Chapter 15.02
GENERAL PROVISIONS GOVERNING THE ASSESSMENT OF IMPACT FEES

Sections:

15.02.010    Findings and authority.

15.02.020    Definitions.

15.02.030    Assessment of impact fees.

15.02.035    Deferring payment of impact fees.

15.02.040    Exemptions.

15.02.050    Credits.

15.02.060    Tax adjustments.

15.02.070    Appeals.

15.02.080    Establishment of impact fee account.

15.02.090    Refunds.

15.02.100    Use of funds.

15.02.110    Impact fee.

15.02.120    Independent fee calculations.

15.02.130    Review.

15.02.140    Interpretation and implementation.

15.02.010 Findings and authority.

The city council of the city of Wenatchee (“the council”) hereby finds and determines that new growth and development in the city of Wenatchee, in particular the Broadview secondary access service area, will create additional demand and need for public facilities in the Broadview secondary access service area, and the council finds that new 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 of Wenatchee has conducted extensive study of current transportation and emergency access facilities within the Broadview secondary access service area, has prepared a technical memorandum, and hereby incorporates the Broadview Secondary Access Impact Fee Technical Memorandum dated February 2011 into this title by reference. Therefore, pursuant to Chapter 82.02 RCW, the council adopts the ordinance codified in this title to assess impact fees for public facilities within the defined service area known as the Broadview secondary access service area. The provisions of this title shall be liberally construed in order to carry out the purposes of the council in establishing the impact fee program. (Ord. 2011-02 § 1)

15.02.020 Definitions.

The following words and terms shall have the following meanings for the purposes of this title, 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.

“Broadview secondary access service area” means that area described and depicted on Table 1 at the end of this chapter within the city limits as now exist and as may exist in the future due to annexation.

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

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

“City” means the city of Wenatchee.

“Council” means the city council of the city of Wenatchee.

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

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

“Dwelling unit” means a single-family unit providing complete and independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent facilities for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation needs. A multifamily dwelling is two or more connected dwelling units.

“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.

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

“Hearing examiner” means the examiner who acts on behalf of the city in considering and applying land use regulatory codes as provided under the Wenatchee City Code. Where appropriate, “hearing examiner” also refers to the office of the hearing examiner.

“Impact fee” means a payment of money imposed by the city of Wenatchee on development activity pursuant to this title as a condition of granting development approval in order to pay for the public facilities needed to serve new growth and development. “Impact fee” does not include a reasonable permit fee, an application fee, or the cost of reviewing independent fee calculations.

“Impact fee account” or “account” means the account established for public facility impact fees.

“Independent fee calculation” means the public facility impact calculation, and/or economic documentation prepared by a feepayer, to support the assessment of an impact fee other than by the use of the rates listed in WCC 15.02.110, or the calculations prepared by the city engineer or his designee where none of the fee categories or fee amounts in WCC 15.02.110 accurately describe or capture the impacts of the new development on public facilities.

“Interest” means the average interest rate earned in the last fiscal year by the city of Wenatchee.

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

“Project improvements” mean site improvements and facilities that are planned and designed to provide service for a particular development 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.

“Public facilities” means the following capital facilities owned or operated by government entities: (1) public streets and roads; (2) publicly owned parks, open space, and recreation facilities; (3) school facilities; and (4) fire protection facilities.

“Service area” means a geographic area defined by the city or intergovernmental agreement on which a defined set of public facilities provide service to development within the area. Service areas shall be designated on the basis of sound planning or engineering principles.

“Significant past tax payment” means taxes exceeding five percent of the amount of the impact fee, and which were paid prior to the date the impact fee is assessed and were earmarked or proratable to the same system improvements for which the impact fee is assessed.

“State” means the state of Washington.

“System improvements” means public facilities that are included in the city of Wenatchee’s capital facilities plan and are designed to provide services to service areas within the community at large, in contrast to project improvements.

“Technical memorandum” means the Broadview Secondary Access Impact Fee Technical Memorandum dated February 2011, as amended and supplemented before adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter. (Ord. 2011-02 § 1)

15.02.030 Assessment of impact fees.

(1) The city shall collect impact fees, based on the rates in WCC 15.02.110, from any applicant seeking development approval from the city for any development activity within a defined service area, where such development activity requires the issuance of a building permit, including the expansion or change in use of existing uses that creates one or more additional dwelling units.

(2) Impact fees shall be assessed at the time the complete application for a building permit is submitted and vests, for each unit in the development, using the impact fee rates then in effect. Impact fees shall be paid at the time the building permit is issued by the city.

(3) Applicants that have been awarded credits pursuant to WCC 15.02.050 prior to the submittal of the complete building permit application shall submit, along with the complete building permit application, a copy of the letter or certificate prepared by the city engineer or his designee pursuant to WCC 15.02.050 setting forth the dollar amount of the credit awarded. Impact fees, as determined after the application of appropriate credits, shall be collected from the feepayer at the time the building permit is issued for each unit in the development.

