Chapter 18.15


Division I. Transportation Impact Fees

(Recodified as Chapter 3.71 IMC by Ord. 2461)

Division II. Transportation Concurrency Management

18.15.210    Purpose.

18.15.220    Definitions.

18.15.230    Transportation concurrency certificate required.

18.15.240    Exemptions.

18.15.245    Administration.

18.15.250    Level of service.

18.15.260    Concurrency review.

18.15.270    Passing concurrency.

18.15.280    Concurrency certificate.

18.15.290    Failing concurrency.

18.15.300    Relationship to the State Environmental Policy Act.

18.15.310    Fees.

18.15.320    Appeals.

*Code reviser’s note: At the direction of the City, the provisions of Ord. No. 2184, adding Chapter 18.16 IMC, Transportation Concurrency Management, have been added as Division II of Chapter 18.15.

Prior legislation: Ords. 2184, 2193, 2241, 2242, 2243, 2285, 2301, 2321, 2336, 2350, 2362, 2370, 2372, 2412, 2434, 2439 and 2542.

Division I. Transportation Impact Fees

(Recodified as Chapter 3.71 IMC by Ord. 2461)

Division II. Transportation Concurrency Management

18.15.210 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to:

A.    Comply with the State Growth Management Act (GMA) by “prohibiting development approval if the development causes the level-of-service on a transportation facility to decline below the standards adopted in the Transportation Element of the Comprehensive Plan, unless transportation improvements or strategies to accommodate the impacts of development are made concurrent with the development”; and

B.    Implement the transportation goals and policies adopted in the City’s Comprehensive Plan; and

C.    Support alternative modes of transportation including sidewalks and trails, bicycle lanes and transit; and

D.    Balance the City’s transportation concurrency goals with Policy HS 3.1 – Support quality education by exempting public schools from the requirements of this chapter; and

E.    Implement simplified concurrency that mitigates system-wide project impacts on a system-wide basis, while local project impacts such as to local operations and safety continue to be mitigated through SEPA review. (Ord. 2733 § 5 (Exh. I), 2015; Ord. 2595 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010).

18.15.220 Definitions.

The following definitions for specific terms and phrases used in this chapter are supplemented by the definitions in the latest edition of the Highway Capacity Manual and the definitions and rules for interpretation established in Chapter 18.02 IMC:

1.    Concurrency: The provision of improvements, strategies and/or financial commitments at the time of development to accommodate the motorized and nonmotorized transportation impacts of development at the adopted level of service.

2.    Concurrency Approval: The official determination by the City that a proposed development will not reduce the vehicle internal trip ends below the number of such trip ends in the trip bank. Transportation concurrency approval is documented in writing by a concurrency certificate.

3.    Concurrency Certificate: The official written statement issued by the City that documents transportation concurrency approval for a specific development at a specific location.

4.    Concurrency Intersections: Intersections of City streets where level of service may be measured for purposes of determining transportation concurrency such as any existing signalized intersection, or intersection that is planned to be signalized in the City’s TIP, and any roundabout intersection. Concurrency intersections are shown in Exhibit L to the ordinance codified in this division.

5.    Director: The Director of the Development Services Department or his/her designee.

6.    Financial Commitment: A binding and enforceable financial obligation from the applicant that is acceptable to the City and provided to the City before building permit issuance.

7.    Impact Fee: The payment of money to the City for a proportional share of the cost of motorized transportation facilities needed to serve new development. Impact fee payment does not ensure that transportation concurrency has been met.

8.    Level of Service (LOS): The relationship between vehicular traffic volumes and roadway intersection capacity, as specified in this chapter.

9.    Modeling: The use of computer models by the City to forecast traffic flow, evaluate intersection impacts, and determine trips in the trip bank. The computer models are dynamic tools; the models are regularly updated (approximately every two (2) to three (3) years) to include trips from concurrent development and planned development, and changes in the City’s street system.

10.    P.M. Peak Hour: The one (1) hour time period between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on a weekday with the highest number of trips on the City’s street system.

11.    Reservation of Capacity: The portion of vehicle internal trip ends in the trip bank that is set aside to accommodate development that has received transportation concurrency approval but is not yet built or occupied or to accommodate the trips from any project failing concurrency in order to allow the applicant up to one hundred twenty (120) days to evaluate the options for achieving concurrency.

12.    Traffic Study: A study that estimates trip generation, identifies traffic demand patterns, evaluates safety, access or other transportation issues and identifies mitigation measures needed to meet engineering standards such as operational and safety standards. A traffic study may be required by the City as part of a complete transportation concurrency application and/or for environmental review.

13.    Transportation Demand Management (TDM): Strategies that decrease single occupancy motor vehicle trips including, but not limited to, transit and ridesharing incentives, flexible working hours, parking management and pedestrian and bicycle enhancements.

