Chapter 15.62


15.62.010    Findings.

15.62.020    Definitions.

15.62.030    Park impact fee – Capital facilities plan.

15.62.040    Repealed.

15.62.050    Assessment of impact fees.

15.62.060    Credits.

15.62.070    Appeals.

15.62.080    Refunds.

15.62.090    Use of funds.

15.62.100    Review.

15.62.110    Parks, open space and recreational facilities fees and exemptions.

15.62.120    Existing authority unimpaired.

15.62.130    Independent fee calculations.

15.62.140    Park impact fees.

15.62.010 Findings.

The city council of the city finds and determines that new growth and residential development in the city creates additional demand and need for parks, open spaces and recreational facilities in the city, and the council finds that new growth and development should pay a proportionate share of the costs for new parks, open space and recreational facilities needed to serve the new growth and development in the city. 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. The city council accepts the methodology and data contained in the rate study. Therefore, pursuant to Chapter 82.02 RCW, the council adopts the ordinance codified in this chapter to assess impact fees on new residential development within the city. The provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed in order to carry out the purposes of this council in establishing the impact fee program. (Ord. 1947 § 1 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 1175 § 1, 1995)

15.62.020 Definitions.

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

The “Act” means the Growth Management Act, Chapter 17, Laws of 1990, First Extraordinary Session, Chapter 36.70A RCW et seq., and Chapter 32, Laws of 1991, First Special Session, as now in existence or hereinafter amended.

“Building permit” means an official document or certification which is issued by the city’s building official which authorizes the construction, alteration, enlargement, conversion, reconstruction, remodeling, rehabilitation, erection, placement, demolition, moving or repair of a building or structure.

“Capital facilities” means the facilities or improvements included in the capital facilities plan.

“Capital facilities plan” means the capital facilities plan element of the city’s comprehensive plan adopted pursuant to Chapter 36.70A RCW, and such plan as amended.

“City” means the city of Washougal.

“Development activity” means any construction or expansion of a building or structure that creates additional demand and need for parks, open space or recreational facilities.

“Development approval” means any written authorization from the city which authorizes the commencement of the development activity.

“Feepayer” is a person, corporation, partnership, incorporated association, or other similar entity, for the development or bureau of any government, entity or municipal corporation commencing a land development activity which creates the demand for additional capital facilities, which requires the issuance of a building permit. “Feepayer” includes an applicant for an impact fee credit.

“Impact fee” means the payment of money imposed by the city on development activity pursuant to this chapter as a condition of granting development approval in order to pay for the parks, open space and recreational facilities needed to serve new growth and development. “Impact fee” does not include a reasonable permit fee, an application fee, the administrative fee for collecting and handling impact fees, or cost of reviewing independent fee calculations.

“Impact fee deferral program” shall mean the most current program/policy established by the city council to allow for required impact fees, associated with a permit, to be deferred or paid later at a time, as established under the program/policy, when the project is closer to completion.

“Letter encumbered” means to reserve, set aside, or otherwise earmark the impact fees in order to pay for commitments, contractual obligations or other liabilities incurred for public facilities.

“Low-income housing” means a single-family or multifamily rental housing development, the construction of which is either undertaken by a housing authority, operating pursuant to Chapter 35.82 RCW or financially assisted pursuant to a federal, state or local governmental low-income housing program; provided, that the terms shall apply only to the number of units within such housing development which are rented to low-income tenants.

“Multifamily” means a detached or attached building containing three or more dwelling units. For impact fee calculations this will include triplexes, fourplexes, and apartments.

“Owner” means the owner of record of real property, or person with an unrestricted written option to purchase property; provided, that the real property is being purchased under a report of real estate contract, the purchaser shall be considered the owner of the property.

“Project improvements” means site improvements at facilities that are planned and designated to provide service for a particular development or users of the project, and are not system improvements. Any improvement of facility included in the capital facilities plan adopted by the council should be considered a project improvement.

“Rate study” or “impact fee study” means the “Rate Study for Impact Fees for Parks, Open Space and Recreation Facilities,” City of Washougal, dated April 19, 2021.

“Single-family” means single-family attached and detached units as well as townhomes and mobile homes and each unit of a duplex.

