Initiative Measure 94


An Ordinance amending the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) that if 
enacted would impose a one-time fee on new development to help pay 
for new parks and open space within designated impact service areas.

WHEREAS, the state Growth Management Act (RCW82.02.050.100) 
authorizes the City of Seattle to charge on a one-time basis 
development impact fees for new development to help finance parks and 
open space needed to serve that new development in the area it is 
located; and

WHEREAS, development impact fees for parks and open space are imposed 
by other municipalities, and

WHEREAS, the City has identified needs and demands for more public 
open space and parks facilities requiring additional funding to serve 
city areas experiencing the most residential population and 
employment growth; 
SECTION 1.  Legislative Findings

            (a) Development Impact Fees would enable the city to 
obtain more land and develop more parks and open space to meet needs 
and demands of people living and working in new developments in areas 
of the city where future growth is most concentrated and such new 
public facilities are most needed.

            (b) New development should be required to pay a 
proportionate share of the impact it creates to help meet planning 
goals of one (1) acre per 1,000 households and one (1) acre per 
10,000 jobs (see city's Comprehensive, Department of Neighborhoods 
Neighborhood Plan Implementation (NPI), departmental Capital 
Improvement Plans) for parks and open space identifying needed 
projects; and 

            (c) After considerable study city administration policy 
analysts and planners have determined appropriate formula and 
methodology for calculating impact fee amounts within specific impact 
service areas (ISA) (see November, 2006 document entitled, "Park, 
Open Space and Recreation Facilities - Impact Fee Program - "Impact 
Fee Methodology and Tables."

SECTION 2.  Definitions

            (1) The terms used herein shall have the same meaning as 
defined and used in the Seattle Comprehensive Plan, Chapter 23.84.  
Where such definitions need clarification, the Department of Planning 
and Development may supplement or clarify the definitions of terms 
contained herein as part of its rule making process.
SECTION 3.  Applicability and Exemptions

            (1) This chapter shall apply to all new development in 
designated impact service areas (ISAs).  The following types of new 
development are exempt from paying to the city park impact fees 
imposed under this chapter although the city shall be responsible for 
its proportionate share of the impact caused by such exempt 
development within an ISA:

             (a) Low-income housing, or low income, elderly, or 
disabled multi-family structures defined by the city as "Affordable 
Workforce Housing" owned or occupied by households at or below 80% of 
the median family income, adjusted by household size. 

             (b) Improvements by an owner occupant of an existing 
residential dwelling that owner has occupied for at least the 24 
months prior to an application  being submitted to DPD.
SECTION 4.  Amounts of Impact Fees

           (1)  New development in a designated impact service area, 
as a condition of building permit approval, shall pay a parks and 
recreation impact fee. This Development Impact fee will be based on 
use and shall be collected for new development in designated service 
areas at the time an application is submitted.  The impact fee 
amounts shall be initially established based on the methodology 
employed by city policy analysts (in November, 2006 document 
referenced above or an updated version of same) for the following 
development purposes at the following rates:

SERVICE AREA    Residential      Office            Commercial/          Manufacturing/Hi-Tech,  
                (per sq. ft.)    (per sq. ft.)     Residential          R&D (per sq. ft.)       
                                                   (per sq. ft.)                                

Center City     $ 2.72           $ 2.19            $ 2.01               $ 1.34                  

University      $ 2.53           $ 1.27            $ 1.16               $ 0.77                  

Northgate       $ 1.17           $ 0.39            $ 0.35               $ 0.24                  

           (2)  Payment of a park impact fee is required prior to 
building permit issuance and shall be subject to the same 
administrative procedures applicable to the imposition and collection 
of other development or building permit-related fees.  Administration 
of fees shall be consistent with the Director's Rule and "Fee 
Subtitle" as set forth in SMC 22.900A. Disputes over imposition of 
this impact fee shall be resolved in the manner proscribed for 
resolution of other fee disputes. The amount of the fee shall be 
based upon the rate in effect at the time of filing an application 
for development; provided, however, that those applications are 
deemed complete before the adoption of this GMA-based impact fee 
contained in this section shall not be required to pay this fee but 
only such fees as were in effect at the time the application was 
deemed complete and further provided that if the building permit is 
not issued within five years after the application is deemed complete 
the fee shall be based upon the rate in effect at the time of 
building permit issuance. 

