Chapter 17.12


17.12.010    Authority and purpose.

17.12.015    Definitions.

17.12.020    Applicability.

17.12.030    Geographic scope.

17.12.040    Imposition of traffic impact fees.

17.12.050    Fee schedules and establishment of service area.

17.12.060    Calculation of impact fees.

17.12.070    Payment of fees.

17.12.080    Project list.

17.12.090    Funding of projects.

17.12.100    Refunds.

17.12.110    Appeals.

17.12.120    Relationship to SEPA.

17.12.130    Relationship to concurrency.

17.12.140    Necessity of compliance.

17.12.010 Authority and purpose.

A.    This chapter is enacted pursuant to the city’s police powers, the Growth Management Act as codified in Chapter 36.70A RCW, the enabling authority in Chapter 82.02 RCW, Chapter 58.17 RCW relating to platting and subdivisions, and the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), Chapter 43.21C RCW.

B.    The purpose of this chapter is to:

1.    Develop a traffic impact fee program, consistent with the Shelton comprehensive plan, for joint public and private financing of transportation improvements necessitated in whole or in part by development in the city;

2.    Ensure adequate levels of transportation and traffic service within the city consistent with the comprehensive plan;

3.    Create a mechanism to charge and collect fees to ensure that all new development bears its proportionate share of the capital costs of off-site transportation facilities directly necessitated by new development, in order to provide an adequate level of transportation service consistent with the comprehensive plan;

4.    Ensure that the city pays its fair share of the capital costs of transportation facilities necessitated by public use of the transportation system; and

5.    Ensure fair collection and administration of such impact fees.

C.    The provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed to carry out its purpose in the interests of the public health, safety and welfare. (Ord. 1733-1008 § 1 (part), 2009)

17.12.015 Definitions.

The following are definitions provided for administering the traffic impact fee. The public works director or designee shall have the authority to resolve questions of interpretation or conflicts between definitions.

A.    “Adequate level of transportation service” means a system of transportation facilities which have the capacity to serve development without decreasing levels of service below the city’s established minimum (see Chapter 17.07).

B.    “Capacity” means the maximum sustainable flow rate at which vehicles or persons can be expected to traverse a point or uniform segment of a lane or roadway during a specified time period, usually expressed as vehicles per hour, passengers per hour, or persons per hour.

C.    “Development activity” means any construction or expansion of a building, or structure, or use, or any changes in the use of land, that creates additional demand and need for public facilities.

D.    “Director” means the director of the department of public works of the city of Shelton or his/her designee.

E.    “Finance director” means the finance director of the city of Shelton or his/her designee.

F.    “Impact fee” or “traffic impact fee” means a payment of money imposed upon development approval to pay for public streets and roads needed to serve new growth and development, and that is reasonably related to the new development that creates additional demand and need for public streets and roads, that is a proportionate share of the cost of the public streets and roads, and that is used for public streets and roads that reasonably benefit the new development. “Impact fee” does not include a reasonable permit or application fee otherwise established by city council resolution.

G.    “In-fill lots” or “in-fill development” means residential development fully within parcels created prior to 1938, and may include a single lot or multiple lots, utilizing the lot configuration of the original subdivision, a subsequent boundary line adjustment or lot consolidation, but excludes development resulting from a replat of the subject lots. Additionally, the proposed residential development would require construction of full street improvements along the project frontage, including at a minimum a full width paved roadway section and curb.

H.    “Jurisdiction” means a municipality or county.

I.    “Off-site transportation road improvement” means improvement, except a frontage improvement, to an existing or proposed city road or street outside the boundaries of a development, which improvement is required or recommended in accordance with this title.

J.    “Project improvements” means site improvements and facilities that are planned and designed to provide service for a particular development project that 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 the capital facilities plan approved by the city council shall be considered a project improvement.

K.    “Service area” means a geographic area defined by ordinance or intergovernmental agreement in which a defined set of public streets and roads provides service to the development within the area.

L.    “Six-year transportation improvement program (TIP)” means a subset of projects contained in the city’s capital improvement program. The TIP is a set of comprehensive street programs/projects which after a public hearing is annually adopted by the city council for the purpose of advancing plans for not less than six years as a guide for carrying out the coordinated transportation/street construction program. The six-year TIP shall contain a small group of capacity projects which will be considered reasonably funded for determining transportation concurrency and impact fees. The adoption of the six-year TIP will obligate the city to actively pursue funds to implement the capacity component of the transportation improvement program as best possible with the available resources.

