Chapter 12.15
FIRE IMPACT FEES

Sections:

12.15.010    Findings and authority.

12.15.020    Definitions.

12.15.030    Impact fee – Applicability.

12.15.040    Exemptions.

12.15.050    Interlocal agreement between the city and the RFA.

12.15.060    Submission of RFA capital facilities and equipment plan and data.

12.15.070    Annual council review.

12.15.080    Impact fee program elements.

12.15.090    Fee calculations.

12.15.100    Assessment and collection of impact fees.

12.15.110    Determination of the fee – Adjustments – Exception – Appeals.

12.15.120    Impact fee accounts and refunds.

12.15.010 Findings and authority.

The city council of the city of Kent hereby finds and determines that continuing growth and development in the city of Kent will create additional demands and need for fire protection facilities. The council further finds that the Washington State Growth Management Act (Chapter 36.70A RCW) authorizes cities to require that new growth and development pay a proportionate share of the cost to partially fund fire protection facilities needed to serve the new growth and development.

Therefore, pursuant to Chapter 82.02 RCW, the council adopts this chapter to assess fire impact fees. The provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed in order to carry out the purposes of the council in establishing the fire impact fee program.

(Ord. No. 4167, § 1, 9-1-15)

12.15.020 Definitions.

The following words and terms shall have the following meanings for the purpose of this chapter:

A. Capital facilities and equipment plan means the RFA’s capital improvement plan adopted by the RFA’s governing board consisting of:

1. An inventory of existing capital facilities and equipment owned by the RFA, their locations, and capacities;

2. An identification of demands expected to be placed on existing fire protection facilities and equipment by the impacts of projected new development over a 20-year period;

3. A forecast of future capital facilities and equipment necessary to meet the RFA’s adopted level of service with the increased service demand of future growth within the RFA;

4. The proposed locations of expanded or new capital facilities and equipment and the associated timeline for construction or expansion;

5. At least a six-year financing component, updated as necessary to maintain at least a six-year forecast period, for financing needed fire protection facilities within projected funding levels, and identifying sources of financing for such purposes, including bond issues; and

6. Any other long range projects planned by the RFA.

B. City means the city of Kent.

C. Developer means the person or entity that owns or holds purchase options or other development control over property for which development activity is proposed.

D. Development activity means any residential or commercial construction or expansion of a building, structure or use, any change in use of a building or structure, or any change in the use of land that creates additional demand for fire protection facilities.

E. Director means the city of Kent economic and community development director or the director’s designee.

F. Encumbered means impact fees identified by the RFA as being committed as part of the funding for a fire protection facility for which the publicly funded share has been assured or building permits sought or construction contracts let.

G. Fire protection facilities means fully equipped fire stations, administrative offices, training grounds and structures, maintenance facilities and other specialized facilities required for the RFA to locate, house or expedite the timely arrival of firefighting and emergency medical equipment, fire suppression equipment, and the staff necessary to deliver emergency response services within the RFA’s service area.

H. Interlocal agreement means the agreement between the RFA and the city, governing the operation of the fire impact fee program and describing the relationship, duties and liabilities of the parties.

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

J. Impact fee schedule means the table of impact fees to be charged per unit of development, computed by the formula adopted under this chapter, indicating the standard fee amount per dwelling unit or per commercial development that shall be paid as a condition of development within the city.

K. Level(s) of service means the standards adopted by the RFA for the delivery of fire and emergency medical response services, as set forth in the RFA’s adopted standard of cover and reflected in the capital facilities and equipment plan.

L. Mitigation and level of service policy means the policy adopted by the RFA and used to guide the mitigation of impacts imposed by new development upon the RFA’s ability to deliver services. The policy supports approval of development through appropriate mitigations that safeguard the community.

M. RFA means the Kent Fire Department Regional Fire Authority, a Washington State municipal corporation established and operating pursuant to Chapter 52.26 RCW.

N. Standard of cover or SOC means the written risk evaluation and standards of service document maintained by the RFA in compliance with international accreditation through the Center for Public Safety Excellence.

