BILL REQ. #:  H-1190.1 


State of Washington63rd Legislature2013 Regular Session

By Representatives Fitzgibbon, Fey, Upthegrove, Roberts, Ryu, and Jinkins

Read first time 02/05/13.   Referred to Committee on Local Government.

     AN ACT Relating to incentivizing up-front environmental planning, review, and infrastructure construction actions of local governments; amending RCW 82.02.020; reenacting and amending RCW 35.91.020; and adding a new section to chapter 43.21C RCW.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   A new section is added to chapter 43.21C RCW to read as follows:
     (1) A county, city, or town may recover its reasonable expenses of preparation of a nonproject environmental impact statement prepared under RCW 43.21C.229 and 43.21C.440:
     (a) Through access to financial assistance under RCW 36.70A.490;
     (b) With funding from private sources; and
     (c) By the assessment of fees consistent with the requirements and limitations of this section.
     (2)(a) A county, city, or town is authorized to assess a fee upon subsequent development that will make use of and benefit from: (i) The analysis in an environmental impact statement prepared for the purpose of compliance with RCW 43.21C.440 regarding planned actions; or (ii) the reduction in environmental analysis requirements resulting from the exercise of authority under RCW 43.21C.229 regarding infill development.
     (b) The amount of the fee must be reasonable and proportionate to the total expenses incurred by the county, city, or town in the preparation of the environmental impact statement.
     (3) A county, city, or town assessing fees under subsection (2)(a) of this section must provide for a mechanism by which project proponents may either elect to utilize the environmental review completed by the lead agency and pay the fees under subsection (1) of this section or certify that they do not want the local jurisdiction to utilize the environmental review completed as a part of a planned action and therefore not be assessed any associated fees. Project proponents who choose this option may not make use of or benefit from the up-front environmental review prepared by the local jurisdiction.
     (4) Prior to the collection of fees, the county, city, or town must enact an ordinance that establishes the total amount of expenses to be recovered through fees and provides objective standards for determining the fee amount to be imposed upon each development proposal proportionate to the impacts of each development and to the benefits accruing to each development from the nonproject environmental review. The ordinance must provide: (a) A procedure by which an applicant who disagrees with whether the amount of the fee is correct, reasonable, or proportionate may pay the fee with the written stipulation "paid under protest"; and (b) if the county, city, or town provides for an administrative appeal of its decision on the project for which the fees are imposed, any dispute about the amount of the fees must be resolved in the same administrative appeals process. Any disagreement about the reasonableness, proportionality, or amount of the fees imposed upon a development may not be the basis for delay in issuance of a project permit for that development.
     (5) The ordinance adopted under subsection (4) of this section must make information available about the amount of the expenses designated for recovery. When these expenses have been fully recovered, the county, city, or town may no longer assess a fee under this section.
     (6) Any fees collected under this section from subsequent development may be used to reimburse funding received from private sources to conduct the environmental review.
     (7) The county, city, or town shall refund fees collected where a court of competent jurisdiction determines that the environmental review conducted under RCW 43.21C.440, regarding planned actions, or under RCW 43.21C.229, regarding infill development, was not sufficient to comply with the requirements of this chapter regarding the proposed development activity for which the fees were collected. The applicant and the county, city, or town may mutually agree to a partial refund or to waive the refund in the interest of resolving any dispute regarding compliance with this chapter.

Sec. 2   RCW 35.91.020 and 2009 c 344 s 1 and 2009 c 230 s 1 are each reenacted and amended to read as follows:
     (1)(a) ((Except as provided under subsection (2) of this section,)) The governing body of any city, town, county, water-sewer district, or drainage district, hereinafter referred to as a "municipality" ((may)) must contract with owners of real estate for the construction of storm, sanitary, or combination sewers, pumping stations, and disposal plants, water mains, hydrants, reservoirs, or appurtenances, hereinafter called "water or sewer facilities," within their boundaries or (except for counties) within ten miles from their corporate limits connecting with the public water or sewerage system to serve the area in which the real estate of such owners is located, and to provide for a period of ((not to exceed)) twenty years for the reimbursement of such owners and their assigns by any owner of real estate who did not contribute to the original cost of such water or sewer facilities and who subsequently tap ((onto)) into or use the same of a fair pro rata share of the cost of the construction of ((said)) the water or sewer facilities, including not only those directly connected thereto, but also users connected to laterals or branches connecting thereto, subject to such reasonable rules and regulations as the governing body of such municipality may provide or contract, and notwithstanding the provisions of any other law.
     (b) If authorized by ordinance or contract, a municipality may participate in financing the development of water or sewer facilities development projects authorized by, and in accordance with, (a) of this subsection. Unless otherwise provided by ordinance or contract:
     (i) Municipalities that contribute to the financing of water or sewer facilities projects under this section have the same rights to reimbursement as owners of real estate who make contributions as authorized under this section; and
     (ii) If the projects are jointly financed by a combination of municipal funding and private funding by real estate owners, the amount of reimbursement received by each participant in the financing must be a pro rata share.
     (c) Except as provided otherwise by this section, a municipality seeking reimbursement from an owner of real estate under this section is limited to the dollar amount authorized under this chapter ((and may not collect any additional reimbursement, assessment, charge, or fee for the infrastructure or facilities that were constructed under the applicable ordinance, contract, or agreement)). This does not prevent the collection of amounts for services or infrastructure that are additional expenditures not subject to such ordinance, contract, or agreement, nor does it prevent the collection of fees that are reasonable and proportionate to the total expenses incurred by the municipality in complying with this section.
     (2)(((a) The contract may provide for an extension of the twenty-year reimbursement period for a time not to exceed the duration of any moratorium, phasing ordinance, concurrency designation, or other governmental action that prevents making applications for, or the approval of, any new development within the benefit area for a period of six months or more.
     (b) Upon the extension of the reimbursement period pursuant to (a) of this subsection, the contract must specify the duration of the contract extension and must be filed and recorded with the county auditor. Property owners who are subject to the reimbursement obligations under subsection (1) of this section shall be notified by the contracting municipality of the extension filed under this subsection.
)) Each contract shall include a provision requiring that every two years from the date the contract is executed a property owner entitled to reimbursement under this section provide the contracting municipality with information regarding the current contract name, address, and telephone number of the person, company, or partnership that originally entered into the contract. If the property owner fails to comply with the notification requirements of this subsection within sixty days of the specified time, then the contracting municipality may collect any reimbursement funds owed to the property owner under the contract. Such funds must be deposited in the capital fund of the municipality.
     (((4))) (3) To the extent it may require in the performance of such contract, such municipality may install said water or sewer facilities in and along the county streets in the area to be served as hereinabove provided, subject to such reasonable requirements as to the manner of occupancy of such streets as the county may by resolution provide. The provisions of such contract shall not be effective as to any owner of real estate not a party thereto unless such contract has been recorded in the office of the county auditor of the county in which the real estate of such owner is located prior to the time such owner taps into or connects to said water or sewer facilities.
     (4) Within ninety days of the completion of a water or sewer facility that was financed in accordance with the provisions of this section, the owners of real estate who tap into or use the facility must submit their complete cost data and associated information to the applicable municipality. These owners must also provide reasonable and timely responses for any resubmittal requests or additional information, when applicable.