(4) The city engineer or his designee shall not issue the required building permit unless and until the impact fees set forth in WCC 15.02.110 have been paid in the amount that they exceed exemptions or credits provided pursuant to WCC 15.02.040 or 15.02.050. (Ord. 2011-02 § 1)

15.02.035 Deferring payment of impact fees.

An applicant for a single-family building permit may request prior to issuance a deferral of the full impact fee payment until issuance of the certificate of occupancy, or 18 months from the date the building permit is issued, whichever occurs first. The following shall apply to any request to defer payment of impact fees:

(1) For the purposes of this deferral program, the following definition applies:

(a) “Applicant” includes an entity that controls the applicant, is controlled by the applicant, or is under common control with the applicant.

(2) A request for deferral must be made on a form provided by and acceptable to the city and must include the following information and fees:

(a) Name, address, phone number and e-mail of the applicant.

(b) The specific address, legal description, assessor’s parcel number of the single-family dwelling for which the deferral is being requested.

(c) The registration number or other unique identification number for the contractor that will be building the structure.

(d) Applicable fees for processing the application and for future monitoring of the deferred payment of impact fees in the amount of $______.

(3) The impact fee amount is based on the fee schedule provided in WCC 15.02.110 at the time the request and appropriate administrative fee is submitted.

(4) The applicant requesting the deferral must grant and record a deferred impact fee lien against the property in favor of the city in the amount of the deferred impact fee on a form provided by the city. The deferred impact fee lien must include the legal description, assessor’s parcel number, and address of the property, and must also be:

(a) In a form approved by the city of Wenatchee;

(b) Signed by all the owners of the property, with all signatures acknowledged as required for a deed, and recorded with the Chelan County auditor’s office at the expense of the applicant;

(c) Binding on all successors in title after the recordation; and

(d) 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.

(5) The city shall withhold the certificate of occupancy until the impact fees have been paid in full. Upon receipt of final payment of impact fees deferred under this subsection, the city shall execute a release of deferred impact fee lien for each single-family residence for which the impact fees have been received. The applicant, or property owner at the time of release, shall be responsible for recording the lien release at his or her expense.

(6) If impact fees are not paid in accordance with the deferral and in accordance with the term provisions established herein, the city may institute foreclosure proceedings in accordance with Chapter 61.12 RCW.

(7) The extinguishment of a deferred impact fee lien by the foreclosure of a lien having priority does not affect the obligation to pay the impact fees as a condition of certificate of occupancy.

(8) Each applicant for a single-family attached or detached residential building permit, in accordance with his or her contractor registration number or other unique identification number, is entitled to annually receive deferrals under this section for the first 20 single-family residential building permits. (Ord. 2016-22 § 1 (Exh. B))

15.02.040 Exemptions.

The following shall be exempted from the payment of all impact fees:

(1) Alteration or change in use of an existing nonresidential structure that does not add any dwelling units or additional square feet of space;

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

(3) Demolition or moving of a structure;

(4) Replacement of a structure with a new structure of the same size and use at the same site or lot when such replacement occurs within 12 months of the demolition or destruction of the prior structure; and

(5) One dwelling unit per lot of existing building lots, without further subdivision, within Broadview service area as shown in Table 1 at the end of this chapter. (Ord. 2011-02 § 1)

15.02.050 Credits.

(1) A feepayer can request that credit to be used to reduce impact fees be awarded to him/her for the total value of the dedicated land, improvements, or construction provided by the feepayer. 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, including public availability of such facilities; and

(b) At suitable sites and constructed at acceptable quality as determined by the city.

(2) The city engineer or his designee shall determine if the requests for credits meet the criteria in subsection (1) of this section.

(3) The value of a credit for structures, facilities or other improvements shall be established by original receipts provided by the applicant for one or more of the same system improvements for which the impact fee is being charged.

(4) The value of a credit for land, including right-of-way and easements, shall be established on a case-by-case basis by an appraiser selected by, or acceptable to, the city engineer or his designee. The appraiser must be licensed in good standing by the state of Washington for the category of the property appraised. The appraiser must possess an MAI or other equivalent certification and shall not have a fiduciary or personal interest in the property being appraised. A description of the appraiser’s certification shall be included with the appraisal, and the appraiser shall certify that he/she does not have a fiduciary or personal interest in the property being appraised. The appraisal shall be in accord with the most recent version of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and shall be subject to review and acceptance by the city engineer or his designee.

(5) The feepayer shall pay for the cost of the appraisal and may request that the cost of the appraisal be deducted from the credit which the city engineer or his designee may be providing to the feepayer, in the event that a credit is awarded.

