This section of code is subject to an Administrative Code Interpretation: CI-130

4-1-190 IMPACT FEES:

A. TITLE:

This Section shall be hereinafter known as “impact fees.”

B. PURPOSE AND INTENT:

The purpose and intent of this Section is to authorize the collection of impact fees for transportation, parks, fire protection, and schools and to provide for certain other matters in connection therewith.

C. FINDINGS AND AUTHORITY:

The Renton City Council (hereinafter referred to as “Council”) hereby finds and determines that development activities, including but not limited to new residential, commercial, retail, office, and industrial development in the City of Renton (hereinafter referred to as “City”) will create additional demand and need for transportation and parks system improvements in the City, for school facilities within its school districts, and for fire protection facilities in the City. Further, the Council finds that such new growth and development should pay a proportionate share of the cost of system improvements needed to serve the new growth and development.

In the Rate Study as defined and hereby incorporated by this reference, the City documented extensive research concerning the procedures for measuring the impact of new developments on public facilities. In 2016, the City updated the Rate Study for Transportation. In 2017, the Renton Regional Fire Authority completed its own Rate Study for Fire Impact Fees.

These Rate Studies utilize methodologies for calculating impact fees that are consistent with the requirements of RCW 82.02.060(1). A copy of the most current version of the Rate Studies shall be kept on file by the Renton City Clerk and will be available to the public for review.

Therefore, pursuant to chapter 82.02 RCW, the Council adopts this Section to assess impact fees for transportation and parks, as well as, school impact fees for the Issaquah, Kent, and Renton School Districts and for fire protection fees for the Renton Regional Fire Authority. The provisions of this Section shall be liberally construed in order to carry out the purposes of the Council in providing for the assessment of impact fees. (Ord. 5841, 6-12-2017)

D. DEFINITIONS:

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

1. “Administrator” means the Administrator or designee of the Department of Community and Economic Development.

2. “Applicant” for the purposes of this Section includes an entity that controls the applicant, is controlled by the applicant, or is under common control with the applicant.

3. “Building permit” means an official document or certification which is issued by the City and which authorizes the construction, alteration, enlargement, conversion, reconstruction, remodeling, rehabilitation, erection, demolition, moving, or repair of a building or structure or any portions thereof.

4. “Capital facilities plan” means the capital facilities element of the City’s Comprehensive Plan adopted pursuant to chapter 36.70A RCW and such plan as amended.

5. “City” means the City of Renton.

6. “Classrooms” means educational facilities of each respective school district that the district determines are necessary to best serve its student population and that are required to house students for its basic educational program. Specialized facilities as identified by the school district, including but not limited to gymnasiums, cafeterias, libraries, administrative offices, and child care centers, shall not be counted as classrooms.

7. “Construction cost per student” means the estimated cost of construction of a permanent school facility in the school district for the grade span of school to be provided, as a function of the school district’s design standard per grade span and the requirements of students with special needs.

8. “Council” means the Renton City Council.

9. “Department” means the City’s Department of Community and Economic Development.

10. “Development activity” means any construction 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 generate the need for additional public facilities.

11. “Development approval” means any written authorization from the City of Renton which authorizes the commencement of a development activity.

12. “Elderly” means a person aged sixty two (62) or older.

13. “Encumbered” for transportation and parks means to reserve, set aside, or otherwise earmark impact fees in order to pay for commitments, contractual obligations, or other liabilities incurred for system improvements. For school and fire it means impact fees identified by the district or RRFA as being committed as part of the funding for a facility for which the publicly funded share has been assured or building permits sought or construction contracts let.

14. “Feepayer” is any person, collection of persons, or department or bureau of any governmental entity or municipal corporation commencing a development activity which creates the demand for additional system improvements and which requires the issuance of a building permit or a permit for a change of use. “Feepayer” includes an applicant for an impact fee credit.

15. “Fee Schedule” is the City of Renton Fee Schedule detailing amounts to be paid for various permits, licenses, etc., that is published, kept on file, and made available to the public on the City’s website and in the office of the Renton City Clerk.

16. “Fire capital facilities plan” means the RRFA’s capital improvement plan adopted by the RRFA’s governing board that includes the following:

a. An inventory of existing capital facilities and equipment owned by the RRFA, their locations, and capacities.

b. The identification of the demands projected new development is anticipated to place on existing fire protection facilities and equipment.

c. A forecast of the capital facilities and equipment necessary to meet the RRFA’s adopted level of service with the increased demand of new development within the RRFA.

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

e. At least a six (6) year financing component, updated as necessary to maintain at least a six (6) year forecast period, for financing needed fire protection facilities within projected funding levels, and identifying sources of financing for such purposes, including bond issues.

f. Any other long-range projects planned by the RRFA.

17. “Fire protection” shall mean fire protection facilities, including but not limited to fire stations, fire apparatus, and any furnishings and equipment that can be capitalized.

18. “Grade span” means the categories into which a school district groups its grades of students, i.e., elementary school, middle or junior high school, and high school.

19. “Hearing Examiner” shall mean that person or persons acting as the Renton Hearing Examiner.

