection impact fees, when:

1. The applicant does not proceed to finalize the development; and

2. No impact on the City has resulted. “Impact” shall be deemed to include cases where the City has expended or encumbered the fire protection impact fees in good faith prior to the application for refund. In the event that the City has expended or encumbered the fees in good faith, no refund shall be forthcoming. However, within a period of 3 years, the same or subsequent owner of the property proceeds with the same or substantially similar development activity, the owner shall be eligible for a credit. The owner must petition the City and provide receipts of fire protection impact fees paid by the owner for a development of the same or substantially similar nature on the same property or some portion thereof. The City shall determine whether to grant a credit, and such determinations may be appealed by following the procedures set forth in IMC 3.73.120.

H. Interest due upon the refund of fire protection impact fees required by this chapter shall be calculated according to the average rate received by the City on invested funds throughout the period during which the fees were retained. (Ord. 2461 § 3, 2006; Ord. 2229 § 1, 1999. Formerly 18.16.090).

3.73.100 Processing.

The City shall determine any applicable fire protection impact fees as a normal part of processing a development permit. (Ord. 2461 § 3, 2006; Ord. 2229 § 1, 1999. Formerly 18.16.100).

3.73.110 Other authority.

Nothing in this chapter is intended to limit the City’s authority under the State Environmental Policy Act or any other source. (Ord. 2461 § 3, 2006; Ord. 2229 § 1, 1999. Formerly 18.16.110).

3.73.120 Appeals.

Refer to IMC 18.04.250 to 18.04.260 regarding appeals. (Ord. 2461 § 3, 2006; Ord. 2301 § 5, 2001; Ord. 2229 § 1, 1999. Formerly 18.16.120).