            (3) The Council shall review the rates or amounts of the 
impact fees annually and make adjustments it deems appropriate to 
meet the parks and open space development impact goals of the city.  
To achieve fairness and accuracy the Council may review and adjust 
the fee schedule provided herein within six months after the 
effective date of this measure.
SECTION 5.  Establishment of Impact Service Areas

             (1)  The Council shall adopt Parks and Open Space 
Service "Impact Service Areas" (ISAs) within the city that comply 
with state law and which address the need for such areas in that they 
are the fastest growing areas in the city. The boundary of these 
service areas shall be based on input from the Departments of 
Neighborhoods, Parks and Recreation, and Planning and Development.  

            (2)  The Department of Neighborhoods shall propose to the 
Council a map delineating the boundaries for the initial impact fee 
service areas (ISAs) including Center City, University District, and 

            (3) The Department of Planning and Development shall 
publish maps defining the boundaries of designated Impact Service 
Areas that conform with the city's GMA planning goals.

            (4) The Council may add new service areas that meet GMA 
planning criteria for imposition of development impact fees. Service 
areas and fees shall be charged to new development in designated ISAs 
provided there is a nexus between those paying the fees and receiving 
the benefits to ensure that those developments paying impact fees 
receive substantial benefits.  Additional or revised service areas 
may be designated by the City Council. 

            (5) Overlay service areas (ISAs) or subareas may be 
established for identified system improvements designed to serve 
geographic areas whose boundaries are not generally contiguous with 
established service areas.

SECTION 6.  Parks and Open Space Fees Appropriated and Allocated

            A.  Goals: 

            The Department of Planning and Development, Department of 
Neighborhoods, and Parks and Recreation Department shall jointly 
propose projects to be funded by impact fees in designated service 
areas to help meet impact service fee program goals of achieving (1) 
one acre per 1,000 residents and (1) one acre per 10,000 jobs.  Such 
projects shall meet the goals for park and open space of each service 
area and shall attempt to meet the demand for each service area.   
Fees may be used for these goals and objectives:

            (1) Acquire and develop park and open space land to serve 
new development within a service area.  

            (2) Enhance existing park and open space to meet demands 
caused by new developments.  

            (3) Reimburse for previous costs incurred, provided that 
impact fee revenue is not used to make up for existing deficiencies.

            (4) Acquire land for future use as park and open space 
that will serve new development within an ISA. 

            B.  Proportionality:
Developers of a new development are not required to fund 100 percent 
of required park, open space, and recreation facility improvement 
within a specific Impact Service Area. Before assessing the 
appropriate parks or open space impact fee funds imposed under this 
Chapter, Council shall determine the source(s) for additional funding 
of the difference between the amount of the developer contribution 
and the cost of acquisition and/or development costs using public or 
other private non-developer funds. 

            B.  Appropriation Authority: 

            (1) Decisions allocating or dispersing funds generated 
from development impact fees authorized by this measure shall be made 
by the Council in a lawful manner and shall be made after (1) 
Decisions allocating or dispersing funds generated from development 
impact fees authorized by this measure shall be made by the Council 
in a lawful manner and shall be made after considering the 
aforementioned recommendations of city departments.

            (2) A Parks and Open Space Impact Fee Fund shall be 
established by the Council.  Rules shall be promulgated by the 
Department of Finance for dispersing fee funds within one hundred-
eighty (180) days following the effective date of this measure. 