20. “Impact fee” means a payment of money imposed by the City of Renton on development activity pursuant to this Section as a condition of granting development approval. An impact fee does not include a reasonable permit fee, an application fee, the administrative fee for collecting and handling impact fees, the fee for reviewing independent fee calculations, or the fee for deferring payment of impact fees.

21. “Impact fee account(s)” means the separate accounting structure(s) within the City’s established accounts, which structure(s) shall identify separately earmarked funds and which shall be established for the impact fees that are collected. The account(s) shall be established pursuant to subsection M of this Section and shall comply with the requirements of RCW 82.02.070.

22. “Independent fee calculation” means the transportation impact fee calculation, and/or economic documentation prepared by a feepayer, to support the assessment of a transportation, parks or fire protection impact fee other than by the use of the rates published in the Fee Schedule, or the calculations prepared by the department where none of the fee categories or fee amounts in the Fee Schedule accurately describe or capture the impacts of the development activity on public facilities.

23. “Owner” means the owner of record of real property, although when real property is being purchased under a real estate contract, the purchaser shall be considered the owner of the real property if the contract is recorded.

24. “Parks” shall mean parks, open space, and recreation facilities including but not limited to land, improvements, and any furnishings and equipment that can be capitalized.

25. “Permanent school facilities” means the facilities of a school district with a fixed foundation which are not relocatable facilities.

26. “Permit for change of use or change of use permit” means an official document which is issued by the City which authorizes a change of use of an existing building or structure or land.

27. “Project improvements” means site improvements and facilities that are planned and designed to provide service for a particular development project, are necessary for the use and convenience of the occupants or users of the project, and are not system improvements. No improvement or facility included in a capital facilities plan adopted by the Council shall be considered a project improvement.

28. “Public facilities,” for purposes of this Section, means the following capital facilities owned or operated by the City of Renton, school districts, Renton Regional Fire Authority, or other governmental entities: public streets and roads, public parks, open space and recreation facilities and fire protection facilities. (Ord. 5841, 6-12-2017)

29. “Rate Study” means any rate study relating to impact fees for transportation, parks, or fire protection adopted by the City of Renton.

30. “Relocatable facility” means any factory-built structure, transportable in one or more sections, such as that which is designed to be used as an education space needed to prevent the overbuilding of school facilities to meet the needs of service areas within a school district, or to cover the gap between the time that families move into new residential developments and the date that construction is completed on permanent school facilities.

31. “Relocatable facilities cost per student” means the estimated cost of purchasing and siting a relocatable facility in a school district for the grade span of school to be provided, as a function of a school district’s design standard per grade span and the requirements of students with special needs.

32. “RRFA” means the Renton Regional Fire Authority, a Washington State municipal corporation established and operating pursuant to chapter 52.26 RCW.

33. “School capital facilities plan” means each respective school district’s capital facilities plan adopted by the School Board, which shall consist of:

a. A forecast of future needs for school facilities based on the school district’s enrollment projections;

b. The long-range construction and capital improvements projects of the school district;

c. The schools under construction or expansion;

d. The proposed locations and capacities of expanded or new school facilities;

e. At least a six (6) year financing plan component, updated as necessary to maintain at least a six (6) year forecast period, for financing needed school facilities within projected funding levels, and identifying sources of financing for such purposes, including bond issues authorized by the voters and projected bond issues not yet authorized by the voters; and

f. Any other long-range projects planned by the school district.

34. “School district design standard” means the space required, by grade span, including the requirements of students with special needs, which is needed in order to fulfill the educational goals of the school district as identified in each respective school district’s capital facilities plan.

35. “Site cost per student” means the estimated cost of a site in a school district for the grade span of school to be provided, as a function of the school district’s design standard per grade span and the requirements of students with special needs.

36. “Standard of service” means the standard adopted by a school district which identifies the program year, the class size by grade span and the requirements of students with special needs, the number of classrooms, the types of facilities the school district believes will best serve its student population, and other factors as identified by a school district. The school district’s standard of service shall not be adjusted for any portion of the classrooms housed in relocatable facilities which are used as transitional facilities or for any specialized facilities housed in relocatable facilities. Except as otherwise defined by the School Board pursuant to a Board resolution, “transitional facilities” shall mean those facilities that are used to cover the time required for the construction of permanent school facilities; provided, that the school district has the necessary financial commitments in place to complete the permanent school facilities called for in the school district’s capital facilities plan.

37. “Street” or “road” means a public right-of-way and all related appurtenances, including lawfully required off-site mitigation, which enable motor vehicles, transit vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians to travel between destinations. For purposes of this Section, public streets and roads are collectively referred to as “transportation.”

38. “Student factor” means the number derived by a school district to describe how many students of each grade span are expected to be generated by a dwelling unit. Student factors shall be based on a school district’s record of average actual student generation rates for new developments constructed over a period of not more than five (5) years prior to the date of the fee calculation; provided, that if such information is not available in the school district, data from adjacent districts, districts with similar demographics, or countywide averages may be used. Student factors must be separately determined for single family and multi-family dwelling units, and for grade spans.

