Chapter 12.38


12.38.010    Findings, purpose and authority.

12.38.020    Definitions.

12.38.030    Impact fee program elements.

12.38.040    Fee calculations.

12.38.050    Assessment and collection of impact fees.

12.38.060    Option for deferred payment of impact fees.

12.38.070    Exemptions.

12.38.080    Determination of the fee, adjustments, and exceptions.

12.38.085    Appeals.

12.38.090    Impact fee accounts and refunds.

12.38.100    Fee schedule and updates.

12.38.010 Findings, purpose and authority.

A. The city council finds and determines that new residential growth and development in the city will create additional demand and need for public facilities (parks) in the city and finds that new residential growth and development should pay a proportionate share of the cost of new public facilities needed to serve the new growth and development. The city has conducted an extensive study documenting the procedures for measuring the impact of new residential developments on public facilities and has prepared a rate study as identified below. The city council accepts the methodology and data contained in the rate study. Therefore, pursuant to the city’s police powers, the Growth Management Act as codified in Chapter 36.70A RCW (“the Act”) and the impact fee statutes as codified in RCW 82.02.050 through 82.02.100, the city council adopts this chapter to assess impact fees for public facilities.

B. The purpose of this chapter is to:

1. Develop a program consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan for joint public and private financing of park facilities as defined in SMC 12.38.020 consistent with the capital facilities plan of the city of Sumner comprehensive plan, as such public facilities are necessitated in whole or in part by development in the city;

2. Ensure adequate levels of service in park facilities;

3. Create a mechanism to charge and collect fees to ensure that all new development bears its proportionate share of the capital costs of park facilities reasonably related to new development, in order to ensure the availability of adequate park facilities at the time new development occurs; and

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

C. The provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed to effectively carry out its purpose in the interest of the public health, safety and welfare. (Ord. 2628 § 2 (part), 2018)

12.38.020 Definitions.

A. “Capital facilities plan” means the capital facilities element of the city of Sumner’s comprehensive plan including the associated capital facilities plan.

B. “City” means the city of Sumner.

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 having any residential or employment construction or expansion of a residential, commercial, mixed use, or industrial building, structure or use, any change in use of a residential building or structure, or any change in the use of land that creates additional demand for park facilities.

E. “Director” means the director of the city’s community development department or the director’s designee.

F. “Dwelling unit” means a dwelling as defined in SMC 18.04.0360.

G. “Encumbered” means impact fees identified by the city as being committed as part of the funding for a park facility for which the publicly funded share has been assured or building permits sought or construction contracts let.

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

I. “Impact fee schedule” means the table of impact fees to be charged per unit of development, computed by the formula contained in the Parks and Trails Impact Fee Rate Study completed by Berk Consulting Inc. dated January 5, 2018 (the rate study), indicating the standard fee amount per unit of development that shall be paid as a condition of such development within the city.

J. “Parks facilities” mean publicly owned parks, open space, trails, and recreational facilities.

K. “Project improvements” mean site improvements and facilities that are planned and designed to provide service for a particular development project and 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 a capital facilities plan approved by the governing body of the county, city, or town shall be considered a project improvement.

L. “System improvements” mean public facilities that are included in the capital facilities plan and are designed to provide service to service areas within the community at large, in contrast to project improvements. (Ord. 2628 § 2 (part), 2018)

12.38.030 Impact fee program elements.

A. The city shall impose impact fees on every development activity in the city for which an impact fee schedule has been established.

B. Any impact fee imposed shall be reasonably related to the impact caused by the development and shall not exceed a proportionate share of the costs of system improvements that are reasonably related to the new development. The impact fee formula shall account in the fee calculation for future revenues the city will receive from the development.

C. The impact fee shall be based on the capital facilities element adopted by the city as part of the city’s comprehensive plan and the city’s parks and trails plan. (Ord. 2628 § 2 (part), 2018)

12.38.040 Fee calculations.

A. The fee shall be calculated based on the methodology set forth in the parks impact fee rate study.

B. Any impact fee imposed shall be reasonably related to the impact caused by the development and shall not exceed a proportionate share of the costs of system improvements that are reasonably related to the new development. The impact fee formula shall take into account the future revenues the city will receive from the development, along with system costs related to serving the new development.

C. For the purpose of this chapter, mobile homes shall be treated as single-family dwellings and duplexes shall be treated as multifamily dwellings.

D. For the purposes of this chapter, an accessory dwelling unit defined in SMC 18.04.0035 and as regulated in SMC Title 18 is considered a multifamily unit and charged in accordance with that rate.

E. The methodology shall provide for a credit for park facilities or sites actually provided by a developer which the city finds acceptable. (Ord. 2628 § 2 (part), 2018)

12.38.050 Assessment and collection of impact fees.

A. The city shall collect impact fees, based on the city’s permit and impact fee schedule, from any applicant seeking a building permit from the city.

