Chapter 13.38


13.38.010    Purpose of chapter.

13.38.020    Establishment of Zillah infrastructure improvement program.

13.38.030    Use of development fees.

13.38.040    Applicability.

13.38.045    Deferral of development fees – Single-family residential only.

13.38.050    Exemptions and credits.

13.38.060    Segregation of development fees from the general fund.

13.38.065    Assessments in addition to development fees.

13.38.070    Appeals.

13.38.080    Refund of development fees.

13.38.090    Mandatory review.

13.38.010 Purpose of chapter.

The city council for the city of Zillah, Washington, has studied the impact of development within the city of Zillah, Washington. The city of Zillah finds that construction and development of dwelling units, commercial, industrial manufacturing buildings and structures (referred to herein as “development”) place demands on municipal government to provide new services and expand and improve public facilities. In order to provide an equitable source of funding for public facilities, it is necessary for the city of Zillah to establish a city of Zillah infrastructure improvement program which charges a proportionate share of the costs of new services and facility improvements to those projects and improvements creating the demand for additional services and improvements. (Ord. 1524 § 1, 2021)

13.38.020 Establishment of Zillah infrastructure improvement program.

A. The city of Zillah hereby establishes the Zillah infrastructure improvement program (“program”) for partial financing of identified public facility and system improvements. System improvements and public facilities included in the program are:

1. Publicly owned parks, open space, and recreational areas;

2. Public streets and roads; and

3. Fire protection facilities.

B. Development fees will be assessed and collected at the time of building permit issuance unless the developer requests and is granted a deferral in payment under ZMC 13.38.040(A)(1)(b) and 13.38.045. The development fee shall be based on the gross square footage of the building or improvement.

1. All development fees collected for residential uses through the Zillah infrastructure improvement program shall be allocated among the three areas as follows:

a. Parks and open space will receive 15 percent; and

b. Streets and roads will receive 60 percent; and

c. Fire protection will receive 25 percent of the total amount collected.

2. All development fees collected for commercial or industrial uses through the Zillah infrastructure improvement program shall be allocated among the two areas as follows:

a. Streets and roads will receive 75 percent; and

b. Fire protection will receive 25 percent of the total amount collected.

C. The program may identify system improvements to be financed, the anticipated schedule of construction, and the characteristics of new development as shown in the following attachments to the ordinance codified in this chapter:

1. Attachment A, General parks and open space plan, or as amended.

2. Attachment B, Streets/road plan including most recently adopted six-year STIP.

3. Attachment C, Fire improvement plan, or as amended. (Ord. 1528 § 1, 2021; Ord. 1524 § 1, 2021)

13.38.030 Use of development fees.

A. Development fees may only be used for financing system improvements identified in the Zillah infrastructure improvement program. Funding of system improvements shall be balanced with development fees and other sources of public funds. Costs of system improvements may not rely solely on development fees.

B. Development fees may not be used for:

1. Operations and maintenance. Development fees may not be used to pay salaries or to pay for regular maintenance or a simple replacement of existing equipment;

2. Facilities not needed to serve new development or which do not benefit new development. Development fees may be applied only to new facilities needed to serve new growth and development. There shall be a reasonable connection between the anticipated need for additional facilities with such fees representing a proportionate share of system costs with due consideration given to the cost of facilities funding sources, and availability and methods of other public financings.

C. Development fees may be utilized for municipal improvements, including, but not limited to, facility planning, land acquisition, site improvements, necessary off-site improvements, construction, engineering, architectural, permitting, financing, and administrative expenses, facility construction and improvements, and other costs reasonably associated with such system improvements.

D. The city council shall, by motion or resolution, budget and approve the application of development fees to system improvements. (Ord. 1524 § 1, 2021)

13.38.040 Applicability.

A. The building official shall assess an applicant for a building permit a development fee at the established rate determined at the time of complete application and based on the calculated square footage of building structure or improvement. The total development fee shall be paid separately from any other fees and shall be paid prior to the issuance of a building permit or final inspection as elected by the applicant.

1. New Single-Family Detached and Attached Residential Construction. Development fees for new single-family detached and attached residential construction shall be paid, at the option of the applicant, under either of the following options:

a. Full payment of development fees upon issuance of the building permit; or

b. Deferral of payment of development fees until time of final inspection.

B. The city council shall establish the development fee schedule and shall review and revise, if necessary, periodically to reflect changes in planned improvements, current budget levels, and compliance to the city of Zillah comprehensive plan and the city’s capital improvement plan. Prior to the establishment or revision of the development fee schedule, the city council shall hold a public hearing on the proposed fees.