39. “System improvements,” for purposes of this Section, means public facilities that are included in the City of Renton’s capital facilities plan, and such plan as amended, and are designed to provide service to the community at large, in contrast to project improvements.

40. “Transportation” means public streets and roads and related appurtenances. (Ord. 5984, 10-26-2020)

E. ESTABLISHMENT OF SERVICE AREA:

1. The City hereby establishes, as the service area for impact fees, the City of Renton, including all property located within the corporate City limits.

2. The scope of the service area is hereby found to be reasonable and established on the basis of sound planning and engineering principles, and consistent with RCW 82.02.060 as described in the Rate Study.

F. IMPACT FEES METHODOLOGY AND APPLICABILITY:

The transportation and park impact fees in the Fee Schedule are generated from the formulae for calculating transportation impact fees set forth in the applicable Rate Study. School and fire impact fees in the Fee Schedule are generated from the formulae for calculating impact fees set forth in the applicable school and fire capital facilities plans as may be further set forth in a rate study. Except as otherwise provided for independent fee calculations in subsection H of this Section, exemptions in subsection I of this Section, and credits in subsection J of this Section, all new development activity in the City will be charged impact fees applicable to the type of development listed in the Fee Schedule. (Ord. 5984, 10-26-2020)

G. COLLECTION OF IMPACT FEES:

1. Transportation, Parks, and Fire Impact Fees:

a. Applicability: The City shall collect impact fees, based on the rates in the Fee Schedule, from any applicant seeking development approval from the City for any development activity within the City, when such development activity requires the issuance of a building permit or a permit for a change in use, and creates a demand for additional public facilities.

b. Transportation and Parks Basis and Amount: Maximum allowable impact fees for transportation and parks are established by the applicable Rate Study. The rates to be charged by the City are listed in the Fee Schedule.

c. Fire Impact Fee Basis and Amount: The maximum allowable fees shall be based on the fire capital facilities plan and the rate study developed by the RRFA, approved by its Board, and adopted by the City as part of the capital facilities element of the City’s Comprehensive Plan and as a fire impact fee Rate Study. The rates to be charged are listed in the Fee Schedule. (Ord. 5984, 10-26-2020)

2. School Impact Fees:

a. Applicability: The City shall collect impact fees, based on the rates in the Fee Schedule, from all applicants seeking development approval from the City for any residential development activity in that portion of the City located within each respective school district’s boundaries.

b. Basis and Amount: The maximum allowable fees shall be based on a school capital facilities plan developed by the appropriate school district and approved by the School Board, and adopted by reference by the City as part of the capital facilities element of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. The rates to be charged are listed in the Fee Schedule.

c. Adjustment by Council: The Council may adjust the fees, as it sees fit, to take into account local conditions such as, but not limited to, price differentials throughout each respective school district in the cost of new housing, school occupancy levels, and the percent of each school district’s capital facilities budget, which will be expended locally.

d. Classification by Dwelling Type: Separate fees shall be calculated for single family and multi-family dwellings, and separate student generation rates must be determined by each school district for each type of dwelling. For purposes of this Section, mobile homes shall be treated as single family dwellings; duplexes and accessory dwelling units shall be treated as multi-family dwellings.

e. Credit for Tax Contributions: The formula in Attachment A to Ordinance 4808 provides a credit for the anticipated tax contributions that would be made by the development based on historical levels of voter support for bond issues in a school district. (Ord. 5984, 10-26-2020)

3. Changes in Use or Tenancy: When an impact fee applies to a change of use permit, the impact fee shall be the applicable impact fee for the land use category of the new use, less any impact fee previously paid for the land use category of the prior use. If the prior use paid impact fees based on an Independent Fee Calculation that was approved by the City, the new use shall pay based on the new land use category, less the impact fee paid by the prior use identified in the Independent Fee Calculation. For purposes of this provision, a change of use should be reviewed based on the land use category provided in the Rate Study that best captures the broader use of the property under development. Changes in use or tenancy, if consistent with the general character of the building or building aggregations (i.e., “industrial park,” or “specialty retail”) should not be considered a change in use that is subject to an impact fee. Further, minor changes in tenancies that are consistent with the general character of the included structure, building, or previous use should not be considered changes in use subject to an impact fee. If no impact fee was paid for the prior use, the impact fee for the new use shall be reduced by an amount equal to the current impact fee rate for the prior use. Vacant buildings shall be assessed as if in the most recent legally established use as shown on a locally owned business license or development permit documents.

4. Vacant Structures or Buildings: There is not a limit on the number of years a single family dwelling unit is vacant to be eligible to use an impact fee deduction. After December 31, 2020, the following applies:

a. When an existing structure or building or portion thereof has been vacant for less than two (2) years and six (6) months, the impact fee shall be the applicable impact fee for the land use category of the new use, less any impact fee previously paid for the land use category of the prior use.

i. If no impact fee was paid for the prior use, the impact fee for the new use shall be reduced by an amount equal to the current impact fee rate for the prior use.

b. When an existing structure or building or portion thereof has been vacant for more than two (2) years and six (6) months, but less than five (5) years, the impact fee shall be the applicable impact fee of the new use, less fifty percent (50%) of the amount paid for the land use category of the prior use.

i. If no impact fee was paid for the prior use, the impact fee for the new use shall be reduced by an amount equal to fifty percent (50%) of the current impact fee rate for the prior use.

c. When an existing structure or building or portion thereof has been vacant for a period of five (5) years, the impact fee shall be the applicable impact fee for the land use of the new category; there shall not be a deduction of the impact fee that was or was not previously paid for the land use category of the prior use.