B. All impact fees shall be collected from the applicant prior to issuance of the building permit unless the use of an independent fee calculation has been approved or unless the applicant applies for deferred payment of impact fees pursuant to SMC 12.38.060. The fee shall be calculated based on the impact fee schedule in effect at the time the building permit is issued unless otherwise required pursuant to SMC 12.38.060.

C. For building permits for mixed use developments, impact fees shall be imposed on each residential and employment component of the development found on the city’s permit and impact fee schedule.

D. For building permits within new subdivisions approved under SMC Title 17, Subdivisions, a credit shall be applied for any dwelling unit that exists on the land within the subdivision prior to the subdivision if the dwelling unit is demolished. The credit shall apply to the first complete building permit application submitted to the city subsequent to demolition of the existing dwelling unit, unless otherwise allocated by the applicant of the subdivision as part of approval of the subdivision.

E. The city shall not issue the required building permit unless and until the impact fees set forth in the impact fee schedule have been paid.

F. The city may impose an application fee, as provided for in the city’s adopted permit and impact fee schedule, to cover the reasonable cost of administration of the impact fee program. The fee is not refundable and is collected from the applicant of the development activity permit at the time of permit issuance. (Ord. 2628 § 2 (part), 2018)

12.38.060 Option for deferred payment of impact fees.

A. Deferral of Payment of Park Impact Fees. Payment of park impact fees may be deferred until final construction inspection under the following conditions:

1. No final inspection will be provided until park impact fees are paid in full per this chapter;

2. It shall be a violation of this code to occupy a building without final inspection and either a temporary certificate of occupancy or a certificate of occupancy;

3. The applicant must pay a service fee of $250.00 at the time of building permit issuance. This service charge will be applied to the full amount of park impact fees when paid;

4. Unless otherwise amended, this subsection shall apply to complete applications for construction permit applications received 30 days after adoption. (Ord. 2628 § 2 (part), 2018)

12.38.070 Exemptions.

The following development activities are exempt or partially exempt from the payment of park impact fees:

A. Reconstruction or remodeling of an existing structure so long as the reconstruction or remodel doesn’t increase the number of total units.

B. Rebuilding of legally established building(s) destroyed or damaged by fire, flood, explosion, act of God or other accident or catastrophe, or remodeling of existing legally established building(s), or replacing demolished legally established building(s); provided, that a complete building permit for construction or reconstruction is submitted to the city within 12 months of the date of the loss or demolition, as the case may be, and provided that the property receive a certificate of occupancy or final inspection of the newly rebuilt structure within 12 months of issuance of the building permit, and so long as no additional dwelling units are created.

C. Condominium projects in which existing dwelling units are converted into condominium ownership and where no new dwelling units are created.

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

E. Any development activity, that is equivalent to the total impact fee imposed, for which park impacts have been mitigated pursuant to a condition of plat approval to pay fees, dedicate land or construct or improve park facilities, unless the condition of the plat approval provides otherwise.

F. Any development activity for which park impacts have been mitigated pursuant to a voluntary agreement entered into with the city to pay fees, dedicate land or construct or improve park facilities, unless the terms of the voluntary agreement provide otherwise; and further provided, that the agreement predates the effective date of fee imposition. (Ord. 2628 § 2 (part), 2018)

12.38.080 Determination of the fee, adjustments, and exceptions.

A. The city shall determine a developer’s impact fee, according to the impact fee schedule.

B. The fee amount established in the schedule shall be reduced by the amount of any payment previously made for the lot or development activity in question, either as a condition of approval or pursuant to a voluntary agreement.

C. Whenever a developer is granted approval subject to a condition that the developer provide a park facility acceptable to the city, the developer shall be entitled to a credit for the actual cost of providing the facility, against the fee that would be chargeable under the formula provided by this chapter. The cost of construction shall be estimated at the time of approval, but must be documented, and the documentation confirmed after the construction is completed to assure that an accurate credit amount is provided. If construction costs are less than the calculated fee amount, the difference remaining shall be chargeable as a park impact fee.

D. The standard impact fees may be adjusted if one of the following circumstances exist; provided, that any discount set forth in the fee formula fails to adjust for the error in the calculation or fails to ameliorate for the unfairness of the fee:

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

2. Unusual circumstances identified by the developer demonstrate that if the standard impact fee amount was applied to the development, it would be unfair or unjust.

E. A developer may provide studies and data to demonstrate that any particular factor used by the city may not be appropriately applied to the development proposal. (Ord. 2628 § 2 (part), 2018)

12.38.085 Appeals.

A. Any feepayer may pay the impact fees imposed by this chapter under protest in order to obtain a building permit. Appeals regarding the impact fees imposed on any development activity may only be made by the feepayer of the property where such development activity will occur. No appeal shall be permitted unless and until the impact fees at issue have been paid.