14.    Transportation Improvement Program (TIP): The Transportation Improvement Program reflected in the latest transportation concurrency model update.

15.    Trip Bank: The document created and maintained by the City to record the available vehicle internal trip ends, reservation of trips, and the balance of available vehicle internal trip ends following subtraction of vehicle internal trip ends from each concurrency approval.

16.    Trip End: The beginning (origin) and end (destination) of a trip.

17.    Trips: The number of vehicle internal trip ends generated by a land use in the p.m. peak hour as determined by the latest edition of the Institute of Transportation Engineers Trip Generation Manual, or other authorized source approved by the Director

18.    Trips, Net New: The number of vehicle internal trip ends generated by a new development, change in use, expansion or modification requiring a development permit minus the trips generated by the previous use of the site within the one (1) year immediately prior to the development permit application. No credit shall be given for vehicle internal trip ends from sites/structures that have been vacant for more than one (1) year or for trips from any unpermitted or illegal development. (Ord. 2733 § 5 (Exh. I), 2015; Ord. 2595 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010).

*Exhibit A is on file with the Planning Department.

18.15.230 Transportation concurrency certificate required.

Except as provided in IMC 18.15.240, a transportation concurrency certificate is required for any new development, change in use, expansion or other modification or development that requires a development permit. (Ord. 2733 § 5 (Exh. I), 2015; Ord. 2595 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010).

18.15.240 Exemptions.

A.    Exempt Uses: The following are exempt from the requirements of this chapter:

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

1.    Low income housing; provided, that the applicant shall record a City-drafted covenant that prohibits using the property for any purpose other than for low income housing. At a minimum, the covenant must address price restrictions and household income limits for the low income housing, and that if the property is converted to a use other than for low income 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 income 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.

2.    Buildings or structures constructed by a regional transit authority, pursuant to RCW 82.02.090(1).

3.    City Projects: An applicant proposing the development of a City project shall not be assessed a traffic impact fee.

4.    The reconstruction of a building destroyed by fire, explosion or other accident when the number of trips from the site after reconstruction is equal to or less than the number of trips from the site before the accident.

B.    A change of use to an existing building is not a measurable impact to public facilities and is therefore not subject to impact fees. The expansion of a building is subject to this chapter. (Ord. 2733 § 5 (Exh. I), 2015; Ord. 2595 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010).

18.15.245 Administration.

A.    Management: The Development Services and Public Works Engineering Departments will coordinate in the administration of the concurrency management system. All final decisions regarding the administration of this chapter shall be the responsibility of the Director.

B.    The City shall determine the available capacity for concurrency as of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this division and record it in the trip bank. Up to three hundred (300) trips may occur outside the Central Issaquah Plan boundary as defined by Exhibit 1, Central Issaquah Plan adopted December 17, 2012, Ordinance No. 2663. With each subsequent concurrency application, the City shall update the trip bank by recording the available capacity, reservations of capacity, and the balance of the available capacity that has been adjusted to reflect reserved vehicle internal trip ends.

C.    The City shall update the available capacity in the trip bank within twelve (12) months of the events listed below:

1.    Update or amendment of the City’s Comprehensive Plan Transportation Element as it relates to concurrency management.

2.    More than fifty (50) percent of the available capacity in the most recent calculation of available capacity of the trip bank has been reserved as a result of concurrency certificates issued by the City.

D.    If the events listed in subsection C of this section do not occur within three (3) years of the most recent calculation of the available capacity, the City will update the available capacity recorded in the trip bank.

E.    Each update of available capacity in the trip bank shall carry forward the reservations of capacity for any development permit that has not been completed prior to the update of available capacity.

F.    In order to monitor the cumulative effect of exemptions from the concurrency test on the available capacity, the City shall adjust the available capacity in the trip bank to record the number of trips generated by exempt development permits in the same manner as though a concurrency certificate had been issued for the exempt development permits. (Ord. 2733 § 5 (Exh. I), 2015; Ord. 2595 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010).

18.15.250 Level of service.

A.    The intersection level of service (LOS) standard in Issaquah shall be LOS D, as defined by the latest edition of the Highway Capacity Manual.

For transportation concurrency purposes, six (6) concurrency intersections may operate at LOS E or F at any point in time; as long as the weighted average (by traffic volume) Citywide LOS standard for all concurrency intersections is maintained at LOS D. All other concurrency intersections must operate at LOS D or better. The following six (6) intersections may operate at LOS E or F:

1.    NW Sammamish Road/12th Avenue NW/17th Avenue NW/SE 56th Street.

2.    SR 900/I-90 eastbound ramps.

3.    Sunset Way/Front Street.

4.    SE Issaquah Fall City Road/Issaquah Pine Lake Road SE/Highlands Drive NE.

5.    SR 900/NW Talus Drive.

6.    SE Issaquah Fall City Road/SE Black Nugget Road.

B.    The Development Services Director or designee shall maintain a list of concurrency intersections, with the corresponding concurrency LOS assessment, and resultant weighted average Citywide LOS. Concurrency intersections are shown in the Rate Study for Traffic Impact Fees dated December 10, 2014, and Exhibit A to the ordinance codified in this division. (Ord. 2733 § 5 (Exh. I), 2015; Ord. 2595 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010).