5. Mixed Use: For mixed use developments, impact fees shall be imposed for the proportionate share of each land use, based on the applicable measurement in the impact fee rates in the City of Renton Fee Schedule.

6. Timing of Assessment and Collection: Impact fees shall be determined at the time the complete application for a building permit or a permit for a change in use is submitted using the impact fees then in effect. Impact fees shall be due and payable before the building permit or permit for a change of use is issued by the City.

7. Documentation of Credit Required: Feepayers allowed credits prior to the submittal of the complete building permit application or an application for a permit for a change of use shall submit, along with the complete application, a copy of the letter prepared by the Administrator, school district superintendent, or RRFA official setting forth the dollar amount of the credit allowed. Impact fees, as determined after the application of any credits, shall be collected from the feepayer no later than the time a building permit or permit for a change of use is issued.

8. Deferral for Subdivisions, Short Subdivisions, and Planned Unit Developments: An applicant for residential subdivision, short subdivision, or planned unit development may defer payment of impact fees for all of the dwelling units to be created in the development until the earlier of the time of closing of the first sale of a single detached dwelling unit, condominium unit, or a multi-family residential building or eighteen (18) months after the issuance of the original building permit, but only if before recording the subdivision or short subdivision, the applicant:

a. Submits to the Administrator a signed and notarized deferred impact fee application and acknowledgement form, which includes the legal description, tax account number, and address of each individual in the development;

b. Records at the applicant’s expense a covenant and lien that complies with the requirements of subsections G9bi through vii of this Section; and

c. Pays the applicable nonrefundable administrative fee.

9. Deferral for Single Family, Condominium, and Multi-Family Dwellings: A building permit applicant may defer payment of impact fees for a single detached dwelling unit, condominium unit, or all of the dwelling units in a multi-family residential building until the earlier of the time of closing of the first sale of a single detached dwelling unit, a condominium unit or a multi-family residential building or eighteen (18) months after issuance of the original building permit, but only if before issuance of the building permit, the applicant:

a. Submits to the Administrator a signed and notarized deferred impact fee application and acknowledgement form for each single detached dwelling unit, condominium unit or all of the dwelling units in a multi-family residential building for which the applicant wishes to defer payment of the impact fees; and

b. Records at the applicant’s expense a covenant and lien in the amount of the deferred impact fee(s) and that includes the legal description, tax account number, and address of the property that:

i. Requires payment of the impact fees to the City at the earlier of the time of closing of the first sale or eighteen (18) months after issuance of the original building permit; and

ii. Provides that if the impact fees are paid through escrow at closing of sale, in the absence of an agreement between the buyer and the seller to the contrary, the impact fees shall be paid from the seller’s proceeds; and

iii. Provides that the seller bears strict liability for the payment of the impact fees; and

iv. Requires the seller or seller’s agent of property subject to the covenant and lien to provide written disclosure of the covenant and lien to a purchaser or prospective purchaser. Disclosure of the covenant must include the amount of impact fees payable and that the fees are to be paid to the City no later than the closing date; and

v. Makes the applicant legally liable for payment of the impact fees if the fees are not paid by the earlier of the time of closing of the first sale or eighteen (18) months after the building permit has been issued; and

vi. Is signed by all owners of the property as listed on a current title report, with all signatures acknowledged as required for a deed; and

vii. Is junior and subordinate to one mortgage for the purpose of construction upon the same real property granted by the person who applied for the deferral of impact fees.

10. Payment Methods: Payment of impact fees deferred under this subsection shall be made by cash, escrow company check, cashier’s check or certified check.

11. Lien Release: Upon receipt of payment of impact fees deferred under this subsection, the City shall execute a lien release for each single detached dwelling unit, condominium unit, or multi-family residential building for which the impact fees have been received. The property owner at the time of the release shall be responsible for recording the lien release.

12. Foreclosure by City: If impact fees are not paid, in accordance with the provisions of this subsection, the City may institute foreclosure proceedings in accordance with chapter 61.12 RCW.

13. Foreclosure by a School District: If the City does not institute foreclosure proceedings for unpaid school impact fees within forty five (45) days after receiving notice from a school district requesting that it do so, the district may institute foreclosure proceedings with respect to unpaid impact fees.

14. Required Prior to Building Permit Issuance: The Department shall not issue the required building permit or the permit for the change of use until the impact fees have been paid or the signed and notarized deferred impact fee application and acknowledgement form and deferral fee have been received and accepted by the City.