C. The development fee schedule is as follows or herein amended for the following uses:







$0.68/sq. ft.

$1.00/sq. ft.

$1.00/sq. ft.

$1.00/sq. ft.


$0.68/sq. ft.

$0.85/sq. ft.

$0.85/sq. ft.

$0.85/sq. ft.

Light Manufacturing

$0.68/sq. ft.

$0.85/sq. ft.

$0.85/sq. ft.

$0.85/sq. ft.

*Commercial and light manufacturing projects shall be exempt from parks and open space fees.

D. The calculation of the development fee is premised upon anticipated costs of system improvements, the proportionate impact of new development, the cost of existing public facility improvements, and other available means and methods of public financing. The amount of the development fee shall be reasonably related to the development’s share of the cost of the facilities improvements made necessary by the development or if the improvements were previously constructed at municipal expense prior to the development. (Ord. 1524 § 1, 2021)

13.38.045 Deferral of development fees – Single-family residential only.

A. An applicant for a building permit may request a deferral in payment of development fees under ZMC 13.38.040(A)(1)(b). Any deferral of payment of a development fee must be secured by the grant and recordation of a deferred development fee lien against the property in favor of the city in the amount of the deferred development fee. The deferred development fee lien must include the legal description, tax parcel number, and address of the property.

In addition, the deferred development fee lien shall be:

1. In a form approved by the city; and

2. Signed by all owners of the property, with all signatures acknowledged as required for a deed, and recorded in the real property records for Yakima County; and

3. A covenant that shall run with the land and be binding on all successors and assigns; and

4. Junior and subordinate only to one mortgage for the purpose of construction upon the same real property and granted by the person who applied for the deferral of development fees.

B. Upon receipt of final payment of development fees, the city shall execute a release of the deferred development fee lien for the property. The property owner at the time of the release, at his or her expense, is responsible for recording the lien release.

C. In the event that development fees are not paid in a timely manner as required herein or through a deferral authorization, the city may institute foreclosure proceedings in accordance with Chapter 61.12 RCW. The extinguishment of a deferred impact fee lien by the foreclosure of the lien having priority does not affect the obligation to pay the impact fees as a condition of final inspection, certificate of occupancy, or equivalent certification, or at the time of closing the first sale.

D. Each applicant for a single-family residential construction permit, in accordance with his or her contractor registration number or other unique identification number, is entitled to annually receive deferrals under ZMC 13.38.040(A)(1)(b) for the first 20 single-family residential construction building permits within the city.

E. Each applicant seeking a deferral under ZMC 13.38.040(A)(1)(b) will be subject to an administrative deferment fee of $50.00 per associated building permit plus payment of costs for document preparation and applicable recording fees and costs.

F. Final payment of all development fees is due in full within 18 months of issuance of building permit.

G. Upon receipt of final payment of all deferred development fees for a property, the city shall release the deferred development fee lien for the property. (Ord. 1524 § 1, 2021)

13.38.050 Exemptions and credits.

A. The following shall be exempt from payment of development fees:

1. Replacement to a similar intensity of a residential structure or mobile home having been actively occupied for the three previous years with a new residential structure or manufactured home at the same site or lot when such replacement occurs within 12 months of the demolition or destruction of the prior structure or the removal of the mobile/manufactured home;

2. Minor alterations, expansion, enlargement, remodeling or rehabilitation or conversion of an existing dwelling unit or units where no additional units are created and the use is not changed;

3. The construction of accessory structures to a residential use that will not create additional developments on public facilities;

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

5. Demolition or removal of a structure.

B. A credit for the value of any off-site dedication of land for, improvement to, or new construction of a system improvement, provided by a developer that is required as a condition of approval of development activity and where a developer and the city have entered into a voluntary agreement pursuant to RCW 82.02.020, which provides for the credit against the development. The right and extent of such credit shall be established solely by the city after consideration of relevant factors including, but not limited to, type of improvement, proportionate share, amount and nexus with the project.

No credit shall be allowed if the voluntary agreement, SEPA mitigation condition, or land division or project condition requires the payment of development fees. Additionally, no credit shall be allowed until the developer has provided the city with documentation demonstrating compliance with the terms of the voluntary agreement, SEPA mitigation condition, or land division project condition.

C. The mayor or his/her designee(s) shall be authorized to determine whether a particular development activity falls within an identified exemption or is eligible for a credit against the development fees. Determinations of the city shall be in writing and shall be subject to appeal procedures set forth herein.

D. The payment of development fees under this chapter is further subject to the following exemptions:

1. A person required to pay mitigation or similar fee pursuant to RCW 43.21C.060 for system improvements shall not be required to pay a development fee under RCW 82.02.050 through 82.02.090 for those same system improvements.