18.15.260 Concurrency review.

A.    Timing and Application: A transportation concurrency application shall be submitted prior to or concurrent with a development application. The concurrency application shall accompany the first development permit application submitted if more than one (1) development permit is required. No development shall be required to obtain more than one (1) concurrency certificate, unless the applicant or subsequent owners propose changes or modifications that require a new development permit application, a future phase of the project requires a concurrency application or the original concurrency certificate has expired.

B.    Review: Transportation concurrency applications, determined complete, shall be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

C.    Trips Evaluated: The transportation concurrency determination shall be based on a review of the net new vehicle internal trip ends generated by the project. Applicants may be required to provide supplemental information regarding the trip generation by the prior use and/or for their specific development if the trip generation is not clearly addressed in the ITE Trip Generation Manual. (Ord. 2733 § 5 (Exh. I), 2015; Ord. 2595 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010).

18.15.270 Passing concurrency.

A.    The concurrency application is approved and passes if the number of vehicle internal trip ends from an applicant’s proposed development is equal to or less than available capacity in the trip bank that has been adjusted to subtract reserved vehicle internal trip ends. Additionally, the development type, size, and location must be consistent with the City’s land use forecasts used for concurrency modeling and determination of the trip bank capacity. If the concurrency test is passed, the City shall record the concurrency test results in the trip bank in order to reduce the available capacity by the number of vehicle internal trip ends that will be generated by the applicant’s development.

B.    Reservation of Capacity: The City shall reserve capacity to accommodate the vehicle internal trip ends from any project receiving a concurrency certificate. Reserved capacity shall not be returned to the system unless and until a subsequent development application is denied, rejected, invalidated or abandoned, or the concurrency certificate is no longer valid or expires in accordance with IMC 18.15.290. (Ord. 2733 § 5 (Exh. I), 2015; Ord. 2595 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010).

18.15.280 Concurrency certificate.

A.    Concurrency Certificate Issuance: A concurrency certificate shall be issued when the net new vehicle internal trip ends from a development do not result in more vehicle internal trip ends than are in the trip bank.

B.    Validity: A concurrency certificate is valid only for the specified uses, densities, intensity and parcel(s) for which it was issued and shall not be transferred to a different project or parcel. A concurrency certificate shall remain valid:

1.    For one (1) year from the date of issuance; three (3) years from issuance for a project that includes transferred development rights; and

2.    During the time the development permit application is under review by the City; and

3.    For the same period of time as the development permit approval. If the development permit does not have an expiration date or an approved phasing schedule that allows a longer build-out, the concurrency certificate shall be valid for one (1) year from the date of development permit approval; and

4.    For a period specified in a negotiated and approved developer’s agreement.

C.    Expiration: A concurrency certificate shall expire if:

1.    A complete development permit application for the project has not been submitted to the Permit Center within one (1) year from the issuance of the concurrency certificate; three (3) years from issuance for a project that includes transferred development rights.

2.    The related development permit application is denied or revoked by the City.

3.    The related development permit expires prior to issuance of a building permit.

D.    Extension: A transportation concurrency certificate may not be extended. A new concurrency certificate is required if the previous certificate has expired.

E.    Subdivision: Trips authorized by the concurrency certificate for a subdivision shall be divided equally among the lots. The Director may modify such assignment upon petition of the owner. Any change of use of one (1) or more of the subdivided parcels shall require a new concurrency determination for the parcel(s) changing use. (Ord. 2733 § 5 (Exh. I), 2015; Ord. 2595 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010).

18.15.290 Failing concurrency.

A.    Determination: A concurrency certificate shall not be issued when the concurrency review determines that an application’s vehicle internal trip ends exceed the vehicle internal trip ends in the trip bank; or if the proposed land use type, location, or size is not consistent with the City’s land use forecasts used for concurrency modeling and determination of the trip bank capacity. The applicant shall be notified in writing that the project has failed concurrency.