M.    “System improvements” means public facilities that are included in the capital facilities plan and are designed to provide service areas within the community at large, in contrast to project improvements. (Ord. 1921-0518 (part), 2018; Ord. 1811-1012 § 1, 2012: Ord. 1733-1008 § 1 (part), 2009)

17.12.020 Applicability.

A.    The requirements of this chapter apply to all development activity in the city of Shelton.

B.    Mitigation of impacts on transportation facilities located in jurisdictions outside the city will be required when:

1.    The other effective jurisdiction has reviewed the development’s impact under its adopted impact fee/mitigation regulations and has recommended to the city that the city impose a requirement to mitigate the impacts; and

2.    There is an interlocal agreement between the city and the effective jurisdiction specifically addressing transportation impact identification and mitigation. (Ord. 1733-1008 § 1 (part), 2009)

17.12.030 Geographic scope.

The boundaries within which impact fees shall be charged and collected are co-extensive with the corporate city limits, and shall include all unincorporated areas annexed to the city on and after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter. (Ord. 1733-1008 § 1 (part), 2009)

17.12.040 Imposition of traffic impact fees.

A.    The director is hereby authorized to impose traffic impact fees on new development according to the provisions of this chapter. Pursuant to Section 17.12.070, impact fees are due at the time of building permit issuance. When a development used to exist on a parcel, and the owner applies for a permit to build a comparable or replacement development within five years of the previous development’s demolition, destruction or removal, and the director determines that the new development will not substantially increase the impact upon transportation facilities, no impact fee will be charged.

B.    Traffic impact fees:

1.    Shall only be imposed for system improvements that are reasonably related to the new development;

2.    Shall not exceed a proportionate share of the costs of system improvements that are reasonably related to the new development;

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

4.    May be collected and spent only for system improvements which are addressed by the Shelton comprehensive plan, identifying:

a.    Deficiencies in public facilities serving existing development and the means by which existing deficiencies will be eliminated within a reasonable period of time;

b.    Additional demands placed on existing public facilities by new developments; and

c.    Additional public facility improvements required to serve new development;

d.    A list of projects eligible for funding via traffic impact fees is attached to the ordinance codified in this section and incorporated by reference as Attachment A. Attachment A may be revised and updated on a yearly basis by the director of public works as set forth in Section 17.12.080;

5.    Shall not be imposed to mitigate the same off-site transportation facility impacts that are mitigated pursuant to any other law;

6.    Shall not be collected for improvements to state transportation facilities outside the city boundaries unless the state requests such improvements and an agreement to collect such fees has been executed between the state/county and the city;

7.    Shall not be collected for improvements to transportation facilities in other jurisdictions unless the affected jurisdiction requests such improvement and an interlocal agreement has been executed between the city and the affected jurisdiction for the collection of such fees;

8.    Shall be collected only once for each building permit, unless changes or modifications to the building permit are proposed which result in greater direct impacts on transportation facilities than were considered when the building permit was first approved;

9.    Shall not be collected from any new or expanded city facilities, post offices or libraries; and

10.    Shall not be collected for the reuse, remodel, tenant improvement, or change in the use of existing structures located in the downtown core, unless the owner or agent proposes new construction or expansion of the height, bulk, or footprint of existing structures. (Ord. 1811-1012 § 2, 2012: Ord. 1733-1008 § 1 (part), 2009)

17.12.050 Fee schedules and establishment of service area.

A.    An impact fee schedule setting forth the amount of the traffic impact fees to be paid by a development is set out in Attachment B, attached to the ordinance codified in this chapter, and incorporated herein by this reference. As shown in Attachment B, for residential development, the impact fee shall start at one thousand six hundred ten dollars per equivalent residential unit (ERU) and shall increase at the rate indicated in Attachment B, until the maximum fee set forth in Attachment B is being charged and collected. As shown in Attachment B, for commercial development, that impact fee shall start at the maximum fee set forth in Attachment B.

B.    The impact fee schedule of costs, as set out in Attachment B, shall be updated annually at a rate adjusted in accordance with the Engineering News Record (ENR) Construction Cost Index for the Seattle area, using an October – October annual measure to establish revised fee schedules effective January 1st of the subsequent year.

C.    For the purpose of this chapter, the entire city shall be considered one service area.

D.    In-fill residential development shall be exempt from traffic impact fees. (Ord. 1733-1008 § 1 (part), 2009)

17.12.060 Calculation of impact fees.

A.    A credit, not to exceed the impact fee otherwise payable, shall be provided for the value of any dedication of land for, improvement to, or new construction of any system improvements provided by the developer to facilities that are identified in the capital facilities plan and that are required by the city as a condition of approving the development activity. The determination of value shall be consistent with the assumptions and methodology used by the city in estimating the capital improvement costs.