15. Number of Deferrals Limited: Each applicant for a single family building permit, in accordance with his or her contractor registration number or other unique identification number, is entitled to annually receive deferrals under this subsection for the first twenty (20) single family building permits issued by the City to that applicant. (Ord. 5957, 12-9-2019)

H. INDEPENDENT FEE CALCULATIONS:

1. Calculations by City: If, in the judgment of the Administrator, none of the fee categories or fee amounts set forth in the Fee Schedule accurately describe or capture the impacts of a new development on public facilities, the Department may conduct independent fee calculations and the Administrator may impose alternative fees on a specific development based on those calculations. The alternative fees and the calculations shall be set forth in writing and shall be mailed to the feepayer.

2. Calculations by Feepayer: A feepayer may opt not to have the impact fees determined according to the fee structure in the Fee Schedule, in which case the feepayer shall prepare and submit to the Administrator, the RRFA, or school district, as applicable, an independent fee calculation for the development activity for which a building permit is being sought. The documentation submitted shall show the basis upon which the independent fee calculation was made. An independent fee calculation shall use the same methodology used to establish impact fees and for transportation, parks, fire, and school impact fees; they shall be limited to adjustments in trip generation rates and lengths for transportation impact fees, persons per dwelling unit for park impact fees, and fire incident rates for fire impact fees.

3. Consideration and Review: There is a rebuttable presumption that the calculations set forth in the Rate Studies and Capital Facilities Plans and the data used by the City, RRFA, and school districts are valid.

a. Transportation and Parks Impact Fees: The Administrator shall consider the documentation submitted by the feepayer, but is not required to accept such documentation or analysis which the Administrator reasonably deems to be inapplicable, inaccurate, incomplete, or unreliable. The Administrator may require the feepayer to submit additional or different documentation for consideration. The Administrator is authorized to adjust the impact fees on a case-by-case basis based on the independent fee calculation, the specific characteristics of the development, and/or principles of fairness. The fees or alternative fees and the calculations therefor shall be set forth in writing and shall be mailed to the feepayer.

b. School and Fire Impact Fees: A school district or the RRFA may adjust the amount of the impact fee assessed if appropriate and lawful, as demonstrated by the feepayer to the appropriate school district’s or the RRFA’s satisfaction. If the Administrator receives a written decision from a school district or RRFA approving an independent fee calculation, the Administrator shall apply and collect school or fire impact fees, as applicable, as adjusted by the approved independent fee calculation.

4. Adjustment from Maximum Amount: Alternative transportation impact fees calculated pursuant to this subsection shall be reduced in the same manner and to the same extent that the impact fees in the Fee Schedule are reduced from the maximum allowable impact fees in the Rate Study.

5. Appeals: Determinations made by the Administrator or school district pursuant to this Section may be appealed to the office of the Hearing Examiner under the procedures set forth in subsection L of this Section. (Ord. 5984, 10-26-2020)

I. EXEMPTIONS:

1. School Impact Fees: The following shall be exempt from the application of school impact fees:

a. Any form of housing exclusively for the elderly, including nursing homes and retirement centers, so long as these uses are maintained in perpetuity and the necessary covenants or declarations of restrictions are recorded on the property to ensure that no children will reside in the development.

b. The replacement of the same number of dwelling units at the same site or lot when such replacement occurs within thirty six (36) months of the demolition or destruction of the prior structure.

c. Alterations or expansion or enlargement or remodeling or rehabilitation or conversion of an existing dwelling unit where no additional units are created and the use is not changed.

d. Any development activity that is exempt from the payment of a school impact fee pursuant to RCW 82.02.100, due to mitigation of the same system improvement under the State Environmental Policy Act.

2. Transportation, Parks, and Fire Impact Fees: Except as provided for below, the following shall be exempted from the payment of all transportation, parks, and fire impact fees:

a. Alteration or replacement of an existing residential structure that does not create an additional dwelling unit or change the type of dwelling unit.

b. Alteration or replacement of an existing nonresidential structure that does not expand the usable space or change the existing land use.

c. Miscellaneous improvements which do not generate increased need for public facilities, including, but not limited to, fences, walls, residential swimming pools, and signs.

d. Demolition or moving of a structure.

e. Projects that have undergone prior State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review and received a final decision that includes mitigation requirements on the condition that the SEPA mitigation obligation has or will be fulfilled by the time the impact fees, if applicable, would be due.

f. Housing that qualifies for waived fees under the provisions of RMC 4-1-210.

g. Temporary manufactured homes for medical hardships that meet the criteria identified in RMC 4-9-240.

3. Authority: The Administrator shall be authorized to determine whether a particular development activity falls within an exemption identified in this Section. The Administrator’s determinations shall be in writing and shall be subject to the appeals procedures set forth in subsection L of this Section.

J. CREDITS FOR DEDICATIONS, CONSTRUCTION OF IMPROVEMENTS, AND PAST TAX PAYMENTS:

1. Criteria for Award of Credits: A feepayer may request that a credit or credits for impact fees be awarded to him/her for the total value of system improvements, including dedications of land and improvements, and/or construction provided by the feepayer. Requests for credits for transportation and parks impact fees shall be made to the Administrator. Requests for credits for school impact fees shall be made to the appropriate school district. Requests for credits for fire impact fees shall be made to RRFA. Credits will be given only if the land, improvements, and/or the facility constructed are:

a. Included within the capital facilities plan or would serve the goals and objectives of the capital facilities plan;

b. Determined by the City, school district, or RRFA, as applicable, to be at suitable sites and constructed at acceptable quality;

c. Serve to offset impacts of the feepayer’s development activity; and

d. If for a transportation impact fee, are for one or more of the projects listed in the Rate Study as the basis for the calculation.