“System improvements” means public facilities included in the capital facilities plan and designed to provide service to service areas within the community at large, in contrast to project improvements. (Ord. 1947 § 1 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 1664 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 1175 § 2, 1995)

15.62.030 Park impact fee – Capital facilities plan.

In order to collect park, open space or recreational facilities impact fees, the city’s capital facilities plan shall be adopted as a portion of the city’s comprehensive land use plan.

(1) The city’s capital facilities plan shall consist of the following elements:

(a) The city’s capacity over the next six years, based upon an inventory of the city’s facilities either existing, or under construction;

(b) The forecast of future needs for park, open space or recreational facilities based upon the city’s residency projections;

(c) A six-year financial plan component, updated as necessary, to maintain at least a six-year forecast for financing needed within projected funding levels. (Ord. 1947 § 1 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 1175 § 3, 1995)

15.62.040 Park, open space and recreational facilities component formula.

Repealed by Ord. 1947. (Ord. 1566 § 1, 2006; Ord. 1175 § 4, 1995)

15.62.050 Assessment of impact fees.

(1) The city shall collect impact fees from any applicant seeking residential development approval from the city for any development activity within the city, where such development activity requires the issuance of a building permit. This may include the expansion of existing uses which create the demand for additional park facilities.

(2) Impact fees shall be assessed at the time a sufficiently completed building application that complies with zoning ordinances and building codes is submitted for each unit in the development. Impact fees shall be collected from the feepayer at the time the building permit is issued, or at a time approved through the impact fee deferral program, for each unit of the development. In the case of manufactured homes and associated parks, impact fees shall be collected at the time of site plan approval. When a single manufactured or mobile home is being placed on a single lot, impact fees should be collected at the time a building permit is issued.

(3) Except if otherwise exempt, the city should not issue the required building permit unless or until the impact fees have been paid. (Ord. 1947 § 1 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 1664 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 1175 § 5, 1995)

15.62.060 Credits.

A feepayer can request that a credit, or credits, be awarded to him/her for the value of dedicated land, improvements, construction provided by the feepayer, with the land, improvements and/or the facilities plan or the district makes the finding that such land, improvements and/or facilities would serve the goals and objectives of the capital facilities plan. The feepayer shall direct the request for a credit or credits to the city. The city shall first determine the suitability of land, improvements and/or construction for the city’s purposes. Second, the city shall determine whether the land, improvements and/or the facility constructed are included within the city’s adopted capital facilities plan, or the council for the city may make the finding that such land, improvements and/or facilities would serve the goals and objectives of the capital facilities plan of the city. The city will make a determination as to whether dedicated land, improvements and/or construction are not suitable for the city’s purposes. The city may decline to award a credit, or the city may make an alternative determination and set forth in writing a rationale for the alternative determination. In the event the land improvements and/or facilities are accepted by the city, the feepayer shall be responsible for supplying an independent appraiser, based on objective standards which indicate the fair market value of the dedicated land, improvements and/or facilities. The credited amount shall be applied to the impact fee calculated for the particular development. If the amount of the credit is less than the amount of the fee, the feepayer shall pay the difference. In the event the amount exceeds the amount of the impact fee due and owed by the feepayer, the city shall not be liable to the feepayer for the difference. (Ord. 1947 § 1 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 1175 § 6, 1995)

15.62.070 Appeals.

Any feepayer may pay the impact fees imposed by this chapter under protest in order to obtain a building permit.

(1) Appeals regarding impact fees imposed on any development activity may only be taken by the feepayer of the property where such development activity will occur. No appeal shall be permitted unless and until the impact fee at issue has been paid.

(2) Determination of the city staff in respect to the applicability of impact fees to a given development activity or the availability of value of a credit can be appealed to the city council pursuant to this section.

(3) An appeal should be taken within 10 working days of payment of the fee, or within 10 working days of the city’s issuance of a written determination of a credit, independent fee calculation or exemption decision, by filing with the city notice of an appeal specifying the grounds thereon and depositing the necessary fee, which is set forth in the existing fee schedules for appeals of land use decisions. (Ord. 1947 § 1 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 1175 § 7, 1995)

15.62.080 Refunds.

If the city fails to expend or encumber the impact fees within the time period specified in RCW 82.02.070 from the date the fees are paid, unless extraordinary or compelling reasons exist, the current owner of the property on which impact fees have been paid shall receive a refund of such fees.