B.    The director may adjust the standard impact fee at the time the fee is imposed to consider unusual circumstances in specific cases to ensure that impact fees are imposed fairly.

C.    The amount of fee to be imposed on a particular development may be adjusted by the director giving consideration to studies and other data available to the director or submitted by the developer demonstrating to the satisfaction of the director that an adjustment should be made in order to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

D.    The impact fee shall provide for system improvement costs previously incurred by the city to the extent that new growth and development will be served by the previously constructed improvements; provided, that such fees shall not be imposed to make up for any system improvement deficiencies.

E.    As applies to residential development activity, the amount of the impact fee calculated pursuant to this section shall be charged for each single-family residential unit (including new accessory dwelling units), and for each dwelling unit included in a multifamily residential development (e.g., duplex, apartment, condominium, mobile home park).

F.    As described in this section, the impact fees set forth in the schedule included in Attachment B, attached to the ordinance codified in this chapter, shall be the presumptive impact fees, subject to revision as required by subsections B through D of this section. (Ord. 1733-1008 § 1 (part), 2009)

17.12.070 Payment of fees.

A.    All nonresidential developers shall pay an impact fee in accordance with the provisions of this chapter at the time that the applicable building permit is ready for issuance. Residential developers can choose to pay the impact fee at the time the applicable building permit is ready for issuance, upon request for final building inspection, or anytime prior to requesting final building inspection. The fee paid shall be the amount calculated pursuant to Section 17.12.060.

B.    All developers shall pay an impact administrative fee at the time of application for a building permit as set forth in the fee schedule adopted by resolution of the city council.

C.    If the development is modified or conditioned in such a way as to alter the trip generation rate for the development after building permit issuance, the impact fee will be recalculated accordingly.

D.    No nonresidential building permit shall be issued, and no residential building permit shall be finaled, until the impact fee is paid. If the building permit expires through suspension or abandonment, the impact fee shall be refunded at the request of the applicant as provided in Section 17.12.100(A); provided, that if the applicant re-applies for a new permit, the impact fee shall be recalculated at current rates and the amount of the impact fee already paid and not refunded may be credited toward the new impact fee.

E.    Impact fees may be paid under protest in order to obtain a permit or other approval of development activity. (Ord. 1921-0518 (part), 2018; Ord. 1733-1008 § 1 (part), 2009)

17.12.080 Project list.

A.    The director shall annually review the city’s comprehensive land use and transportation plan (“comprehensive plan”), capital facilities plan, and the projects in Attachment A, attached to the ordinance codified in this chapter, and shall:

1.    Identify each project in the comprehensive plan that is growth-related and the proportion of each such project that is growth-related;

2.    Forecast the total moneys available from taxes and other public sources for road improvements over the next six years;

3.    Calculate the amount of impact fees already paid; and

4.    Identify those comprehensive plan projects that have been or are being built but whose performance capacity has not been fully utilized.

B.    The director may use this information to prepare an annual draft amendment to Attachment A, which shall comprise:

1.    The projects on the comprehensive plan that are growth-related and that should be funded with forecast public moneys and the impact fees already paid;

2.    The projects already built or funded pursuant to this chapter whose performance capacity has not been fully utilized; and

3.    An update of the estimated costs of the projects listed.

C.    The city council, at the same time that it adopts the annual budget and appropriates funds for capital improvement projects, shall by separate ordinance establish the annual Attachment A, by adopting, with or without modification, the director’s draft list.

D.    Once a project is placed on Attachment A, a fee shall be imposed on every development that impacts the project until the project is removed from the list by one of the following means:

1.    The city council by ordinance removes the project from Attachment A, in which case the fees already collected will be refunded if necessary to ensure that impact fees remain reasonably related to the traffic impacts of development that have paid an impact fee; provided, that a refund shall not be necessary if the council transfers the fees to the budget of another project that the city council determines will mitigate essentially the same traffic impacts; or

2.    The impact fee share of the project has been fully funded, in which case the director shall administratively remove the project from the project list. (Ord. 1921-0518 (part), 2018; Ord. 1733-1008 § 1 (part), 2009)

17.12.090 Funding of projects.

A.    Traffic impact fees shall be placed in appropriate deposit accounts within the streets capital improvement fund.

B.    The traffic impact fees paid to the city shall be held and disbursed as follows:

1.    The traffic impact fees collected shall be deposited in accordance with subsection A of this section;

2.    When the city council appropriates streets capital improvement fund funds for a project on the project list, impact fees held within such fund may be used in accordance with the project list. The non-impact fee moneys appropriated for the project may comprise both the public share of the project cost and an advancement of that portion of the private share that has not yet been collected in traffic impact fees;

3.    The first money spent by the director on a project after a city council appropriation shall be deemed to be the fees from the impact fee account;

4.    Fees collected after a project has been fully funded by means of one or more city council appropriations shall constitute reimbursement to the city of the public moneys advanced for the private share of the project;

5.    All interest earned on traffic impact fees paid shall be retained in the account and expended for the purpose or purposes for which the traffic impact fees were imposed.

