Council hears public on impact fees

Opinions for and against impact and mitigation fees were in line with what the Sequim City Council's consultants said they'd be.

Councilors heard testimony from builders, Realtors, business owners, League of Women Voters members and others at a packed public hearing on the proposed fees Monday, March 8.

Opponents of fees said:

_ Builders are being priced out of a market.

_ Fees would prevent development.

_ They were badly timed in a poor economy.

_ Costs are too high.

_ Adequate parks already are in place.

_ Urban sprawl continues.

If the council approves all the fees at their maximum, they could add $9,037 to the current $15,800 cost of a building permit for a single-family home in the city, including charges for connecting water and sewer service.

Those in favor said fees would:

_ Prevent the whole community from taking on the burden of a few who benefit from developments.

_ Promote agricultural growth in city limits.

_ Make developers assume the burden of their developments.

_ Fund new facilities to serve growth.

_ Keeps current taxes equitable.

Impact fees would pay for transportation, parks, schools and fire projects.

Mitigation fees, assessed through the State Environmental Policy Act review process, would pay for police and general government infrastructure.

Some opponents asked the city for more time to create solutions. They said if fees were adopted, they should be small and implemented slowly.

Before the hearing, City Manager Steve Burkett said if the fees weren't enforced, their alternatives would be:

_ Paying for streets and infrastructure through State Environmental Protection Act grants.

_ Going to voters for more broad-based taxes.

_ Not building or restoring facilities and resources.

A decision on the fees could be made as soon as the 6 p.m. Monday, March 22, Sequim City Council meeting at the Sequim Transit Center, 190 W. Cedar St.

Get into the Sequim

It's official.

The theme for Sequim's 2013 Centennial celebration is "Celebrating Our First 100 years: Get Into The Sequim Of Things."

Now Sequim Gazette graphic designer Melanie Reed is developing a logo to accompany the theme on lapel pins, posters, programs and other advertising.

The Sequim Marketing Action Committee developed the theme at its Feb. 17 meeting, said city clerk Karen Kuznek-Reese.

The committee's next meeting to discuss the logo and what happens next is at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 24, at the Sequim Transit Center, 190 W. Cedar St.

According to the Clallam County Historical Society, 79 men petitioned the Clallam County commissioners on July 19, 1913, to incorporate Sequim.

The city limits included 440 acres, one mile north and south and three-quarters of a mile east and west of Sequim Avenue and Washington Street.

Reach Matthew Nash at

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