(6) After receiving the appraisal, the city engineer or his designee shall provide the applicant with a letter or certificate setting forth the dollar amount of the credit, the reason for the credit, the legal description of the site donated where applicable, and the legal description or other adequate description of the project or development to which the credit may be applied. The applicant must sign and date a duplicate copy of such letter or certificate including his/her agreement to the terms of the letter or certificate, and return such signed document to the city engineer or his designee before the impact fee credit will be awarded. The failure of the applicant to sign, date, and return such document within 60 calendar days shall nullify the credit.

(7) No credit shall be given for project improvements.

(8) A feepayer can request that a credit for impact fees be awarded to him/her for significant past tax payments. For each request for a credit for significant past tax payments for impact fees, the feepayer shall submit receipts and a calculation of past tax payments earmarked for or proratable to the particular system improvement for which a credit is requested. The city engineer or his designee shall determine the amount of credits, if any, for significant past tax payments for public facilities.

(9) Any claim for credit must be made prior to issuance of a building permit. The failure to timely file such a claim shall constitute a final bar to later request any such credit.

(10) Determinations made by the city engineer or his designee pursuant to this section shall be subject to the appeals procedures set forth in WCC 15.02.070. (Ord. 2011-02 § 1)

15.02.060 Tax adjustments.

Pursuant to and consistent with the requirements of RCW 82.02.060, the impact fee rate in WCC 15.02.110 has been reasonably adjusted for taxes and other revenue sources which are anticipated to be available to fund public facilities improvements. (Ord. 2011-02 § 1)

15.02.070 Appeals.

(1) Any feepayer may pay the impact fees imposed by this title under protest in order to obtain a building permit. No appeal shall be permitted until the impact fees at issue have been paid.

(2) Appeals regarding the impact fees imposed on any development activity may only be filed by the feepayer of the property where such development activity will occur.

(3) Appeals shall be filed upon the city within 14 calendar days of the feepayer’s payment of the impact fees at issue in accordance with WCC 13.11.030. The city engineer or his designee shall transmit to the office of the hearing examiner all papers constituting the record for the determination, including, where appropriate, the independent fee calculation.

(4) The appellant shall pay an appeal fee at the time of filing the appeal as set forth in WCC 1.99.010(12).

(5) The city shall fix a time for the hearing of the appeal by the hearing examiner, and give notice to the parties in interest. At the hearing, any party may appear in person or by agent or attorney.

(6) 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. The decision of the hearing examiner shall be final, except as provided in this section.

(7) The hearing examiner may, so long as such action is in conformance with the provisions of this title, reverse or affirm, in whole or in part, or may modify the determinations of the city with respect to the amount of the impact fees imposed or the credit awarded.

(8) Appeals from the final decision of the hearing examiner shall be made to the Chelan County superior court in accordance with Chapter 13.11 WCC. (Ord. 2011-02 § 1)

15.02.080 Establishment of impact fee account.

(1) Impact fee receipts shall be earmarked specifically and deposited in a separate interest-bearing account.

(2) There is hereby established a separate impact fee account for the fees collected pursuant to this title: the Broadview service area impact fee account. Funds withdrawn or expended from this account must be used in accordance with the provisions of WCC 15.02.100 and applicable state law. Interest earned on the fees shall be retained in the account and expended for the purposes for which the impact fees were collected.

(3) On an annual basis, the city finance director and public works director shall provide a report to the council on the impact fee account showing the source and amount of all moneys collected, earned, or received, and the public improvements that were financed in whole or in part by impact fees.

(4) Impact fees shall be expended or encumbered within six years of receipt, unless the council identifies in written findings an extraordinary and compelling reason or reasons for the city to hold the fees beyond the six-year period. Under such circumstances, the council shall establish the period of time within which the impact fees shall be expended or encumbered. (Ord. 2011-02 § 1)

15.02.090 Refunds.

(1) If the city fails to expend or encumber the impact fees within six years of when the fees were paid or, where extraordinary or compelling reasons exist, such other time periods as established pursuant to WCC 15.02.080, the current record owner of the property, at the expiration of any such period, 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.

(2) The city shall notify potential claimants by first class mail deposited with the United States Postal Service at the last known address of such claimants. A claimant must be the owner of the property.

(3) An owner seeking a refund of impact fees must submit a written request for a refund of the fees to the city engineer or his designee within one year of the date the right to claim the refund arises or the date that notice is given, whichever is later.

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

(5) Refunds of impact fees under this section shall include any interest earned on the impact fees by the city.

(6) 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, 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 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 appropriate public facilities. This notice requirement shall not apply if there are no unexpended or unencumbered balances within the account or accounts being terminated.

