North Bend’s City Council unanimously adopted the Snoqualmie Valley School District’s capital facilities plan recently, and with it, the school’s increased impact fees. For 2012, the school district calculated a school impact fee of $8,503.67 for each single-family home, and $2,742.52 for each unit of multi-family housing.
These fees are added to the cost of any new building permits issued in North Bend, but are collected by the city, then disbursed to the school district. Last fall, North Bend decided not to approve the 2012 fees until that city, like Snoqualmie, got the legal assurance they wanted. Both cities requested formal indemnification against any legal action that might arise from charging developers the impact fees. If builders were unable to sell their homes at the increased price, for example, the cities wanted assurance that they could not be sued.
Snoqualmie has not adopted an impact fee from the school district since 2009. In 2010, the fees nearly tripled, and Snoqualmie officials feared the fee would deter some builders.
To resolve the issue, school and city staff officials began working together on a revised interlocal agreement for the collection and distribution of impact fees last fee. In addition to the legal protections, the agreement specifies that the school district must present its updated capital facilities plan to each city for adoption by August 1 each year.
After receiving the revised interlocal agreement from the school district, the North Bend Council voted April 3 to adopt the new fees.
“We’re more than happy to do our part, but they should indemnify us,” City Administrator Duncan Wilson told the council as he introduced the new agreement.
Snoqualmie’s City Council has not yet adopted the 2012 fee, but will consider it again on April 23.
Impact fees are paid only on new building permits, and are intended to help school districts increase their capacity, in anticipation of the students who might live in the homes being built. School districts must spend the fees on capacity projects within 10 years, or pay the fee amounts back.