Pierce County News Release: In an effort to stimulate the local economy, the Pierce County Council adopted two ordinances on Tuesday, Oct. 26, that allow builders to defer some county impact fees.
Currently, developers and builders pay traffic impact fees, park impact fees and sewer connection charges up front when they apply for a building permit. The first ordinance (2010-65s) allows builders the option to defer paying the parks and traffic fees until a property is sold – but no more than two years after the permit is issued, whichever comes first. This should help reduce development costs and keep construction projects moving forward in Pierce County.
“We’re optimistic that this will give a boost to our economy,” said Councilmember Shawn Bunney (District 1). “Deferment hopefully will ease the financial burden of the up-front costs associated with new development.”
The other ordinance, 2010-67s, will allow industrial firms to amortize their sewer connection and capacity charges. Both proposals stem from recommendations from the 2008 Pierce County Economic Stimulus Report prepared by the Economic Development Division.
The ordinances will be effective on Jan. 15, 2011 and will be re-evaluated in three years. The industrial amortization program is permanent.
Public Works and Utilities, Planning and Land Services, Economic Development and other county departments are working together to implement the new legislation and get word out to the community.
“Staff from several departments are working together to make system changes and to update policies and procedures for this new program,” said County Executive Pat McCarthy. “It’s going to take some time to get everything ironed out, but this is a good, positive step we can take that helps our local economy.”
Traffic impact fees help offset the cost of road improvements that are needed because of new development. Park impact fees pay for the impact of new growth on county parks. Sewer connection charges pay for improvements to the county sewer system, including the wastewater treatment plant.
For more information, contact: