Highline Public Schools asks City of Normandy Park for school impact fees


The City of Normandy Park has been asked by Highline Public Schools to adopt school impact fees that it regards as ensuring “that new growth and development pay its proportionate share of the costs of new school facilities and alleviate the burden on the existing community to fund the full cost of those facilities.”

This is according to a recent City Manager’s Report, which continues:

While the City of Normandy Park will not generate a great amount of such fees now and in the future, adopting school impact fees is something that all jurisdictions that compose the Highline School District service area should do. I will be bringing an ordinance to the City Council for this purpose in late September.

The school district has proposed a 2017 new construction, one-time fee per dwelling unit, single family rate of $2,290 and a multi-family rate of $3,162. Per King County ordinance these rates are 50% “discounted,” which I think means the same thing as 50% of the full, legitimate funding need caused by the construction of each new dwelling unit.

Why charge only 50% of the unfunded need and not 100%? Long ago, in the 1990s, when many jurisdictions in Washington State first adopted school impact fees, case precedent set 50% as a supportable legal benchmark. The King County ordinance simply reflects this precedent.

New development impact fees are also frequently set for parks and transportation, similarly capped at 50% of the unfunded need.

School, parks, and transportation impact fees are paid by new housing.

Transportation impact fees are also paid by new commercial developments.


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