(7) The city shall also refund to the current owner of property for which impact fees have been paid all impact fees paid, as provided for herein, including interest earned on the impact fees, when the developer does not proceed with the development activity for which the impact fees were imposed and when no impact on the city has resulted; provided, that if the city has expended or encumbered the impact fees in good faith prior to the application for a refund, the city engineer or his designee can decline to provide the refund. Any refund provided for in this subsection shall not occur during the time when the development activity has a valid development approval and is legally authorized to proceed. If, after expiration of development approval and within a period of three years, the same or subsequent owner of the property receives a new development approval with the same or substantially similar development activity, the owner can petition the city engineer or his designee for an offset of any unrefunded impact fees provided for herein. The petitioner must provide valid proof of ownership, clear title and receipts of impact fees previously paid for a development of the same or substantially similar nature on the same property or some portion thereof. The city engineer or his designee shall determine whether to grant an offset. Determinations of the city engineer or his designee shall be in writing and shall be subject to the appeals procedures set forth in WCC 15.02.070. (Ord. 2011-02 § 1)

15.02.100 Use of funds.

(1) Pursuant to this title, impact fees:

(a) Shall be used for public facility improvements that will reasonably benefit the new development; and

(b) Shall not be imposed to make up for deficiencies in public facilities serving existing developments; and

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

(2) Impact fees may be spent for public facility improvements as depicted in Table 2 at the end of this chapter, “System Improvements Funded by Impact Fees,” including, but not limited to, planning, land acquisition, site improvements, necessary off-site improvements, construction, engineering, architectural, permitting, financing, and administrative expenses, applicable impact fees or mitigation costs, capital equipment pertaining to public facilities, and any other expenses that can be capitalized provided the expenses relate to the public facilities improvements.

(3) Impact fees may also be used to recoup public facility improvement costs previously incurred by the city to the extent that new growth and development will be served by the previously constructed system 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 facility improvements for which impact fees may be expended, 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 and are used to serve the new development. (Ord. 2011-02 § 1)

15.02.110 Impact fee.

The public facility impact fee rates in this section are generated from the formula for calculating impact fees set forth in the technical memorandum, which is incorporated herein by reference. Except as otherwise provided for independent fee calculations in WCC 15.02.120, exemptions in WCC 15.02.040, and credits in WCC 15.02.050, all new developments in the Broadview secondary access service area will be charged the public facilities impact fee per residential dwelling unit as follows:

Land Use

Unit of Measure

Impact Fee Rate per Unit

Residential

Dwelling unit

$4,830

(Ord. 2011-02 § 1)

15.02.120 Independent fee calculations.

(1) If, in the judgment of the city engineer or his designee, none of the fee categories or fee amounts set forth in WCC 15.02.110 accurately describe or capture the impacts of a new development on public facilities, the city engineer or his designee may conduct independent fee calculations and the city engineer or his designee may impose alternative fees on a specific development based on those calculations. If the alternative fees are less than 90 percent of the amount set forth in WCC 15.02.110, then they shall be subject to the approval of the city council. The approved alternative fees and the calculations shall be set forth in writing and shall be mailed to the feepayer.

(2) If a feepayer opts not to have the impact fees determined according to WCC 15.02.110, then the feepayer shall prepare and submit to the city engineer or his designee an independent fee calculation for the development activity for which a building permit is sought. The documentation submitted shall show the basis upon which the independent fee calculation was made.

(3) Any feepayer submitting an independent fee calculation will be required to pay the city of Wenatchee a fee to cover the cost of reviewing the independent fee calculation. The fee required by the city for conducting the review of the independent fee calculation shall be $200.00, and shall be paid by the feepayer prior to initiation of the review.

(4) While there is a presumption that the calculations set forth in the technical memorandum are valid, the city engineer or his designee shall consider the documentation submitted by the feepayer, but is not required to accept such documentation or analysis which the city engineer or his designee reasonably deems to be inaccurate or not reliable, and may, in the alternative, require the feepayer to submit additional or different documentation for consideration. The city engineer or his designee 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, subject to city council approval. The approved fees or alternative fees and the calculations shall be set forth in writing and shall be mailed to the feepayer.

(5) Determinations made by the city engineer or his designee pursuant to this section may be appealed to the office of the hearing examiner as set forth in WCC 15.02.070. (Ord. 2011-02 § 1)

15.02.130 Review.

The fee rates set forth in WCC 15.02.110 may be reviewed and adjusted by the council as it deems necessary and appropriate in conjunction with the annual update of the capital facilities plan element of the city’s comprehensive plan. The council may determine the amount of the adjustment taking into consideration changes in costs of real property, materials and labor, and other relevant considerations. (Ord. 2011-02 § 1)

15.02.140 Interpretation and implementation.

The city council authorizes the city public works director or his designee to administratively interpret the provisions of this title as necessary to implement the intent of the city council. The city public works director or his designee shall be authorized to adopt guidelines for the implementation of this title that may include a procedures guide for impact fees.

(Ord. 2011-02 § 1)