(1) The city shall notify the potential claimants, by first class mail to the claimants, that they are entitled to a refund. In determining whether impact fees have been expended or encumbered, impact fees should be considered expended or encumbered on a first in, first out basis.

(2) Owners seeking a refund of impact fees must submit a written request for refunds of the fees to the city within one year of the date the right to claim the refund arises or the notice is given, whichever comes later.

(3) Any impact fees for which no application for a refund has been made within the one-year period shall be retained by the city and expended on appropriate public facilities.

(4) Refunds of impact fees under this section shall include any interest earned on the impact fees by the city. (Ord. 1947 § 1 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 1758 § 1 (Exh. A), 2014; Ord. 1740 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 1175 § 8, 1995)

15.62.090 Use of funds.

(1) Pursuant to this chapter on impact fees, this chapter:

(a) Shall be used for parks, open spaces or recreational facilities that will reasonably benefit the city and its residents;

(b) Shall not be forced to make up for deficiencies in city facilities serving an existing development; and

(c) Shall not be used for maintenance or operation.

(2) Impact fees shall be spent for public improvements, including, but not limited to, land acquisition, site improvements, construction, engineering, architectural, permitting, financing and administrative expenses, applicable impact fees and mitigation costs, capital equipment pertaining to parks, open spaces and recreational facilities, and any other expenses which can be capitalized.

(3) Impact fees may also be used to recoup public improvement costs incurred by the city to the extent that new growth and development will be served by the previously constructed improvements or incurred costs.

(4) In the event that bonds or similar debt instruments are, or have been, issued for the advanced provision of public improvements for which impact fees may be expended, impact fees may be used to pay the principal on such bonds or similar debt instruments to the extent that the facilities or improvements provided are consistent with the requirements of this section and are used to serve the new development. (Ord. 1947 § 1 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 1175 § 9, 1995)

15.62.100 Review.

(1) The schedule in WMC 15.62.140 will be amended to reflect changes to the capital facilities plan in WMC 15.62.030. Amendments to the schedule for this purpose shall be adopted by the council.

(2) The fees on the schedule in WMC 15.62.140 shall be indexed to provide for an automatic fee increase each January 1st beginning in the year 2024. The June to June Engineering News Record Construction Cost Index for Seattle (ENR-CCI) will be used to determine the increase in fees for each year to reflect increased project costs. In the event that the fees on the schedule in WMC 15.62.140 are increased during the preceding calendar year due to changes to the capital facilities plan pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, the fees will not be indexed the following January. The finance and administration department shall compute the fee increase and the new schedule shall become effective immediately after the annual fee increase calculation.

(3) A new rate study, which establishes the schedule in WMC 15.62.140, shall be updated, as it may be necessary and appropriate, in conjunction with the annual update of the capital facilities plan and the city’s comprehensive plan. (Ord. 1947 § 1 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 1175 § 10, 1995)

15.62.110 Parks, open space and recreational facilities fees and exemptions.

The parks, open space and recreational facilities fees set forth herein are generated from the formula for calculating the impact fees as set forth in this chapter. The amount of the impact fees is determined by information contained in the capital facilities plan of the city, as appended to the city’s comprehensive plan. All new residential developments located in that portion of the city will be charged a parks, open space and recreation impact fee; provided, that the following exemptions shall apply.

Any development activity or project which has submitted a technically complete building permit application, prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, shall be exempted from the payment of impact fees. The following will be exempted from payment of impact fees:

(1) Replacement of a structure with a new structure at the same site or lot, when such replacement is within 12 months, or for a longer time period approved by the director, of demolition or destruction of the prior structure;

(2) Alteration, or expansion, or enlargement or remodeling or rehabilitation or conversion of an existing dwelling where no additional units are created and the use is not changed;

(3) The construction of an accessory residential structure that will not create an impact on park facilities;

(4) Miscellaneous improvements, including but not limited to fences, walls, swimming pools and signs;

(5) Demolition or moving of an existing structure within the city;

(6) The impact fee shall not be applied to housing that, by restrictive covenants, is exclusively for persons 62 years of age or older. If the development for which approval is sought contains a mix of uses, the impact fee must be separately calculated for each type of use;

(7) Low-income housing developed by individuals, not for profit, or housing authority, may be exempted from impact fees at the discretion of the city staff. Exemptions may be granted subject to:

(a) Fiscal impact analysis of the effect of the exemption upon the low-income household in the public sector;

(b) Adequate documentation that the housing meets appropriate standards regarding household income, rent levels, sale prices, locations and number of units; and

(c) Adequate documentation that the housing will remain available to low-income households for a suitable time period;

(8) The city staff may grant a total or partial exemption from impact fees for housing developments not qualifying as low-income housing, but to be owned and occupied by or leased to low-income persons; provided, that any such exemption shall be subject to:

(a) Provision being made for payment of impact fees from public funds, other than impact fee accounts; and

(b) That adequate documentation that the housing meets appropriate standards regarding household income, rent levels, sale price, location and number of units; and

(c) In the case of rental dwellings, adequate documentation of such housing shall remain exclusively available to low-income households at affordable rents for a minimum period of 15 years; and

(d) In the case of owner-occupied dwellings, adequate documentation that such housing will only be sold or leased at affordable rates to a low-income household for a period of 10 years; and

(e) Adequate documentation in the event that the use of the property requiring the required period is no longer used for low-income housing, the owner shall pay the impact fee, plus interest from which the owner or any prior owner was exempt;

(9) Upon application, the developer, supported by studies and data, may request from the city a reduction or elimination to the impact fee, based on unusual circumstances of specific cases. Determination by the city on whether development should be exempt from payment of any impact fees or whether the impact fee amount shall be reduced shall be appealed pursuant to WMC 15.62.070;

(10) The impact fee for exempt development shall be calculated as provided for in the chapter and paid for with public funds. Such payment may be made by including such amounts in the public share of the system improvements undertaken within the applicable service area. (Ord. 1947 § 1 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 1884 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 1175 § 11, 1995)

15.62.120 Existing authority unimpaired.

Nothing in this chapter shall preclude the city from requiring the feepayer or the proponent of the development activity to mitigate adverse environmental impacts of a specific development, pursuant to the State Environmental Policy Act, Chapter 43.21C RCW, based on the environmental developments accompanying the underlying development approval process, and/or Chapter 58.17 RCW, governing plats and subdivisions; provided, that the exercise of this authority is consistent with Chapters 43.21C and 82.02 RCW. (Ord. 1947 § 1 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 1175 § 12, 1995)

15.62.130 Independent fee calculations.

(1) If a feepayer requests not to have the impact fees determined according to the schedule in WMC 15.62.140, then the feepayer shall submit to the director an independent fee calculation for the development activity for which a building permit is sought, paid for by the applicant. The independent fee calculation shall show the basis upon which it was made.

(2) An applicant may request issuance of a building permit prior to completion of an independent fee study; provided, that the impact fee is collected based on the fee schedule in WMC 15.62.140. A partial refund may be forthcoming if the fee collected exceeds the amount determined in the independent fee calculation and the parks and community development department agrees with the independent fee calculation.

(3) Any feepayer electing an independent fee calculation shall be required to pay the city of Washougal a fee to cover the cost of reviewing the independent fee calculation. The feepayer shall remit payment for the city’s review of the independent fee calculation prior to and as a precondition of the city’s issuance of the building permit.

(4) While there is a presumption that the calculations set forth in the rate study used to prepare the fee schedule in WMC 15.62.140 are correct, the director shall consider the documentation submitted by the applicant, but is not required to accept such documentation which the director reasonably deems to be inaccurate or not reliable, and may modify or deny the request or, in the alternative, require the applicant to submit additional or different documentation. The director is authorized to adjust the impact fee on a case-by-case basis based on the independent fee calculation, the specific characteristics of the building permit and/or principles of fairness.

(5) Determinations made by the director pursuant to this section may be appealed subject to the procedures set forth in WMC 15.62.070. (Ord. 1947 § 1 (Exh. A), 2021)

15.62.140 Park impact fees.

The impact fee schedule below is based on the city’s latest rate study. As authorized under WMC 15.62.100, the schedule may automatically increase each January 1st, starting in 2024, based on the ENR- CCI.

Park Impact Fee Schedule

Type of Land Use

Impact Fee 2021

Impact Fee 2022

Impact Fee 2023

Per Unit





Dwelling unit





Dwelling unit

(Ord. 1947 § 1 (Exh. A), 2021)