(Ord. No. 4167, § 1, 9-1-15)

12.15.030 Impact fee – Applicability.

Impact fees, based on the RFA’s capital facilities and equipment plan adopted by the city council, shall be required for all development activity requiring city review and approval where the activity requires the issuance of a residential or commercial building permit. The impact fees shall be assessed and collected for each type of construction when the permit is issued, as provided for in this chapter.

(Ord. No. 4167, § 1, 9-1-15)

12.15.040 Exemptions.

A. The following development activities are exempt from the requirements of this chapter:

1. Shelters or dwelling units for temporary placement, which provide housing to persons on a temporary basis not exceeding two weeks;

2. Rebuilding or remodeling of a legally established structure destroyed or damaged by fire, flood, explosion, act of nature or other accident or catastrophe; provided, that a building permit for the rebuilding or remodeling is issued within one year after the damage or destruction occurs. The exemption shall not apply to any additional structure or expansion of the original square footage that is proposed to be built on the same tax parcel on which the structure that was damaged or destroyed is being rebuilt or remodeled;

3. Projects in which existing dwelling units are converted into condominium ownership and where no new dwelling units are created;

4. Any development activity that is exempt from the payment of an impact fee pursuant to RCW 82.02.100(1), as amended;

5. Any development activity for which fire impacts have been mitigated pursuant to a voluntary agreement entered into with the RFA to pay fees, dedicate land or construct or improve fire protection facilities; provided, that the agreement predates the effective date of fee imposition;

6. Any development of 200 square feet or less that does not use or store hazardous materials that would create a life safety risk;

7. Alteration of an existing nonresidential structure that does not expand the useable space and that does not involve a change in use;

8. Demolition of or moving an existing structure within the city from one site to another;

9. Miscellaneous improvements that do not create additional demands and need for fire protection facilities, including, but not limited to, construction of accessory structures, as defined in KCC 15.02.005, fences, walls, swimming pools and signs;

10. Alteration, expansion or remodeling of an existing dwelling or accessory residential structure where the use is not changed;

11. Construction of an accessory dwelling unit on a parcel with an existing single-family dwelling unit; provided, however, that this shall only exempt the construction from two-thirds of the normal residential impact fee that would otherwise apply; and

12. A development permit for a city project.

B. Pursuant to RCW 82.02.100(2), where automatic fire sprinklers are installed in single-family residential occupancies, a reduced fee equal to 70 percent of the impact fee shall serve to mitigate the costs of needed EMS and rescue resources.

C. The director shall be authorized to determine whether a particular development activity falls within an exemption identified in this chapter, or is exempt pursuant to other applicable law. Determinations of the director shall be subject to the appeals procedures set forth in KCC 12.15.110.

(Ord. No. 4167, § 1, 9-1-15)

12.15.050 Interlocal agreement between the city and the RFA.

As a condition of the city’s authorization and adoption of a fire impact fee ordinance, the city and the RFA shall enter into an interlocal agreement governing the operation of the fire impact fee program, and describing the relationship and liabilities of the parties thereunder.

(Ord. No. 4167, § 1, 9-1-15)

12.15.060 Submission of RFA capital facilities and equipment plan and data.

A. On an annual basis, the RFA shall submit the following materials to the city council:

1. The RFA’s capital facilities and equipment plan (as defined in KCC 12.15.020(A)) as adopted by the RFA’s governing board. The capital facilities and equipment plan shall contain a six-year financing component as set forth in KCC 12.15.020(A);

2. The RFA’s growth projections over the next six years;

3. The RFA’s standard of service;

4. The RFA’s overall capacity to meet levels of service over the next six years, and the expected service improvements from fire protection facilities planned by the RFA but not yet built or implemented; and

5. An inventory of the RFA’s existing facilities.

B. To the extent that the RFA’s levels of service identify a deficiency in its existing facilities, the RFA’s capital facilities and equipment plan must identify the sources of funding, other than impact fees, for building or acquiring the necessary facilities to serve the existing population in order to eliminate the deficiencies within a reasonable period of time.