C.    Projects shall be funded by a balance between traffic impact fees and other sources of public funds, and shall not be funded solely by traffic impact fees.

D.    Traffic impact fees shall be expended or encumbered for a permissible use within ten years of receipt, unless there is an extraordinary or compelling reason for fees to be held longer than ten years. The finance director may recommend to the city council that the city hold fees beyond ten years in cases where extraordinary or compelling reasons exist. Such reasons shall be identified in written findings by the city council.

E.    The city shall prepare an annual report on the traffic impact fee account showing the source and amount of all moneys collected, earned or received and projects that were financed in whole or in part by traffic impact fees. (Ord. 1921-0518 (part), 2018; Ord. 1907-1017 § 1, 2017: Ord. 1733-1008 § 1 (part), 2009)

17.12.100 Refunds.

A.    A developer shall receive a refund on request when the developer does not proceed with the development activity for which traffic impact fees were paid, and the developer shows that no traffic impact has therefore resulted; however, the impact fee administrative fee shall not be refunded.

B.    If an owner appears to be entitled to a refund of traffic impact fees, the finance director shall notify the owner by first class mail deposited with the United States Postal Service at their last known address. The owner must submit a request for a refund to the finance director in writing within one year of the date the right to claim the refund arises or the date the notice is given, whichever is later. Any traffic impact fees that are not expended or encumbered within the time limitations established by this chapter and for which no application for a refund has been made within this one-year period shall be retained and expended on any project.

C.    In the event that traffic impact fees must be refunded for any reason, they shall be refunded with interest earned to the owners as they appear of record with the Mason County assessor at the time of refund.

D.    When the city seeks to terminate any or all impact fee requirements, all unexpended or unencumbered funds 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 times and shall notify all potential claimants by first class mail to the last known address of claimants. Claimants shall request refunds as in subsection B of this section. 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 on any city projects. This notice requirement shall not apply if there are no unexpended or unencumbered balances within an account or accounts being terminated. (Ord. 1733-1008 § 1 (part), 2009)

17.12.110 Appeals.

Pursuant to Chapter 2.36, a developer may appeal to the hearing examiner any traffic impact fee the developer has paid in full by completing in full the notice of appeal form supplied by the public works department and paying all applicable appeal fees. Such appeals shall be filed no later than fifteen calendar days following the developer’s payment of the full impact fee. To perfect the appeal, the developer must fully complete the notice of appeal form supplied by the public works department and provide the same to the city clerk. The hearing examiner shall hold a public hearing and issue a written decision pursuant to Chapter 2.36. The developer shall bear the burden of proving:

A.    That the director committed material and substantial error in calculating the developer’s proportionate share, as determined by an individual fee calculation or, if relevant, as set forth in the fee schedule, or in granting credit for the benefit factors; or

B.    That the director’s decision was based on data that was materially and substantially incorrect and which, therefore, necessarily resulted in an erroneous decision. (Ord. 1733-1008 § 1 (part), 2009)

17.12.120 Relationship to SEPA.

A.    All development shall be subject to environmental review pursuant to SEPA and other applicable city ordinances and regulations.

B.    Payment of the impact fee shall constitute satisfactory mitigation of those traffic impacts related to the specific improvements identified on the project list (see Attachment A attached to the ordinance codified in this section).

C.    Further mitigation in addition to the impact fee shall be required for identified adverse impacts appropriate for mitigation pursuant to SEPA that are not mitigated by an impact fee.

D.    Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit the city’s authority to deny building permits when a proposal would result in significant adverse traffic impacts identified in an environmental impact statement and reasonable mitigation measures are insufficient to mitigate the identified impact. (Ord. 1733-1008 § 1 (part), 2009)

17.12.130 Relationship to concurrency.

Neither compliance with this chapter or the payment of any fee hereunder shall constitute a determination of concurrency under Chapter 17.07. (Ord. 1733-1008 § 1 (part), 2009)

17.12.140 Necessity of compliance.

A building permit issued after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter shall be null and void if issued without substantial compliance with this chapter by the department, the approving authority and the director. (Ord. 1733-1008 § 1 (part), 2009)