2. Authority and Process:

a. The Administrator, school district, or RRFA, as applicable, shall determine if requests for credits meet the criteria in subsection J1 of this Section or other applicable law. The determinations shall be in writing, and any determination by the Administrator shall be subject to the appeals procedure set forth in subsection L of this Section.

b. For each request for a credit or credits for transportation or parks, the Administrator shall select an appraiser or, in the alternative, the feepayer may select an independent appraiser acceptable to the Administrator.

c. For each request for a credit or credits for school or fire impact fees, the Administrator shall defer to the applicable school district or RRFA for selection of an appraiser from a list of independent appraisers to determine for the school district the value of the dedicated land, improvements, or construction provided by the developer on a case-by-case basis.

d. Unless approved otherwise, the appraiser must be a member of the American Institute of Appraisers and be licensed in good standing pursuant to chapter 18.40 RCW et seq. in the category for the property or improvement to be appraised, and shall not have a fiduciary or personal interest in the property being appraised.

e. The Administrator, school district, or RRFA, as applicable, will accept or reject the appraisal, and any decision by the Administrator may be subject to independent review by the Hearing Examiner.

f. The feepayer shall pay the actual costs for the appraisal and an independent review, if required, unless the Administrator, school district, or RRFA, as applicable, determines that payment for independent review should not be at the feepayer’s expense.

g. After considering the appraisal and the review, the Administrator, school district superintendent, or RRFA official, as applicable, shall provide the applicant with a written determination setting forth the dollar amount of any credit, the reason for the credit, the legal description of the real property dedicated where applicable, and the legal description or other adequate description of the project or development to which the credit may be applied. The feepayer must sign and date a duplicate copy of such determination accepting the terms of the letter or certificate, and return such signed document to the Administrator before the impact fee credit will be awarded. The failure of the feepayer to sign, date, and return such document within sixty (60) calendar days of the date of the determination shall nullify the credit.

h. No credit shall be given for project improvements.

3. School and Fire Impact Fees Responsibility: Any credit for school or fire impact fees shall be the responsibility of the respective school district or RRFA, and shall be independent of the fees collected by the City. The burden of establishing such credit shall be on the party seeking the credit. When established as a condition of development approval or pursuant to the terms of a voluntary mitigation agreement, the feepayer shall receive a credit from the appropriate school district or RRFA. The fee amount due on the development activity shall be reduced by the amount of the credit. Proof shall include such things as a receipt or cancelled check.

4. Past Tax Payments: A feepayer may request a credit or credits for impact fees previously awarded for past tax payments. For each request for a credit or credits for past tax payments for transportation impact fees, the feepayer shall submit receipts and a calculation of past tax payments earmarked for or prorated according to the particular system improvement for which credit is requested. The Administrator, school district, or RRFA, as applicable, shall determine the amount of credits, if any, for past tax payments for system improvements.

5. Appeals: The Administrator’s determinations pursuant to this Section shall be subject to the appeals procedures set forth in subsection L of this Section.

K. ADJUSTMENTS FOR FUTURE TAX PAYMENTS AND OTHER REVENUE SOURCES:

Pursuant to and consistent with the requirements of RCW 82.02.060 the Rate Studies have provided adjustments for future taxes to be paid by the development activity which are earmarked or prorated according to the same new public facilities which will serve the new development. The impact fees in the City of Renton Fee Schedule have been reasonably adjusted for taxes and other revenue sources which are anticipated to be available to fund public improvements.

L. APPEALS:

1. Transportation and Parks Impact Fees: The Administrator’s determinations with respect to the applicability of the impact fees to a given development activity, the availability or value of a credit, the Administrator’s decision concerning the independent fee calculation which is authorized in subsection H of this Section or any other Administrator’s determination pursuant to this Section may be appealed by the feepayer pursuant to the provisions of RMC 4-8-110E.

2. (Repealed by Ord. 5865, 11-13-2017).

3. Payment under Protest: During the pendency of an appeal, the feepayer may pay the subject fee under protest to avoid delays in the issuance of building permits or change of use permits.

4. Process and School District or RRFA Representation: Appeals to the Hearing Examiner shall be taken in accord with the processes set forth in RMC 4-8-110E. When an interlocal agreement between the City and the respective school district or RRFA provides for an appeal to the Hearing Examiner of school or fire impact fees, and when there is such an appeal, the respective school district or the RRFA shall provide staffing and legal assistance for such an appeal consistent with the applicable interlocal agreement between the City and the respective school district or RRFA.

5. Authority: The Hearing Examiner is authorized to make findings of fact regarding the applicability of the impact fees to a given development activity, the availability or amount of the credit, or the accuracy or applicability of an independent fee calculation. There is a presumption of validity of the Administrator’s, school district’s, and/or RRFA’s determination. The feepayer has the burden of proof during any appeal of the Administrator’s, school district’s, and/or RRFA’s determination or decision.