C. Facilities to meet future demand shall be designed to meet the RFA’s adopted levels of service. If sufficient funding is not projected to be available to fully fund facilities which meet the adopted levels of service, the RFA’s capital facilities and equipment plan should document the reason for the funding gap, and identify all sources of funding and mitigation that the RFA plans to use to meet the adopted levels of service.

D. The RFA shall also submit an annual report to the city council showing the capital improvements which were serviced in whole or in part by the impact fees.

(Ord. No. 4167, § 1, 9-1-15)

12.15.070 Annual council review.

On an annual basis, the city council shall review the information submitted by the RFA pursuant to KCC 12.15.060(A)(1) and consider whether to adopt the same. The city council’s review and possible adoption shall occur in conjunction with any update of the capital facilities element of the city’s comprehensive plan that occurs concurrently with the adoption or amendment of the city’s budget.

(Ord. No. 4167, § 1, 9-1-15)

12.15.080 Impact fee program elements.

A. Impact fees will be assessed on every new structure in the city for which a fee schedule has been established.

B. Concurrently with the city’s assessment of impact fees, the RFA will assess the proposed development’s total impacts using the guidance of the RFA’s mitigation and level of service policy. If it is determined by this policy that impact fees alone will not address fire service concurrency within a reasonable time, additional mitigations may be required to reduce development impacts. Subsequently, impact fees may or may not be reduced depending upon the mitigations imposed.

C. Consistent with RCW 82.02.050 through 82.02.100, any impact fee imposed shall be reasonably related to the impact caused by the development and shall not exceed a proportionate share of the cost of the system improvements that are reasonably related to the development.

D. The impact fee shall be based on the capital facilities and equipment plan developed by the RFA and approved by the RFA governing board, and adopted by reference by the city as part of the capital facilities element of the comprehensive plan for the purpose of establishing the fee program.

(Ord. No. 4167, § 1, 9-1-15)

12.15.090 Fee calculations.

A. The fee shall be calculated based on a RFA-wide basis using the appropriate factors and data to be supplied by the RFA as indicated in Attachment A1 to the ordinance codified in this chapter of the RFA’s mitigation and level of service policy using the formula set out in Appendix A of Attachment A to the ordinance codified in this chapter, adopted herein by reference.

B. Separate fees shall be calculated for single-family, multifamily, commercial/industrial, assisted care and hospital and medical facilities, and other facilities as identified in Attachment A to the ordinance codified in this chapter. For the purpose of this chapter, mobile homes and manufactured homes shall be treated as single-family dwellings and duplexes shall be treated as multifamily dwellings.

C. The formula in Attachment A to the ordinance codified in this chapter provides for a credit where creditable mitigations are implemented or where voluntary agreements between the RFA and developer provide for fire protection facilities, fire facility sites, or other related developer contributions that the RFA finds acceptable.

D. The city may also impose an application fee, as established by council resolution, to cover the reasonable costs of administration of the impact fee program.

(Ord. No. 4167, § 1, 9-1-15)

12.15.100 Assessment and collection of impact fees.

A. At the time of issuance of a building permit by the city, including a permit for a manufactured home, the fire impact fee shall be assessed based on the impact fee schedule then in effect as calculated in Attachment A to the ordinance codified in this chapter. The impact fee and the application fee, if any, shall be collected by the city, and maintained in separate accounts. All fire impact fees shall be paid to the RFA from the fire impact fee account monthly. If the city imposes an application fee, the city shall retain the application fees associated with the city’s administration of the impact fee program.

B. Collection of fire impact fees may be deferred upon the city’s adoption of a deferral ordinance pursuant to ESB 5923.

(Ord. No. 4167, § 1, 9-1-15)

12.15.110 Determination of the fee – Adjustments – Exception – Appeals.

A. The director shall determine the amount of the fire impact fee, based upon the schedule provided by the RFA.

B. The developer shall be entitled to a credit for the value of any dedication of land for, improvement to, or new construction of any system improvements provided by the developer to fire protection facilities that are identified in the capital facilities plan that are required by the city as a condition of approving the development.