B. Determinations of the director with respect to the applicability of the impact fees to a given development activity, the availability or value of a credit, or the director’s decision with respect to the independent fee calculation, or any other determination which the director is authorized to make pursuant to this chapter, can be appealed to the hearing examiner.

C. Appeals shall be taken within 10 working days of the director’s issuance of a written determination by filing with the city clerk, attention to the office of the hearing examiner, a notice of appeal specifying the grounds thereof, and depositing the necessary fee, which is set forth in the existing fee schedules for appeals of administrative decisions. The director shall transmit to the office of the hearing examiner all papers constituting the record for the determination, including, where appropriate, the independent fee calculation.

D. The hearing examiner shall fix a time for the hearing of the appeal, give notice to the parties in interest, and decide the same as provided in chapter 18.56 SMC. At the hearing, any party may appear in person or by agent or attorney.

E. 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. In accordance with chapter 18.56 SMC, this is a Type IV decision. The decision of the hearing examiner shall be final.

F. The hearing examiner may, so long as such action is in conformance with the provisions of this chapter, reverse or affirm, in whole or in part, or may modify the determinations of the director with respect to the amount of the impact fees imposed or the credit awarded upon a determination that it is proper to do so based on principles of fairness, and may make such order, requirements, decision or determination as ought to be made, and to that end shall have the powers which have been granted to the director by this chapter. (Ord. 2628 § 2 (part), 2018)

12.38.090 Impact fee accounts and refunds.

A. Impact fee receipts shall be earmarked specifically and retained in a special interest bearing account established by the city solely for the city’s park 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 city 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.

B. Impact fees for park system improvements shall be expended by the city for capital improvements including but not limited to park planning, land surveys, land acquisition, site improvements, necessary off-site improvements, construction, engineering, architectural, permitting, financing, and administrative expenses, capital equipment pertaining to recreational facilities, and any other expenses which could be capitalized, and which are consistent with the city’s capital facilities element of its comprehensive plan or the city’s parks and trails plan.

C. Impact fees may be used to recoup costs for system improvements previously incurred by the city to the extent that new growth and development will be served by the previously constructed system improvements.

D. In the event that bonds or similar debt instruments are issued for the advanced provision of capital facilities for which impact fees may be expended and where consistent with the bond covenants, 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.

E. Impact fees shall be expended or encumbered by the city for a permissible use within 10 years of receipt by the city, unless there exists an extraordinary or compelling reason for fees to be held longer than 10 years.

F. 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 city on park 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 city 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.

G. An owner’s request for a refund must be submitted to the city 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 city in conformance with the capital facilities element within these time limitations, and for which no application for a refund has been made within this 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.

H. Should the city seek to terminate any or all park impact fee requirements, all unexpended or unencumbered funds, including interest earned, shall be refunded to the current owner of the property for which a park 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 city, but must be expended by the city, consistent with the provisions of this section. The notice requirement set forth above shall not apply if there are no unexpended or unencumbered balances within the account or accounts being terminated.

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

1. The developer has not received final plat approval, the building permit, the mobile home permit, the site plan approval, nor final approval for the development activity as required by statute or municipal code including the International Building Code; and

2. No impact on the city has resulted. “Impact” shall be deemed to include cases where the city has expended or encumbered the impact fees in good faith prior to the application for a refund. In the event that the city has expended or encumbered the fees in good faith, no refund shall be forthcoming. However, if within a period of three years, the same or subsequent owner of the property proceeds with the same or substantially similar development activity, the owner shall be eligible for a credit. The owner must petition the city and provide receipts of impact fees paid by the owner for a development of the same or substantially similar nature on the same property or some portion thereof. The city shall determine whether to grant a credit, and such determinations may be appealed by following the procedures set forth in SMC 12.38.085.

J. Interest due upon the refund of impact fees required by this section shall be calculated according to the average rate received by the city on invested funds throughout the period during which the fees were retained. (Ord. 2628 § 2 (part), 2018)

12.38.100 Fee schedule and updates.

A. The following impact fees are based on the city’s 2018 rate study:

1. Single-family dwelling unit: $2,580.23 per dwelling unit.

2. Multifamily: $2,214.08 per dwelling unit.

3. Commercial: $1,294.76 per 1,000 square feet.

4. Industrial: $606.92 per 1,000 square feet.

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

1. The director shall use the Construction Cost Index for Seattle (June-June) published by the Engineering News-Record to calculate annual inflation adjustments in the impact fee rates. The park impact fees shall not be adjusted for inflation should the index remain unchanged.

2. The indexed impact fee rates shall be effective January 1st. A copy of the indexed impact fee rates shall be provided to the city council but the indexed rates shall become effective without further council review.

C. The director shall review the park impact fee rates biennially to determine when a new park impact fee rate study should be prepared and recommend to the city council when a new study should be prepared. (Ord. 2628 § 2 (part), 2018)