6. Decisions: The Hearing Examiner may, so long as such action is in conformance with the provisions of this Section, reverse, affirm, modify or remand, in whole or in part, the Administrator’s, school district’s, and/or RRFA’s determinations with respect to the amount of the impact fees imposed or the credit awarded.

M. ESTABLISHMENT OF IMPACT FEE ACCOUNTS:

1. Fee Accounts: The City shall establish the following separate impact fee accounts for the impact fees collected pursuant to this Section: Transportation, Parks, Renton Regional Fire Authority, Issaquah School District, Kent School District, and Renton School District. Funds withdrawn from the accounts must be used in accordance with the provisions of this Section and applicable State law. Interest earned on the fees shall be retained in the accounts and expended for the purposes for which the impact fees were collected. Impact fee receipts shall be earmarked specifically and deposited in the appropriate interest-bearing impact fee accounts.

2. Transfer to School Districts and RRFA:

a. Transfer to School Districts: For each school district account, when sufficient funds have accumulated to make transfer of those funds to the appropriate school district advisable, the Finance Department shall make such transfer. Such funds shall be transferred not less than quarterly, if the balance in the fund is more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00).

b. Transfer to RRFA: The Finance Department shall make transfer to the RRFA from the Renton Regional Fire Authority account such funds as are required by the applicable interlocal agreement between the City and RRFA. The timing of such transfers shall be as specified in the interlocal agreement.

c. Accounting: Annually, the City shall provide accounting records to each school district and the RRFA and each school district and the RRFA shall prepare a report on impact fees showing the source and amount of all monies collected, earned or received, and capital or system improvements that were financed in whole or in part by impact fees.

3. School Fees Encumbered: School impact fees shall be expended or encumbered within six (6) years of receipt, unless the Council identifies in written findings extraordinary and compelling reason or reasons for a school district to hold the fees beyond the six (6) year period. A school district may petition the Council for an extension of the six (6) year period and that school district must set forth any such extraordinary or compelling reason or reasons in its petition. Where the Council identifies the reason or reasons in written findings, the Council shall establish the period of time within which the school impact fees shall be expended or encumbered, after consultation with the petitioning school district.

4. Transportation, Parks, and Fire Fees Encumbered: Transportation, parks, and fire impact fees shall be expended or encumbered within ten (10) years of receipt, unless the Council or RRFA identifies in written findings extraordinary and compelling reasons for the City or RRFA to hold the fees beyond the ten (10) year period, pursuant to RCW 82.02.070(3).

N. ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDELINES:

The Administrator is authorized to adopt internal guidelines for the administration of impact fees, which may include the adoption of procedural rules to clarify or further the procedural rules set forth in this Section.

O. REFUNDS AND OFFSETS:

1. Failure to Expend or Encumber: If there is a failure by the City, school district, or RRFA to expend or encumber the respective impact fees unless extraordinary or compelling reasons are established pursuant to subsection M of this Section the current owner of the property on which impact fees have been paid may receive a refund of such fees. 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. Potential claimants shall be notified by first-class mail deposited with the United States Postal Service at the last known address of such claimants. A potential claimant must be the current owner of record of the real property against which the impact fees were assessed. The City shall notify potential transportation or parks impact fee claimants, the applicable school district is responsible for notifying potential school impact fee claimants, and the RRFA is responsible for notifying potential fire impact fee claimants.

a. Transportation and parks impact fees are eligible for a refund if they have not been expended or encumbered by the City within ten (10) years of the date the fees were paid.

b. Fire impact fees are eligible for a refund if they have not been expended or encumbered by the RRFA within ten (10) years of the date the fees were paid.

c. School impact fees are eligible for a refund if they have not been expended or encumbered by the applicable school district within six (6) years of receipt of the funds by the City.

2. Timing of Request: Owners seeking a refund of impact fees must submit a written request for a refund of the fees to the Administrator, school district, or RRFA, as applicable, within one year of the date the right to claim the refund arises or the date that notice is given, whichever is later.

3. Fees Not Refunded: Any impact fees for which no application for a refund has been made within this one-year period shall be retained by the City, school district, or RRFA, as applicable, and expended on the system improvements for which they were collected.

4. Interest Earned: Refunds of impact fees under this subsection shall include any interest earned on the impact fees by the City, school district, or RRFA, as applicable.

5. Termination of Program: When the City seeks to terminate any or all components of the impact fee program, all unexpended or unencumbered funds from any terminated component or components, including interest earned and including any school or fire impact fees held by the City, shall be refunded pursuant to this Section. Upon the finding that any or all fee requirements are to be terminated, the City shall place notice of such termination and the availability of refunds in a newspaper of general circulation at least two (2) times and shall notify all potential claimants by first-class mail at the last known address of the claimants. All funds available for refund shall be retained for a period of one year. At the end of one year, any remaining funds shall be retained by the City, but must be expended for the public facilities for which the impact fees were collected. This notice requirement shall not apply if there are no unexpended or unencumbered balances within the account or accounts being terminated.