2. A person installing a residential fire sprinkler system in a single-family home shall not be required to pay the fire operations portion of the development fee. The exempted fire operations development fee shall not include the proportionate share related to the delivery of emergency medical services. (Ord. 1524 § 1, 2021)

13.38.060 Segregation of development fees from the general fund.

A. The building official shall record the name of the individual paying the development fee, the

assessor’s map and lot number(s) of the property for which the development fee is being paid, the amount of the fee paid for each facility for which fees are collected, and the date the development fee was paid on forms provided by the finance department.

B. Upon collection of the development fee, the clerk/treasurer shall transfer the funds into special interest-bearing account(s) dedicated for funding the improvements for which the fee is collected.

C. An annual report of each development fee account shall be prepared which shows (1) the source and amount of fees collected, earned or received, and (2) system improvements that were financed in part by development fees. (Ord. 1524 § 1, 2021)

13.38.065 Assessments in addition to development fees.

The requirements of this chapter to mitigate direct impacts caused by development within the city are separate and apart from the requirement for sewer system development fees imposed by Chapter 13.16 ZMC for connection to the city sewer system and the requirement for water system development fees imposed by Chapter 13.08 ZMC, which are permit and hookup fees and a proportionate share of the utilities’ capital costs. (Ord. 1524 § 1, 2021)

13.38.070 Appeals.

A. Any developer or property owner may pay development fees imposed under protest in order to obtain a project development approval. An appeal is authorized with regard to the imposition of development fees on any development activity, but no appeal shall be permitted unless and until the development fees have been paid under protest.

B. Within 15 days of paying the fees “under protest,” an appeal, in the form of a letter of appeal, along with the required appeal fee of $200.00 or as the land use fee schedule states, shall be filed with the city clerk or their designee for all determinations with respect to a development fee may be appealed to the city council.

The letter of appeal must contain the following:

1. A basis for and arguments supporting the appeal; and

2. Technical information and specific data supporting the appeal.

C. Within 15 days of the filing of the appeal, a municipal determination with respect to the applicability of development fees to a given development activity and/or building permit, the availability and/or extent of any exemption, the calculation of applicable development fee, or any other determination with respect to a development fee may be appealed to the city council. A memorandum shall include applicable appeal fees established by the municipality and summarizing the appeal.

D. Within 30 days of the filing of the appeal, a hearing before Zillah city council will be set to address the issues set forth in the appeal. The determination of a municipal official making the determination on the applicable development fee is entitled to substantial weight and the city council may approve, reject or modify such determination on appeal.

E. The decision of the Zillah city council shall become final upon council motion and adoption into the record. A copy of the city council decision shall be mailed or emailed to the appellant at their request within 10 working days of the decision. (Ord. 1524 § 1, 2021)

13.38.080 Refund of development fees.

A. If the city fails to expend or encumber the development fees within 10 years of collection, the current owner of the property for which development fees have been paid shall receive a refund of said fee(s). In determining whether development fees have been expended or encumbered, development fees shall be considered expended or encumbered on a first-in, first-out basis.

B. 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.

C. Property owners seeking a refund of development fees must submit a written request for a refund of the fees to the city clerk within one year of the date the right to claim the refund arises or the date that notice is given, whichever is later.

D. Any development fees for which no application for a refund has been made within the one-year period shall be retained by the city and deposited into the city’s general fund.

E. Refunds of development fees under this section shall include any interest earned on the development fees by the city.

F. If the collection of development fees is deferred under ZMC 13.38.040(A)(1)(b), the 10-year period for expenditure or encumbrance shall commence upon full payment of all development fees to the city.

G. If the city terminates the development fee program, all unexpended or unencumbered funds, including interest earned, shall be refunded pursuant to this section. The city shall publish notice of the 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 the claimants. All funds available for refund shall be retained for a period of one year after the date of the second publication. At the end of one year, any remaining funds shall be retained by the city and deposited into the city’s general fund. This notice requirement shall not apply if there are no unexpended or unencumbered balances within the fund. (Ord. 1524 § 1, 2021)

13.38.090 Mandatory review.

The city council for the city of Zillah, Washington, shall be responsible to review the provisions of this chapter at least once every two years. The mitigation of the environmental impacts that this chapter is designed to accomplish requires constant review and study. The need for adequate facilities will continue to become more acute and more costly as development continues to occur. Accordingly, the cost of mitigating environmental impacts may increase and must be reviewed in order that the city of Zillah is utilizing its best efforts to address these issues and concerns. (Ord. 1524 § 1, 2021)