Sec. 3   RCW 82.02.020 and 2010 c 153 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:
     Except only as expressly provided in chapters 67.28, 81.104, and 82.14 RCW, the state preempts the field of imposing retail sales and use taxes and taxes upon parimutuel wagering authorized pursuant to RCW 67.16.060, conveyances, and cigarettes, and no county, town, or other municipal subdivision shall have the right to impose taxes of that nature. Except as provided in RCW 64.34.440 and 82.02.050 through 82.02.090, no county, city, town, or other municipal corporation shall impose any tax, fee, or charge, either direct or indirect, on the construction or reconstruction of residential buildings, commercial buildings, industrial buildings, or on any other building or building space or appurtenance thereto, or on the development, subdivision, classification, or reclassification of land. However, this section does not preclude dedications of land or easements within the proposed development or plat which the county, city, town, or other municipal corporation can demonstrate are reasonably necessary as a direct result of the proposed development or plat to which the dedication of land or easement is to apply.
     This section does not prohibit voluntary agreements with counties, cities, towns, or other municipal corporations that allow a payment in lieu of a dedication of land or to mitigate a direct impact that has been identified as a consequence of a proposed development, subdivision, or plat. A local government shall not use such voluntary agreements for local off-site transportation improvements within the geographic boundaries of the area or areas covered by an adopted transportation program authorized by chapter 39.92 RCW. Any such voluntary agreement is subject to the following provisions:
     (1) The payment shall be held in a reserve account and may only be expended to fund a capital improvement agreed upon by the parties to mitigate the identified, direct impact;
     (2) The payment shall be expended in all cases within five years of collection; and
     (3) Any payment not so expended shall be refunded with interest to be calculated from the original date the deposit was received by the county and at the same rate applied to tax refunds pursuant to RCW 84.69.100; however, if the payment is not expended within five years due to delay attributable to the developer, the payment shall be refunded without interest.
     No county, city, town, or other municipal corporation shall require any payment as part of such a voluntary agreement which the county, city, town, or other municipal corporation cannot establish is reasonably necessary as a direct result of the proposed development or plat.
     Nothing in this section prohibits cities, towns, counties, or other municipal corporations from collecting reasonable fees from an applicant for a permit or other governmental approval to cover the cost to the city, town, county, or other municipal corporation of processing applications, inspecting and reviewing plans, or preparing detailed statements required by chapter 43.21C RCW, including reasonable fees that are consistent with RCW 43.21C.420(6), 35.91.020, and section 1 of this act.
     This section does not limit the existing authority of any county, city, town, or other municipal corporation to impose special assessments on property specifically benefited thereby in the manner prescribed by law.
     Nothing in this section prohibits counties, cities, or towns from imposing or permits counties, cities, or towns to impose water, sewer, natural gas, drainage utility, and drainage system charges. However, no such charge shall exceed the proportionate share of such utility or system's capital costs which the county, city, or town can demonstrate are attributable to the property being charged. Furthermore, these provisions may not be interpreted to expand or contract any existing authority of counties, cities, or towns to impose such charges.
     Nothing in this section prohibits a transportation benefit district from imposing fees or charges authorized in RCW 36.73.120 nor prohibits the legislative authority of a county, city, or town from approving the imposition of such fees within a transportation benefit district.
     Nothing in this section prohibits counties, cities, or towns from imposing transportation impact fees authorized pursuant to chapter 39.92 RCW.
     Nothing in this section prohibits counties, cities, or towns from requiring property owners to provide relocation assistance to tenants under RCW 59.18.440 and 59.18.450.
     Nothing in this section limits the authority of counties, cities, or towns to implement programs consistent with RCW 36.70A.540, nor to enforce agreements made pursuant to such programs.
     This section does not apply to special purpose districts formed and acting pursuant to Title 54, 57, or 87 RCW, nor is the authority conferred by these titles affected.

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