B.    Reservation of Capacity: The City shall reserve capacity to accommodate the trips from any project failing concurrency for sixty (60) days in order to allow the applicant time to evaluate the options for achieving concurrency outlined in subsection D of this section. The sixty (60) day period shall begin with the date of notice that the project failed concurrency. The Director may extend the reservation of capacity for a length of time as determined by the Director when:

1.    The applicant has, within the sixty (60) day reservation of capacity, submitted changes in the project and/or proposed traffic mitigation and paid the application fee for a model run if required to propose adding more vehicle internal trip ends to the trip bank; or

2.    The applicant and City have signed a consultant contract to prepare an EIS for the project; or

3.    The development application is for a Master Site Plan; or

4.    There exist good faith negotiations between the City and applicant toward a development agreement.

C.    Expiration: The reservation of capacity shall expire at the end of sixty (60) days unless a concurrency certificate has been issued or the reservation has been extended as provided for in subsection B of this section.

D.    Options for Development Failing Concurrency: The applicant for a development failing concurrency may:

1.    Abandon the proposed development.

2.    Agree in writing within sixty (60) days of the notification of concurrency failure to:

a.    Build or provide a mitigation strategy, and provide a financial commitment, for the transportation facility improvements necessary to achieve concurrency;

b.    Phase the development to reduce the number of project vehicle internal trip ends to a level that will achieve concurrency; and/or

c.    Modify the concurrency and development permit applications by reducing the size of the development and/or implementing transportation demand management strategies to reduce the number of project trips to a level that will achieve concurrency.

3.    Appeal the concurrency determination to the Hearing Examiner in accordance with IMC 18.15.320.

4.    Proceed with permitting the project as proposed even though the development application(s) must be denied if the project failed to receive a concurrency certificate.

E.    Mitigation Criteria: The mitigation options established in subsection (D)(2) of this section shall be consistent with the following criteria:

1.    Transportation Facility Improvements:

a.    Administrative Approval: The Director may approve transportation facility improvements that add additional vehicle internal trip ends to the trip bank to achieve concurrency when all of the following criteria are met:

(1)    The improvement is consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan and is added to the City’s adopted Transportation Improvement Program;

(2)    The timing of the improvement is completed within six (6) years;

(3)    If the trip bank update is not planned, then the applicant shall pay all costs associated with updating the trip bank, including but not limited to consultant costs to run the concurrency model to measure whether the proposed improvements meet the Citywide LOS standards, to recalculate vehicle internal trip ends in the trip bank, and complete any other tasks identified by the Director.

b.    City Council Approval: The City Council may approve a transportation facility improvement not included in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) as transportation concurrency mitigation by amending the TIP to include the proposed improvement.

c.    Funding Commitment and Conditions: The permit for any development requiring one (1) or more transportation facility improvements in order to achieve concurrency shall include conditions requiring a financial commitment by the applicant, binding on subsequent owners, for the completion of the improvement(s). The cost of the transportation improvement(s) required for concurrency may be credited towards the developer’s transportation impact fee obligation in accordance with IMC 3.71.050(E).

d.    Latecomer Agreements: The City may authorize latecomer agreements, or other reimbursement from owners of property benefited by the concurrency improvements, as allowed by State law.

2.    Transportation Demand Management (TDM)/Phasing: The Director may approve a TDM strategy or phasing plan that achieves transportation concurrency when the TDM strategy or phasing plan includes:

a.    An implementation plan and schedule;

b.    Methods to monitor and enforce TDM/phasing performance;

c.    A fallback plan to achieve concurrency if the TDM goals are not achieved within two (2) years of issuance of the certificate of occupancy. The TDM strategy/phasing plan shall be a condition of development approval and shall apply to all future property owners. The Director shall determine, consistent with accepted engineering practice, the appropriate trip reduction resulting from the proposed TDM strategy. (Ord. 2733 § 5 (Exh. I), 2015; Ord. 2595 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010).

18.15.300 Relationship to the State Environmental Policy Act.

This chapter establishes the minimum transportation concurrency requirements applicable to all development and is not intended to limit the City’s authority under the State Environment Policy Act (SEPA) or to evaluate all transportation impacts resulting from new development, particularly safety and operational impacts. SEPA mitigation regarding intersection operation and/or safety may be included as conditions of the concurrency certificate at the discretion of the Director. (Ord. 2733 § 5 (Exh. I), 2015; Ord. 2595 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010).

18.15.310 Fees.

The City shall charge a processing fee to any individual or entity that applies for a transportation concurrency certificate, except governmental entities. The fee shall be nonrefundable and nonassignable to any other fees or development. Such fees shall be determined by resolution of the City Council. An additional fee will be required if, in the sole judgment of the Director, use of the City’s transportation computer forecasting model is necessary for making a concurrency determination. All concurrency processing fees shall be paid in full upon application for a concurrency determination. (Ord. 2733 § 5 (Exh. I), 2015; Ord. 2595 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010).

18.15.320 Appeals.

Refer to IMC 18.04.250 to 18.04.260 regarding appeals. (Ord. 2733 § 5 (Exh. I), 2015; Ord. 2595 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010).