           (3) The City may seek supplemental, matching or additional 
funds from other sources to pay all or part of the cost of a project 
and, if successful, may apply such funds to accomplishment thereof or 
to complement or enlarge a project funded in part by these Impact 

SECTION 7.  Oversight Committee Created

           The Parks and Open Spaces Impact Fee Oversight Committee 
("Oversight Committee") is hereby established to review the 
expenditure of the fee proceeds and resultant interest earnings, to 
advise the Mayor and Council as to expenditures and allocations of 
development impact fees for the following year, and to make 
recommendations on the implementation of particular projects and 
programs and on any reallocations. The Committee will meet quarterly 
with the Parks and Recreation Superintendent or his/her designee, 
beginning in the calendar quarter following the effective date of 
this measure. The Oversight Committee shall consist of sixteen (16) 
members appointed for three year staggered terms: ten (10) residents 
of the City who are members of the Neighborhood Council, one (1) 
member of the Board of Park Commissioners, and the balance to include 
representation from the diverse constituencies served by and 
interested in the projects and programs to be funded by the 
additional taxes raised through this levy lid lift.  The Mayor and 
the City Council respectively shall appoint eight members each. The 
Oversight Committee may adopt rules for its own procedures, including 
quorum requirements and the frequency of meetings. This Oversight 
Committee will make annual reports to the Mayor and City Council and 
within 180-days following the effective date of this measure will 
prepare a preliminary, initial report to the Mayor and City Council 
which identifies emergent and intial impact fee project funding 
priorities. The Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department 
of Neighborhoods shall provide staff and logistical support for this 
Oversight Committee. The Oversight Committee shall continue in 
existence through December 31, 2020, and thereafter if so provided by 
SECTION 8.  Credits

            (1) The Council shall adopt fair and equitable policies 
related to criteria for DPD to issue credits which developers may 
request against park and recreation impact fees established under 
this chapter for the dedication of land, or improvement to or 
construction of any capital facilities identified in plans jointly 
approved by the Parks Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation, 
and Department of Neighborhoods. Credit may be made against an impact 
fee based on the present value of the developer-dedicated land, 
contributions or construction of public park and public open space.  
Excess credits may be banked as accumulated credits and applied to 
other projects within one impact service area.

            (2)  All credit requests must be submitted to the 
Department of Planning and Development concurrently with the 
development application and be accompanied by supporting 
documentation, unless a pre-existing agreement made before the 
effective date of this ordinance with the City provides for such a 
credit and is consistent with the purposes of the ordinance. 

            (3)  The director of the Department of Planning and 
Development shall review a credit request to determine whether the 
proposed in-kind contribution is eligible for credit based on 
eligibility criteria adopted by the Council. 

            (4) No other city open space or parks mitigation 
requirement, fee or charge may be made for a development that is 
subject to the open space and parks development impact fee imposed by 
the City under this Chapter.
SECTION 9.  Prohibitions

The City of Seattle is prohibited from using public funds generated 
from the impact fees authorized by this measure for capital 
improvements that would detract from recreational uses of parkland by 
building, developing, or re-developing existing facilities for 
commercial moneymaking purposes. This shall not include seating or 
other facilities to accommodate spectators at sports, musical or 
theatrical entertainment events or performances; nor shall any funds 
be used for facilities that would park or accommodate automotive 
vehicles. Nothing in this measure shall discourage the construction 
or placement of affordable workforce housing within the City of 
Seattle.  Fees may not be used to correct deficiencies within a 
service area or for operations and maintenance of parks, open space, 
or recreational facilities. Impact fees may not be used for 
improvements to park, open space, or recreational facilities that do 
not benefit or serve the occupants of the new development within the 
service area for which the fee was imposed. 
SECTION 10.  Effective Date and Severability  
This ordinance measure shall become effective on the date and manner 
proscribed by the Seattle Charter and SMC 2.08. In the event that any 
one or more of the provisions of this ordinance shall for any reason 
be held to be invalid, such invalidity shall not affect any other 
provision of this ordinance or the imposition of impact fees 
authorized herein, but this ordinance and the authority to levy those 
fees shall be construed and enforced as if such invalid provisions 
had not been contained herein; and any provision which shall for any 
reason be held by reason of its extent to be invalid shall be deemed 
to be in effect to the extent permitted by law.

rev. 8/3/07