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Snoqualmie to update school impact charges

The city of Snoqualmie is considering how to put school impact fees more in step with the growth plan for Valley schools.

A new ordinance, which goes before the Snoqualmie City Council for approval on Monday, April 14, would update the city's impact fees, bringing them into line with the Snoqualmie Valley School District.

City Attorney Pat Anderson said the city's planning cycle has long been out of step with the schools district. City comprehensive plan changes don't come every year, or when they do, come later than when the school district updates its plan. The new ordinance would automatically incorporate the latest schools plan as it is adopted.

The change means an approximately $2,000 increase in the city's school impact fee for a single family residence, from roughly $3,900 to about $5,977 for a new single family home.

During Snoqualmie Ridge's phase one planning, the city didn't use school impact fees, instead relying on a voluntary agreement between developer Weyerhaeuser and the school district that included land and fees. The developer received permits by showing a receipt that the voluntary fees had been paid to the district. As the Ridge's second phase was developed, the city adopted impact fee ordinance that uses the district's capital facilities plan as a starting point.

"That authorizes the city to use the school's plan, their idea of their dollar needs, as a basis of collecting for the school," Anderson said.

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