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Park Impact Fee

Park Impact Fees

Contact Us

Sarah Olson
Deputy Director
Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts
425-670-5503
solson@lynnwoodwa.gov

19000 44th Ave W, Lynnwood

Fee Schedule

Park Impact Fees took effect on June 1, 2018 on a phased implementation. Rates are currently set to 80% of the Rate Study for Impact Fees for Parks, Open Space, and Recreation Facilities and will move to 100% of the rate study fees on January 1, 2020. Rates will be adjusted every 2 years with a review of the rate study required every 6 years. 

Fee Rates June 1, 2018 - December 31, 2019
Fee Rates beginning January 1, 2020 
Fee Calculation Estimator Form

Impact Fee Study

One of the Parks, Arts, Recreation & Conservation (PARC) Plan strategic directions relates to ensuring sound management and maintenance of Lynnwood's park and recreation system. Included is the adopted PARC Plan Action #3.9.2 which directs staff to "Conduct a park impact fee study for the City and its MUGA to help finance park and trail capital needs related to population growth."

In July 2017, staff initiated a Park Impact Fee study and conducted public outreach and accepted public comment on the park impact fee study between October - December, 2017. A presentation of the final rate study - "Rate Study for Impact Fees for Parks, Open Space, and Recreation Facilities" - was shared with the Lynnwood City Council January 29 and February 5, 2018 with a public hearing held on February 12, 2018. On March 12, 2018, the the Lynnwood City Council adopted Ordinance #3288 establishing park impact fees by adding a new Chapter 3.107 to the Lynnwood Municipal Code and amending LMC 3.104.030.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is an impact fee?
Impact fees are one-time charges paid by new development to reimburse local governments for the capital costs of public facilities that are needed to serve new development and the people who occupy the new development. New development is synonymous with “growth.” The impact fee offsets part of the cost of the impact of growth. Governments that charge impact fees are providing a way for growth to pay for growth.

Washington law authorizes local governments to charge impact fees for four types of public facilities:
1) public streets and roads;
2) fire protection facilities;
3) school facilities; and
4) publicly owned parks, open space and recreation facilities.

What is a Park Impact Fee?
A park impact fee is for all types of parks, recreational facilities and open space provided by local governments to serve new development.

Do other communities have Park Impact Fees?
At least 81 Washington cities have charged park impact fees. In alphabetical order, they are:

Airway Heights
Algona
Arlington
Anacortes
Auburn
Bellevue
Bellingham
Blaine
Bonney Lake
Bothell
Brier
Buckley
Burlington
Camas
Carnation
Cheney
Coupeville
Covington
Duvall
Eatonville

Edgewood
Edmonds
Ellensburg
Enumclaw
Ephrata
Everson
Ferndale
Gig Harbor
Gold Bar
Granite Falls
Issaquah
Kennewick
Kenmore
Kirkland
La Center
Lake Stevens
Lynden
Maple Valley
Marysville
Medical Lake

Mill Creek
Monroe
Mount Vernon
Mountlake Terrace
Mukilteo
North Bend
Oak Harbor
Olympia
Orting
Pacific
Pasco
Poulsbo
Puyallup
Quincy
Redmond
Renton
Richland
Ridgefield
Roy
Sammamish

Sedro Wooley
Sequim
Shoreline
Snohomish
Stanwood
Sultan
Sumner
Tukwila
Tumwater
University Place
Vancouver
Washougal
West Richland
Winlock
Woodinville
Woodland
Yacolt
Yelm
Zillah


Why is the City of Lynnwood considering a Park Impact Fee?

Lynnwood is expecting significant growth, particularly in the City Center and Mall area. The expansion of regional light rail service to Lynnwood will lead to higher density development in that area. In addition, the rest of the City is likely to experience growth as part of the continued growth throughout the Central Puget Sound.

The growth that will occur in Lynnwood will need parks, recreational facilities and open space, and the City’s current park system will need to be expanded to serve the new development. The City needs additional funding to expand the park system to serve growth, and a park impact fee is a way for growth to pay for part of the cost of the parks and recreational facilities that are needed because of growth.

How are parks and recreation facilities currently funded in Lynnwood? 
Parks and Recreation capital projects have been funded through appropriations from the City’s General Fund and Real Estate Excise Taxes (REET). The department submits its capital projects during budget deliberations and historically they projects compete with street improvements and other infrastructure items. As a result, total appropriations for parks projects has varied from year to year. Currently there is no dedicated revenue source for parks and recreation capital projects. .

How can the fees be used?
Park impact fees can be spent on capital improvements that add capacity to parks, open space and recreational facilities in order to serve new development. The impact fees cannot be used to operate or maintain existing or new parks.

Park impact fees must be spent on publicaly owned parks, open space and recreational facilities. The impact fees cannot be spent on private areas, such as those provided by homeowners associations or the owners of condominiums or apartment buildings that are for the use and convenience of the occupants or users of those properties.

As required by state law, Lynnwood will separate the park impact fees from other monies, expend the money on specific projects within 10 years, and prepare annual reports of collections and expenditures of the park impact fees.

How are impact fees calculated?
The value of the current park system (i.e., its replacement cost) is divided by the current population to calculate the current value per person (level of service, or LOS). The impact fee will use the current LOS to calculate the amount new growth needs to contribute to maintain the current LOS as the City grows. The impact fee is reduced to account for other revenues the City receives that it plans to use for expanding the park system to serve new growth. This reduced cost is the impact fee rate to be paid to the City.

Are there any credits or exemptions for this fee?
Impact fees may be reduced by credits for the value of dedicated land, improvements or construction provided by the developer (provided that such facilities are listed in the City’s adopted capital facilities plan and the dedication is also required as a condition of development approval).

Lynnwood can establish reasonable rules for determining credits. For example, the location of dedicated land and the quality and design of a donated public facility can be required to be acceptable to the City, and meet City standards. There are limited exemptions allowed from payment of impact fees. Lynnwood’s park impact fees include several exemptions which are listed in section 3.107.080 of Ordinance 3288.

What was the process for considering a Park Impact Fee for the City of Lynnwood? 
City staff secured the technical assistance from the Trust for Public Land's (TPL) Conservation Finance Team to assist with research and development of a park impact fee study. The study launched in July 2017 with a gathering of key staff from City departments and partners. From the kick-off, staff with support from TPL put together information about park impact fee programs as well as questions to seek public input in order to inform the development of a possible impact fee program. In October, the public outreach phase began with a series of presentations and outreach to the development, business, and residential communities. Outreach with opportunities for public comment extended through the end of the year. At the conclusion of public outreach, final development of an impact fee program was presented to the Lynnwood City Council in January 2018 with a public hearing on March 12, 2018.