Too few sidewalks? Where’s Fauntleroy Boulevard? And other questions in Transportation Levy Q & A @ SW District Council

Two SDOT spotlights filled most of the Southwest District Council‘s April meeting, including SDOT director Scott Kubly‘s third visit to West Seattle in five weeknights, reviewing toplines of and answering questions – many questions! – about the draft Transportation Levy to Move Seattle. The other SDOT presentation recapped this year’s Arbor Heights microsurfacing plan.

SDOT, PART 1 – THE LEVY: Kubly went over the $900 million/9-year levy’s basics again – you can find them here – including the keywords “safe, affordable, interconnected, vibrant,” and the reminder that transportation is the second-biggest thing you spend money on. Big cost for the city too, he mentioned, including the reiteration that repairs are much cheaper than replacements. From the city website, you can see:
*The list of corridor-safety projects (35th SW & SW Roxbury in WS), streets set for repaving (35th SW, Avalon, SW Roxbury), and seismic-retrofit projects for both Admiral Way Bridges as well as the pedestrian bridges on Delridge and at Fauntleroy/Andover.

Yes, there are some new sidewalks, he said, but to put sidewalks everywhere in the city that doesn’t have them would cost $2.5 billion.

The slide deck mentioned the city is not the sole funder for the long-shelved Lander Street Overpass in SODO but stresses that they want to get it done. He brought this into the possibility of emergency rerouting “if we have an incident.”

Continuing the pitch, Kubly said accountability is key here – if they say they’re going to X miles of X types of facilities, you can measure that.

Timeline: Public engagement this month, mayor’s final proposal in May-June (sent to the City Council), potential council action in mid-summer, and then it’s off to King County to make it onto the fall ballot.

Questions: The Junction Neighborhood Organization‘s SWDC rep Ellen West asked about the Fauntleroy Boulevard project – now 60 percent designed – which is not listed for funding in the levy. (It *was* featured in the mayor’s pre-levy “vision” announcement earlier in March.)

Kubly didn’t explain why it wasn’t on the list but said it’s important to hear from communities what they want to see in the levy. “If Fauntleroy’s a priority, let city councilmembers know.”

Susan Melrose of the West Seattle Junction Association said they’d like to see it in the Capital Improvement Plan in next year’s budget as opposed to, as SWDC co-chair David Whiting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association chimed in, “putting it into a levy that might or might not pass.” Kubly then said it would be dire if the levy doesn’t pass, since a quarter of SDOT’s budget currently comes from levy (the expiring Bridging the Gap) funds.

District 1 City Council candidate Lisa Herbold, from the audience, asked for clarification on whether this sort of thing could be mentioned at this phase to influence the mayor’s draft, rather than waiting for the next revision and then the councilmembers’ review; Kubly said, well, certainly, take the survey, send e-mail.

Tod Rodman from the Morgan Community Association said Fauntleroy Boulevard seemed too important to just put it into the levy, and he wondered if it could be bond-funded.

Overall, City Council candidate Phillip Tavel wondered from the audience how feedback would be shown to the public as this process of shaping the levy continues. Kubly said the thing they’ve heard the most about is sidewalks – and also, “Folks are really interested in access to light rail.” (We noted that in our coverage of the levy-specific West Seattle meeting he had led one night earlier.)

An attendee said he thought the city needed more room for cars – on roads, and parking – as driverless cars and other types of future tech become reality. Kubly said he’s seeing the opposite, and that cars tend to spend more than 90 percent of the time parked. The attendee pressed, saying that he worried the city would need to spend money “undoing” what they’re doing now. Kubly countered that he didn’t think that would be necessary.

City Council candidate Tom Koch asked from the audience what percent of the levy is capital expenditures. Kubly’s reply: “All of it is capital,” he replied. Koch brought up his key campaign point – development impact fees – and wanted to make sure that if they became reality eventually, they could be applied to the projects/priorities in the levy. Kubly said they’re looking at that, but about two-thirds of what’s in the levy now would be ineligible for impact fees, because impact fees are meant to be applied to effects of growth, not covering existing deficiencies.

SWDC’s Vicki Schmitz-Block said the laws about that could be changed. Then she brought up bicycle facilities listed in the levy and said she’d like to see bicyclists charged a fee; Kubly pointed out that this levy is a property tax, so it affects people regardless of their chosen transportation mode.

Back to impact fees, Herbold noted that the study requested by current councilmembers is due soon; as a result of that, Kubly pointed out, we won’t know until early next year whether the idea could proceed. Koch asked what happens to SDOT’s budget if the levy doesn’t pass; Kubly said the department is building a budget taking that possibility into consideration

Prefacing with a caveat that she was asking as a private citizen, not an organization representative, Melrose asked if the Port “pays its full contribution” for the impacts of its freight transport and other aspects. Kubly said he would look into that. A side discussion went on for a few minutes about Port impacts and the Port/City relationship.

Then Diane Vincent brought up from the audience the fact that the population is getting older and “it’s really absurd to expect senior citizens to get out of their cars, stand on crowded buses, ride their bikes, walk on broken sidewalks …” Kubly countered that the plan does include something for everyone and said that projects like 35th SW will “make it safer for everybody to cross the street.” He focused on pedestrian safety. Vincent reiterated, she’s heard the mayor saying they hope to get more people out of their cars, and she notes that’s not feasible for many, especially seniors. Kubly said, “I think what he’s saying is that it’s not really about getting people out of their cars, it’s about giving people choices, so that if they want to [use a different transportation mode], they can.” He acknowledged that some people have no choice. “But there’s also a lot of people who don’t ‘have to’ if they have good alternatives – the fact that I’m walking to work means there’s one less car on the road, makes room for somebody who needs (that space) to get around … We’re trying to create a multi-modal system that works for everybody.”

Schmitz-Block challenged Kubly yet again, saying that between The Junction and Morgan Junction “there used to be 14 bus stops, and now there are three” (that happened with the switchover to RapidRide). Kathy Dunn from West Seattle Bike Connections said that neighborhoods are being neglected in the bicycle part of the plan – for example, bike-sharing would be great at some spots here.

Ray Krueger from the West Seattle Transportation Coalition said he had attended the previous night’s open house and was surprised that about a third of those in attendance were SDOT employees. He also put in a plug for the Fauntleroy Boulevard plan, and mentioned that the mayor’s original plan mentioned a “Fauntleroy Transit Station” – Kubly said that was apparently a mistake and meant to be a reference to the 35th/Avalon transit station.

Regarding Krueger’s concern about the low turnout, Kubly asked what it would take to get people out to an event. The meeting at Roosevelt, for example, had “a lot of people.” Kerry Wade, neighborhood district coordinator, said for one, there wasn’t much turnaround time between the announcement and the meeting. She also pointed out there’s lots of online information available about the levy.

Whatever you think about the draft levy – fine as it is, missing something, contains something it shouldn’t, etc. – take the city’s survey ASAP: – and/or get your feedback in by deploying these options.

SDOT, PART 2 – MICROSURFACING: Art Brochet from SDOT’s Capital Structures program spoke about this year’s plan for microsurfacing – the 21st century successor to chip-sealing, as he explained. Here’s the SDOT project page for this year’s Arbor Heights microsurfacing plan, including this map (click it to see full-size version as a PDF):

Brochet said he’s hoping to speak to people in Arbor Heights soon about the project, which is expected to happen between late July and early September; a contractor has not yet been chosen. Flyers and door hangers will go out later this month to those living near the streets that are scheduled for microsurfacing, and then another round of notices will come out about three weeks before the work, with one last warning about 48 hours in advance. Homeowners will be asked in May about trimming trees that hang out 11-12 feet over the road. SW District Council co-chair Eric Iwamoto, who is the rep from the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, said it was done in his neighborhood last time around and went well. Brochet said that’s good to hear because they still have some challenges in planning the long stretch of SW Arroyo Beach.

ADMIRAL BIKE LANES? MEETINGS AHEAD: While the SWDC agenda had said Brochet’s appearance would include information on Admiral Way bike lanes, he said that’ll be at next month’s meeting (May 6th). You can find out before then – Whiting said a presentation is booked for the ANA on April 14th. Brochet then added that a community-wide open house is expected in June.

ANNOUNCEMENTS/DISCUSSION: There was a brief postmortem discussion of Mayor Murray’s visit the preceding Saturday to The Junction/Triangle for a walking tour and coffee chat (WSB coverage here and here). And the council bid farewell to neighborhood district coordinator Yun Pitre, who is moving on to another district.

The Southwest District Council meets first Wednesdays, 6:30 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle.

26 Replies to "Too few sidewalks? Where's Fauntleroy Boulevard? And other questions in Transportation Levy Q & A @ SW District Council"

  • Tom Koch April 6, 2015 (7:38 am)

    Thanks as always to Tracy for her coverage of our community.

    I had the chance for a more in depth chat with Scott the previous night at the West Seattle High meeting.

    When asked about the timing of the City’s review of impact fees on development and how it could blend in with final determination of the new levy’s parameters, Scott was not optimistic. He suggested that regardless of any future impact fee policy shift, that this levy would go forward without them.

    This proposal calls for a 111% increase in the tax rate we already pay for the Bridging the Gap Levy. It does not include the Fauntleroy Project we’ve been waiting for. In fact, West Seattle does not get its fair share of the benefits of this package.

    Stipulating that SDOT staff might be right that only a third of the $900 million price tag could be offset by impact fees, that is still real money for the residents of our area. Using SDOT’s own numbers for average home assessment, the City’s failure to impose impact fees on developers will cost the typical homeowner nearly $1,000 more during the life of this levy. If your home is worth more, your subsidy of new development with be arithmetically higher.

    Additionally, the City has chosen to wait until the last possible election to bring this proposal forth. As the existing levy expires in December, the electorate is presented with the following choice: a) pass a large tax increase which does little for West Seattle and exacerbates the public’s subsidy rate for developers or b) allow basic funding for SDOT to lapse causing untold problems.

    We need to be proactive about our transportation challenges. Unfortunately, this package with this funding approach isn’t it.

  • John April 6, 2015 (8:06 am)

    Mr. Koch,
    Could you please elaborate on;
    1) Your phrase “the public’s subsidy rate for developers”?

    2) How ‘impact fees for development’ will meet WA State requirements that the impact fees:
    (a) Shall only be imposed for system improvements that are reasonably related to the new development;

    (b) Shall not exceed a proportionate share of the costs of system improvements that are reasonably related to the new development; and

    (c) Shall be used for system improvements that will reasonably benefit the new development.?

  • Oakley34 April 6, 2015 (9:14 am)

    Many seniors cling to their cars long past the time it is safe for them to do so (it is one of the touchiest issues we face as our parents age). Pride and habit are of course the two major factors, but lack of viable alternatives surely plays a part. Investing in making public transpo safe and viable for them (and for us years on) is vital to easing the transition for seniors. Thanks for the report.

  • West Seattle since 1979 April 6, 2015 (9:33 am)

    I probably shouldn’t even say anything since I wasn’t there, but I hope it isn’t forgotten that some seniors need to use the bus–they may be unable to drive for various reasons, or may not have a car. While we don’t want to force seniors out of their cars, we also don’t want to make the buses impossible to use for those seniors or other people who might have limited mobility to use them.

  • West Seattle since 1979 April 6, 2015 (10:24 am)

    Also thanks to Diane Vincent and others for attending the meeting and speaking up!

  • Tom Koch April 6, 2015 (11:03 am)

    Hi John:

    Thanks for the question.

    You’re right to point out the limitations that state law imposes on cities as it relates to this issue. Our laws are heavily skewed toward the protection of property rights.

    Notwithstanding the above, eighty jurisdictions in Washington have availed themselves of the opportunity to ensure that new development pays its own way and charge impact fees for new growth. Issaquah, Renton, Sammamish, Shoreline, etc all utilize this authority. Seattle, the largest city in the state and fastest growing in the entire country, doesn’t.

    When new growth brings increased demand on infrastructure, the state has authorized communities to recapture funding to offset this impact. It is difficult to know exactly how much the fees would be in Seattle since, to date, the City hasn’t even done the necessary analysis to determine what a reasonable, legally imposed fee would be. Let me repeat that, after twenty-five years of having the power, the City still hasn’t even completed a study!

    Since we have no direct analysis for Seattle, we can look at the rate charged by nearby jurisdictions. Doing so one can easily conclude that the $300 million that SDOT argues could be subject to impact fees within this proposed levy could be recaptured by the imposition of same.

    The infrastructure costs must be paid by someone unless you somehow believe that they don’t exist. Since this package contains zero funding from new development and new development is directly contributing to the need for infrastructure, it is clear that the general public is providing a subsidy.

    If the City did the right thing and imposed impact fees, either of two things would occur. We’d have a larger improvement package for infrastructure (perhaps including Fauntleroy???) or the 111% tax rate increase proposed for this package would be reduced.

    Accordingly, the residents are providing a subsidy via a combination of degraded services and higher taxes.

  • colleen April 6, 2015 (12:08 pm)

    When it comes to the two enormous new construction sites on opposite sides of Alaska and Fauntleroy it seems to me that pedestrian safety is the LAST consideration of the city and the construction crews. On one side of the street the city has allowed them to erect a CHAIN-LINK BARRIER in front of the traffic signal. On can reach it with a jury-rigged pole constructed of pvc pipe and what appears to be string. The jury-rigged contraption often breaks and they don’t bother to fix it in a timely manner. The other side of the street had pedestrians walking in the bike/bus lane for MONTHS and both crews makes it obvious that they resent having to accommodate pedestrians. I really do not understand talking about pedestrian safety when the city is allowing construction companies to fence off the button pedestrians press to walk across a 4 lane highway.

  • Millie Faber April 6, 2015 (2:19 pm)

    A point of clarification – one should not forget ALL property tax levies are CUMULATIVE. For example: the levy proposal discussed here $1,000/yr for 9 years, is on top of the Parks Levy, Transit Levy, Seawall Levy, etc., etc., etc. All these levies, however, worthwhile, add up and do have a significant impact on homeowners. Unfortunately, not all homeowners are “tech employees earning $100,000+/yr”. Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

    • WSB April 6, 2015 (2:25 pm)

      The point we probably haven’t reiterated clearly enough is – this is in part a “renewal” – the current transportation levy is expiring this year. However, as has been noted, this one asks for more than twice as much money as the previous one. And just one point for those tuning in, if by the “transit levy” you mean the one passed by voters last year, it’s not a levy but rather: .1 percent sales-tax increase, and $60 car-tab fee. So that one hits everybody who spends money, extra if you have a vehicle. By the way, another levy vote is coming up even sooner – this month, a special election on emergency-radio upgrades: – TR

  • John April 6, 2015 (7:52 pm)

    Mr. Koch,
    Thank you for your thoughtful response.

    A clarification for question 1) please.
    When you write,
    ” Since this package contains zero funding from new development and new development is directly contributing to the need for infrastructure, it is clear that the general public is providing a subsidy.”

    I don’t understand.
    “This proposal calls for a 111% increase in the tax rate we already pay…”
    Are you implying the property owners, developers and new residents are currently exempt from the tax? Or are they actually currently contributing a similar rate of tax as other property owners?

    Citing the “impact fees for new growth. Issaquah, Renton, Sammamish, Shoreline, etc” appears similar to your past experience in newly developing suburbs.

    I would like your response on how this could be accomplished in a diverse entrenched metropolis experiencing unprecedented growth demand, with nowhere to grow?

    And as an expert in the field and a city council candidate with this your defining issue, why have you not done the study and come out with your own proposal?

  • Diane April 7, 2015 (12:13 am)

    property taxes also hit most everyone (well, except for those MFTE tax exempt developers); landlords pass on their tax hikes by raising our rents; a LOT lately

  • John April 7, 2015 (9:17 am)

    MFTE developers are not tax exempt. They do pay property taxes.

    The point is that everyone pays property taxes.
    Landlords pass on the costs through rent hikes just as they do with the cost of utilities.

    Little mentioned here is the fact that housing prices in Seattle are rising even faster than rental rates.

    Homeowners are experiencing rising taxes due to the housing shortage causing excess demand, brought on in part by newly enacted development restrictions.

  • wetone April 7, 2015 (11:04 am)

    John could you please clarify your statements:

    1. (MFTE developers are not tax exempt. They do pay property taxes.)
    What’s the percentage tax rate for developers that receive MFTE on their buildings/properties ?

    2. (The point is that everyone pays property taxes. Landlords pass on the costs through rent hikes just as they do with the cost of utilities.)
    Correct John. Landlords charge their market rents even though they get MFTE tax benefits. Seems like more money into developers pockets ?

    3. (Little mentioned here is the fact that housing prices in Seattle are rising even faster than rental rates.)
    Wrong John, home prices are just getting back to 2006-7 values. Rents in W/S have skyrocketed in last 2yrs. Most smaller property owners that have rentals just follow the market driven rents the big dogs have implemented and why not ? helps them out since they don’t get the big tax breaks.

    4. (Homeowners are experiencing rising taxes due to the housing shortage causing excess demand, brought on in part by newly enacted development restrictions.)
    This one I won’t even comment on…..

  • West Seattle since 1979 April 7, 2015 (11:08 am)

    Well, apparently from what I’m told on another forum, seniors don’t use public transpo that much anyway, so it’s probably a moot point. I didn’t realize this, as I’d swear I see seniors on the buses all the time, but probably these people are anomalies. Sorry to even bring it up! The person that educated me on this did mention there are other alternatives for seniors who don’t drive or take the bus, such as Access.

  • Diane April 7, 2015 (12:56 pm)

    MFTE developers pay zero property taxes on the residential portion of their often enormous multi-family projects, for 12 years; they only have to pay property taxes on the retail space (and the land? TR or Tom Koch, can you please clarify)
    nearly all of the giant apt projects being built right now in WS, which will impact our roads, traffic, sewers, transit, parks, etc; nearly all (or all) are utilizing the MFTE program and do NOT pay any property taxes on the residential portion, for 12 years
    this is exactly why Tom Koch is advocating impact fees; thank you Tom for keeping the conversation alive; most of the developers of large apt projects in Seattle, and nearly all (or all) of the apodments with zero parking, most or all are signed up with the MFTE and pay zero property tax on the residential portion of their properties for 12 years; many many many of us believe that is absurd and wrong; developers should simply be paying their fair share for the impacts of their projects on our infrastructure

    • WSB April 7, 2015 (1:06 pm)

      Yes, the land and the nonresidential space, subject to property taxes. Also, MFTE list includes non-giant projects as well, such as at least some of the microhousing projects. I can’t add link until back at HQ, been out on the home invasion.

  • Diane April 7, 2015 (1:13 pm)

    thanks TR

  • Diane April 7, 2015 (1:30 pm)

    @West Seattle since 1979; yes, many seniors still use the bus; many have no other option; many can still do just fine on the bus; but many have chosen to use their car instead, especially after so many of our buses were taken away 3 yrs ago, and so many bus stops removed, and standing room only on the bus; the transit alternatives for seniors and disabled are not at all reliable; my friend in Admiral who required a ride to dialysis for years, she tried to rely on transit alternatives; I once found her standing out on her curb with her walker; she had been waiting for hours; she has since had a kidney transplant and more health issues; and she thankfully obtained a car, so at least she can get to her appointments and hospitals when needed; having to rely on the bus is often hell for seniors who also have significant health issues
    I am one of those seniors who still takes the bus; I would use it more often if my previous bus routes in Admiral were still available, or if I could easily and safely get a seat on the bus; it is very challenging for me because I don’t look “old” or disabled, so people never offer me a seat; and even when I ask for a seat, some people give me dirty looks or make nasty comments; I also have a disability that is not visible; most disabilities are invisible; so for a person with an invisible disability, and/or a senior who doesn’t look 117 yrs old, it can be very challenging to get a seat on the bus
    so, whenever possible, I use my car; it’s cheaper; it’s faster; it’s safer; and it’s much much much easier on my body
    when I do take the bus, usually downtown, like last night, and walk/stand for a few hours, I am in severe pain for the next 2 days
    and I have to constantly educate other bus riders; last night as I was de-boarding at 3rd/Seneca, a young woman tried to push past me to board the bus, like I was invisible; I had to ask her to please let me get off first; and I had to ask the bus driver to lower the lift so I could get off; they both appeared surprised; that happens nearly every time I take the bus; and it gets tiresome
    I’ve also been yelled at by other bus riders, as it is difficult for me to step down off the last steep step to the sidewalk at 3rd and Seneca, so I have to hang on and step down slowly; I’ve also been nearly stampeded by the young after-work crowd racing to get on the bus, as I’m struggling to get off
    I’ve also been severely injured from falling while walking home from the bus stop at night, on one of our horrible sidewalks
    for seniors, especially those who are much older than me, falling can be deadly

  • John April 7, 2015 (2:08 pm)

    I hope we can all agree that when it comes to certainties, two are death and taxes.

    MFTE developers do indeed pay property taxes, contrary to candidate Koch and other posters.

    Koch could correct me if he is correct, but he has not to.

    wetone’s cherry picked data, comparing the housing bubble of 2006-7 prices to rents in the last 2 years. Factually, in the last two years housing prices have outstripped rent increases.

    The fact that there are many MFTE units means that they are also all things equal and have a market rate that negates differences in taxes.

    And I understand why wetone won’t comment on the fact that with twenty apples in the bushel and 15 people wanting an apple, removing more apples from the basket will not provide more apples.

  • colleen April 7, 2015 (4:23 pm)

    The person who educated you about seniors not riding buses was incorrect. A great many seniors rely on the buses for transportation. Clearly anybody insisting otherwise does not rely on the buses for transportation.

  • Diane April 7, 2015 (4:36 pm)

    nobody said seniors are not riding buses

  • West Seattle since 1979 April 7, 2015 (8:16 pm)

    Someone on another forum, not here.

  • RayK April 7, 2015 (8:22 pm)

    Anyone under dialysis treatment should only use Metro Access with drivers trained to deal with patients bleeding out.
    I would never offer to drive a friend to dialysis treatments. I would assist them to set up a ride subscription with Access and assist them to prepare and board the minibuses with assistance from the bus operator. I would also meet them at their home to assist them into the residence.
    If your friend started to bleed out in your vehicle you would have to call 911 for Medic One to meet you at the curb somewhere. The time to establish the emergency with the 911 operator will far exceed the response of an Access operator on the radio with Access dispatch to establish a rendezvous with Medic One.

  • RayK April 7, 2015 (8:28 pm)

    While many of us seniors do ride Metro buses and use other programs like Hyde Shuttle, I find many more are using proudly their personal autos for normal household and social errands. I am in a group of 25 seniors that meet most weeks at the WSSC and all are either driving their vehicles or call Hyde Shuttle or Access if they have mobility issues.

  • Tom Koch April 7, 2015 (10:01 pm)

    Hi again John:

    Sorry for my delay getting back to you. First time at my laptop since early this morning.

    I think you might be a bit confused by my comments. Yes, property taxes are paid by new development as well as existing residents.

    My comments about the levy have nothing to do with developers paying property taxes. My comments deal with the utter failure of the City to utilize its legal authority to mandate impact fees on development.

    Because impact fees aren’t being imposed, the effects of new growth on infrastructure aren’t being proportionately offset/paid for. This inevitably means that these capital costs must be paid by someone else…in this case those who bear the burden of property taxes. My specific frustration with this proposed levy is that once again the City is dumping the entire package cost on home/landowners.

    Yes, developers will pay part of that tax via their property tax bills. However, and this is my primary point, it is nowhere near fair as the amount they’ll be paying is not close to their projects’ true costs on our infrastructure.

    The state recognized this basic reality in 1990 when we adopted the Growth Management Act. In order to more fairly collect the funding that is proportionate to the impacts, the state authorized these fees.

    Your comments imply that you don’t support the concept of impact fees. Perhaps I am misunderstanding you, but that’s what it sounds like.

    Anyway, due to the City’s quarter century of “looking the other way” regarding this issue, the existing residents have been paying in effect a subsidy for new development. I believe that is both morally wrong and financially unsustainable.

    And yes, the proposed levy increases the tax rate by 111%. We are in our last year of the “Bridging the Gap” levy and, if approved, this new package will increase our taxes substantially. The ad valorem rate for transportation levies goes from .02888% to .06111%.

  • John April 8, 2015 (9:20 am)

    Mr. Koch,
    Thank you for your response and correction regarding “zero” and the now agreed upon fact that developers also pay property taxes.

    Although not opposed to ‘impact fees’ per se, I have concerns about the perception of what they can actually do here in fully built-out Seattle where there are no new tracts to neatly develop and impacts barely determinable. Here we are dealing with re-development with existing ‘impacts’.

    With ‘impact fees’ your defining issue, what do you predict if the full extent of the ‘impact fees’ you support is carried out?

    My beliefs about ‘impact fees’;

    They will not solve traffic congestion.

    They will not reduce housing costs.

    They will not increase street parking availability.

    They will constrain housing supply.

    They will be difficult to define, enforce and may face legal challenges.

    They are divisive in their demonizing of developers and the construction trades as a whole as well as a myriad of associated services, a significant populace.

    These are some of my concerns about ‘impact fees’.

    You cite 25 years of looking the other way.
    Does that mean that the impact fees should be collected back to the 1990 enactment and when the impacts started? How will you do that and if you don’t do that is it no just as morally wrong and financially unsustainable as the current situation?

    As a homeowner and property tax supporter since 1996, I assume as most homeowners, that I have been sharing my impact by supporting and paying through our levy and tax system.

    Seattle has a relatively low property tax rate with residents that have traditionally supported infrastructure improvements through the established levy system.

    Why change what works?

Sorry, comment time is over.