C. The standard impact fees may be adjusted in one of the following circumstances:

1. The developer demonstrates that an impact fee assessment was improperly calculated; or

2. Where unusual circumstances are identified by the director, developer, or RFA, the fee may be adjusted in specific cases to ensure that impact fees are imposed fairly. Adjustments will be determined jointly by the director and the RFA’s designee.

D. In cases where a developer requests an independent fee calculation, adjustment exception, or a credit pursuant to RCW 82.02.060(6), the director shall consult with the RFA and the RFA shall advise the director prior to making the final impact fee determination.

E. A developer may provide studies and data to demonstrate that any particular factor used by the RFA may not be appropriately applied to the development proposal.

F. Any appeal of the decision of the director with regard to fee amounts shall follow the process for the appeal of the underlying development application.

G. Impact fees may be paid under protest in order to obtain a building permit or a manufactured home permit.

(Ord. No. 4167, § 1, 9-1-15)

12.15.120 Impact fee accounts and refunds.

A. Impact fee receipts shall be earmarked specifically and retained in a special interest bearing account established by the RFA solely for the RFA’s fire impact fees. All interest shall be retained in the account and expended for the purpose or purposes for which impact fees were imposed. Annually, the RFA, based in part on its report prepared pursuant to KCC 12.15.060, shall prepare a report on the impact fee account showing the source and amount of all moneys collected, earned or received, and capital or system improvements that were financed in whole or in part by impact fees. The RFA shall submit a copy of this report to the city council annually. The city shall maintain a separate fire impact fee account and, if applicable, an administration fee account pursuant to KCC 12.15.100. The city’s finance department shall, upon request from the RFA, provide a memo to the city council which will include an accounting of the annual amount of all fire impact fees collected and transferred to the RFA.

B. Impact fees for the RFA’s system improvements shall be expended by the RFA only in conformance with the RFA’s adopted capital facilities and equipment plan element of the comprehensive plan.

C. Impact fees shall be expended or encumbered by the RFA for a permissible use within 10 years of when the fees were paid, unless there exists an extraordinary or compelling reason for fees to be held longer than 10 years. Such extraordinary or compelling reasons shall be identified to the city by the RFA in a written report. The city council shall identify the RFA’s extraordinary and compelling reasons for the fees to be held longer than 10 years in the council’s own written findings.

D. The current owner of property on which an impact fee has been paid may receive a refund of such fees if the impact fees have not been expended or encumbered within 10 years of receipt of the funds by the RFA on fire protection facilities intended to benefit the development activity for which the impact fees were paid. In determining whether impact fees have been encumbered, impact fees shall be considered encumbered on a first in, first out basis. The RFA shall notify potential claimants by first class mail deposited with the United States Postal Service addressed to the owner of the property as shown in the county tax records.

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

F. Should the city seek to terminate any or all fire impact fee requirements, all unexpended or unencumbered funds, including interest earned, shall be refunded to the current owner of the property for which a fire impact fee was paid. 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 the refunds in a newspaper of general circulation at least two times and shall notify all potential claimants by first class mail addressed to the owner of the property as shown in the county tax records. 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 RFA, but must be expended by the RFA, consistent with the provisions of this section. The notice requirement set forth above shall not apply if there are no unexpended or unencumbered balances with the account or accounts being terminated.

G. A developer may request and shall receive a refund, including interest earned on the impact fees paid, when:

1. The developer does not proceed to finalize the development activity as required by statute or city code, including the International Building Code; and

2. No impact on the RFA has resulted.

H. Interest due upon the refund of impact fees required by this section shall be calculated according to the average amount received by the RFA on invested funds throughout the period during which the fees were retained.

(Ord. No. 4167, § 1, 9-1-15)


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Code reviser’s note: Attachment A to Ordinance No. 4167 is available in the office of the city clerk.