6. Refunds and Offsets for Development Not Constructed: The City shall also refund to the current owner of property for which impact fees have been paid all impact fees paid, including interest earned on the impact fees, if the development activity for which the impact fees were imposed did not occur; provided, however, that, if the City has expended or encumbered the impact fees in good faith prior to the application for a refund, the Administrator may decline to provide the refund. If, within a period of three (3) years, the same or subsequent owner of the property proceeds with the same or substantially similar development activity, the owner can petition the Administrator for an offset in the amount of the fee originally paid and not refunded. The petitioner must provide receipts of impact fees previously paid for a development activity of the same or substantially similar nature on the same real property or some portion thereof. The Administrator’s determinations shall be in writing and shall be subject to the appeals procedures set forth in subsection L of this Section.

P. USE OF IMPACT FEES:

1. Pursuant to this Section, impact fees:

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

b. Shall not be imposed to make up for deficiencies in public facilities; and

c. Shall not be used for maintenance or operation.

2. Transportation, parks, and fire impact fees:

a. May be spent for system improvements to public streets and roads, public parks, open space and recreation facilities and fire protection facilities as herein defined and, including, but not limited to, planning, land acquisition, right-of-way acquisition, site improvements, necessary off-site improvements, construction, engineering, architectural, permitting, financing, and administrative expenses, applicable impact fees or mitigation costs, and any other expenses which can be capitalized.

b. May also be used to recoup system improvement costs previously incurred by the City or the RRFA to the extent that new growth and development will be served by the previously constructed improvements or incurred costs.

3. School impact fees: may be expended by the respective school districts for capital improvements including but not limited to school planning; land acquisition; site improvements; necessary off-site improvements; construction, engineering, architectural, permitting, financing, and administrative expenses; relocatable facilities, capital equipment pertaining to educational facilities; and any other expenses which could be capitalized, and which are consistent with the respective school district’s capital facilities plan.

4. Debt Service: In the event that bonds or similar debt instruments are or have been issued for the advanced provision of system improvements for which impact fees may be expended, such impact fees may be used to pay debt service on such bonds or similar debt instruments to the extent that the facilities or improvements provided are consistent with the requirements of this Section.

Q. REVIEW AND ADJUSTMENT OF RATES:

1. Transportation and Parks Impact Fees:

a. The fees and rates set forth in the Rate Study may be reviewed and adjusted by the Council as it deems necessary and appropriate in conjunction with the budget process so that adjustments, if any, will be effective at the first of the calendar year subsequent to budget period under review.

b. As part of the budget adoption process, the fees shall be adjusted by the same percentage change as in the most recent annual change of the Construction Cost Index published in the Engineering News Record.

2. School and Fire Impact Fees:

a. The school and fire impact fee schedule established in this Section shall be reviewed and updated by the Council on an annual basis after the Council receives the school district’s or the RRFA’s plan and data required under subsection J of this Section. The review may occur in conjunction with the update of the capital facilities element of the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

b. Unless modified by an applicable interlocal agreement, on an annual basis, each school district and the RRFA shall submit to the City an update of the school district’s or the RRFA’s capital facilities plan, any applicable rate studies, and a report on the impact fee account, showing the source and amount of all monies collected, earned, or received, and the public improvements that were financed in whole or in part by impact fees.

R. ADMINISTRATIVE FEES:

1. Deferred Fees: Each application for a deferral of payment of residential impact fees, either under subsection G7 or 8 of this Section, shall pay a nonrefundable administrative deferral fee of eighty five dollars ($85.00) for each lot, single detached dwelling unit, or condominium unit and eighty five dollars ($85.00) for each multi-family residential building. The fee shall be paid at the time the application for deferral is submitted to the City.

2. Independent Fee Calculations: Any feepayer submitting an independent fee calculation shall pay a fee to cover the cost of reviewing the independent fee calculation. The fee shall be five hundred dollars ($500.00), unless otherwise established by the Administrator, school district, or the RRFA, and shall be paid by the feepayer at submittal of the independent fee calculation.

3. Appeals: Any feepayer filing an appeal of impact fees shall pay the fee set by the City for appeals of administrative interpretations and decision. The appeal fee shall be paid at the time of filing of the appeal.

4. Account Established: Administrative fees shall be deposited into a separate administrative fee account within the impact fee account(s). Administrative fees shall be used to defray the actual costs associated with the assessment, collection, administration and update of the impact fees.

5. Refunds, Waivers, and Credits: Administrative fees shall not be refundable, shall not be waived, and shall not be credited against the impact fees.

S.. EXISTING AUTHORITY UNIMPAIRED:

Nothing in this Section shall preclude the City from requiring the feepayer or the proponent of a development activity to mitigate adverse environmental impacts of a specific development pursuant to SEPA, chapter 43.21C RCW, based on the environmental documents accompanying the underlying development approval process, and/or chapter 58.17 RCW, governing plats and subdivisions. Compliance with this Section and/or payment of fees under this Section shall not constitute evidence of a determination of transportation concurrency. (Ord. 5670, 10-8-2012; Ord. 5794, 4-25-2016; Ord. 5865, 11-13-2017)